Wednesday, January 31, 2007

going postal...

so this is a story all about how, my life got flip-turned upside down...wait. that's someone else's story. my story happened yesterday. i was sending off two care packages to friends, containing a cd and some jars of jam. i go to the canada post outlet at danforth and chester, and purchase two of the smallest "shipping" boxes to pack my stuff into. the tagline on the box goes something like this: "sturdy, secure, blah blah blah". oh i beg to differ, mrs. canada post. the boxes are flat, and you have to put them together, and they're held in place with a piece of cardboard slipped into a slot on the opposite side (anyone who has ever done a grade 3 geometry project knows what's a gwanning here). they are in fact, so NON-STURDY that after they've been formed, they try to bounce back to their flat incarnation, resulting in a vaguely trapezoidal formation. then i had to go buy a newspaper to wrap my jam jars in. not trusting the security of that little piece of cardboard holding the whole package together, and espying two rolls of packing tape directly to the right of the employee, i asked to use the packing tape.

dude stares at me and goes, "ummm, there's packing tape for sale right behind you."

waves of outrage start to wash over me. i say (quite politely, i might add), "but it's right there *points to packing tape* you're going to make me buy a whole roll for the five cents of packing tape i'm going to use? when the post office outlet located in the td tower at bay and wellington provides packing tape AND bubble wrap for FREE?"

dude begrudgingly hands it over (not the good, clear roll either, the murky dun-coloured one that you have to be more careful with, lest you obscure the address and return address information). i tape up the edges of the box, and then do the packing tape roll-wrap around the exterior of the box (only twice). dude starts to protest: "if you're going to use that much, then you should pay"

i say: "excuse me, i don't mean to be impolite, but i know how much packing tape costs, i can also guess how much i'm using. you can add five cents to my bill, and i ASSURE you, that will MORE THAN COVER the amount of your precious tape that i'm using" (i would say at most, i used 2 metres. AT MOST)

then some lady who's been browsing for supplies butts in: "in this poor man's defense, every canada post outlet that i've been to, they don't even provide scissors, they make you buy them"

now THIS gets me right steamed up. i absolutely LOATHE it when people INSIST on comparing things to the VERY WORST REPRESENTATION IN SOCIETY. why compare yourself to the worst????? it's like saying: "well, in nazi germany, we'd all be gassed and dead by now" or: "we could be in darfur" WHAT'S YOUR POINT??? shouldn't we strive to be BETTER than the absolute worst? in my mind, it's a telling indictment of our society's slide into full-on pandering to mediocrity. we should compare ourselves to the best and see where we fall short, now to the worst, to see how far we haven't gone. so i turn to her and i say: "oh really? well, you should go to the canada post outlet located at bay and wellington then, as they offer bubble tape AND packing tape for free on a table in the middle"

i was totally steamed up. i guess now is the right time to mention that the canada post employee was a bit of an old guy. and trust me, if anyone was raised with a healthy respect for elderly people it's me. my mom's the biggest old-person softie there is, and well, chinese people and their confucian filial piety thing, we're all over that shiz. i get it: old people are valued, trusted resources whom you should look to for their experience in the world. but! that doesn't mean old people can't be dick-butts too! and this dude, while i wouldn't go so far as to say he was a dick-butt, definitely had civil servant-slavish bureaucratic drone syndrome. which i hate more than anything.

one time we were at canada's wonderland, and we watched a girl working the funnel cake stand hold up the line for 15 minutes because she ran out of pennies to give some dude back 17 cents change for his funnel cake. i was standing there, incredulous. so i'm like, "listen. just give the dude his funnel cake! either keep the change, or give him a quarter...IT'S NO BIG DEAL!" (note: i'm always there to egg people on; passive bystander: i most certainly am NOT). and she was seriously freaking out about not being able to make the change and that her supervisor was "watching" her through the dead fly and cobweb covered, cold-war era camera installed in the further recesses of the funnel cake shanty. ridiculous!!!

last night's dinner was fan-freaking tastic. i got some smoked gouda and threw that in, and it gave it a depth of flavour, as if i had put pancetta or some kind of cured meat in there, even though i didn't. and to say that devon cream makes it rich would be an understatement to the nth power, but i still ate two unctuous, artery-clogging bowls. i couldn't help it! i'm soooooooo happy that winter is finally here, so that i can fill my belly with warming, rich foods. tonight for dinner we're having a stirfry of: bok choy, broccoli, red peppers, chinese eggplant, and tofu in a black bean-soy-cornstarch-sesame oil sauce over a crispy chow mein noodle cake (boil the noodles, drain, then fry in a little oil in a pan and compress on both sides until it forms a compact cake).


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