Remember Cambie Street?
It's not often that I am shocked, especially by the predictably idiocy of bureaucrats and politicians.
But yesterday, I caught just enough of the local supper hour news to almost fall off the sofa.
In the morning I had enjoyed a coffee with an old friend at the corner of 65th and Granville. Of course, I parked the car right in front.
That will no longer be possible, sir.
You see we're staging the 2010 Olympics and every one's life must be disrupted and every one's small mom-and-pop business must suffer irrevocably.
Because you are not important and the small businesses that we like to say are the backbone of our economy are not really important either. We just like to say that because it sounds good at rubber chicken lunches and on news bites.
The news is that during that now hateful affair next February, that Event That Surpasses All Other Events, there will be no parking allowed 29 hours a day, 12 days a week on Granville Street from 16th Avenue south to the Arthur Laing Bridge. None. Zero.
I watched a couple talk about the $200,000+ they lost before they abandoned their shop on Cambie Street during the hideous Cut and Cover Caper. So they smartly moved to Granville around 65th. Now they face exactly the same nightmarish scenario.
Now, here is the voice of authority to the rescue.
"First of all, leaving your vehicle behind is absolutely fundamental," Penny Ballem, City of Vancouver manager and a board member with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games, said in issuing a plea for public support.
Tell me, Penny.
As a VANOC board member, won't you be given a pass or a limo or some other exemption that permits you to dart about the city with impunity?
"Transportation is key to the success of the Games," Dr. Ballem said at a news conference. She reminded people that "you can walk across the core of Vancouver" in about 25 minutes, and planners are hoping a lot of people will do just that during the Olympics.
Isn't that nice.
Thanks a whole bunch, Penny. Walking across the city in a driving rainstorm in February is exactly what we all want to do to help out this act of totalitarianism.
There are those among you who are patiently waiting for "the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Please be advised that something way bigger will be here and on schedule in February. Further note that if Jesus does make it, he may not get downtown because of the the roadblocks and traffic restrictions. Remember, ye devout, that we have out priorities here.
And speaking of age-old values, we are told by Dr. Ballem and others of the Privileged Set, that "co-operation" is the key.
Have any of these bozos actually tried to negotiate local traffic lately.
Here's two quick snapshots of The Co-operators.
One: I'm driving east along Columbia in New West Tuesday afternoon heading to the Royal Columbian Hospital to see a friend who is recovering very nicely thank you from open heart surgery. Just before you get to the hospital, Columbia splits off into Columbia on the left and Burentte on the right, heading to the freeway. Some poor sap in front of me is in the wrong lane and wants to turn over to the Burnette lane. He has his turn signal on. He's at the front of the line. But, OH NOT YOU DON'T. The driver of the 18-wheeler monster rig keeps nudging and nudging so as to not let him in. Very sick. Very disturbing. Very co-operative.
Two: Yesterday afternoon about 3:30, I am walking across Broadway at Spruce, near Oak Street. Five lanes of traffic stop for me to cross, as they are required to by law. As is common courtesy. But the nice man in the Hummer who sees me from more than a third of a block away and has only to slow down while I step past him would SIMPLY NOT HAVE THAT, SUCKER! Lunatic boy screams past me imitating a great matador who can have the bull pass so close to him that a horn picks a button off the man's costume.
Yes, we are a nation and a town of Great Co-operators, Penny.
Like that's really going to happen to make the Olympic Visitation a real sweet pleasure.
Yes, I am really leaving town.
No, I am not renting out my house.
My home - Vancouver - has already been rented out by Gordon Campbell to the IOC.
You know what I want to know about the Olympics?
I will be Elsewhere, and I won't be watching TV.
I will be eating great food and walking and drinking real espresso and talking with friends and reading and writing and all the lovely people with slats of wood tied to their feet can careen down snowy slopes all they want.
If you can't escape, I suggest you go to a case lot sale at your local supermarket and stock up.
Hibernation will be the ticket.