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February 2012 | www.ed-rex.com

February 2012

So a man walks into the office ...

February 9, 2012, OTTAWA — I got to the office early yesterday, because I thought I might need to spend some time debriefing the boss on the Great Big Gaping Hole now grinning from the rear left door of one of his vehicles — the one I had been driving the day before.

I'd parked my bike at the lot, picked up the van that was waiting for me and shucked my leather jacket in hopes of cooling down a bit before I had to greet my passengers. (Wednesday was not nearly as cold as I expected, so I'd worn a much heavier sweater than I ought to have. I digress.)

I fired up the van, confirmed it was fully fuelled and that I had a spare bottle of washer fluid; tuned the radio to CBC in both Ottawa and Montreal and adjusted my mirrors; set the beast in gear and headed on in, secure in my knowledge that I was without blame, but still, just a little insecure about what the boss was going to say about his mangled vehicle.

The SUV was still where I had left it on Tuesday, the guts of the rear door exposed the world, like bones and tendons stripped of skin. I couldn't help taking another look, rubber-necking at my own misfortune.

It being afternoon, the office was a little cramped. The number one and number two guys were at their desks, the day-time dispatcher — let's call him Normand — was at his, and a couple of my fellow drivers were hanging around.

"Good afternoon, gentlemen," I called out as I slipped through the swinging gate.

Normand looked over at me, smirking. "Hey, Geoff," he said with obvious delight. "You're supposed to bring the whole vehicle back with you, not just part of it!"

"Hey man! It's in the back!" I said, referring to a dinner-plate sized scrap of metal that had once been part of the vehicle's door.

I took a look at Ahmed, my boss, and was pleased to see he was smiling, but was distracted when Charley, an older driver, asked me, "Geoff, do you live in North Gower?"

"Uh, no," I said, "No, I live in the Glebe. Why?"

"Oh," he said, deadpan. "I thought I saw your sweater in the garbage."

"My sweater!" I thought wildly for an appropriate response, but was too taken aback by the non-sequiteur insult to do anything but sputter while the office rocked with laughter.

Grinning, I shook my head and approached the boss' desk to explain just what had happened.

So what did happen? Click here for Dump Truck Horror on Autoroute 40!


Young Geoffrey now pushing 50

February 6, 2012, OTTAWA — Thanks to those of you who wished me a happy anniversary of birth — it was.

The whole week was a good one, the highlights including an outing in Gatineau Park on snowshoes (I am the bigfoot-like creature in the photo at left), finally getting out onto the canal and dining Sri Lankan style.

And also, a Mysterious Ottawa Valley Apparition, caught on camera by the one and only Phantom Photographer, who was able to attend this year's Winterlude opening ceremony, while I laboured on this week's edition of True North Perspective.

Cut to spare those uninterested in my personal blatherings. If you want them, or the striking photo of the Ottawa Valley's no-longer mythical Dance of the Winter Turkeys/Danse des dindes d'hiver come to spectral life, click here.

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