Five Things Harder Than They Should Be


Wallowing in Misery

Something I miss about being a child is the ease of assuming the fetal position. When I try nowadays I feel like a baby giraffe being tied into a pretzel—my knees, back, elbows, and neck get sore and creaky and my gangly limbs flop out of position like rubber hose. Going limp in an armchair just doesn't feel like proper brooding.

Getting Sloshed at my Wedding

Ontario requires a Special Occasion Permit to serve alcohol publicly. They make you fill out a fifteen page document to get it. Hold your event outside and they need a map with measurements too. File these at the LCBO and someone will get hysterical with worry.

Once you have the permit you need to send written notice to the police department, fire department, health department, building department, and city clerk's office. In none of the paperwork does it specify the addresses of these institutions. Calling the city yields conflicting information—the police enforcing the law claimed they didn't need written notice and protested I had nowhere to send it.

Two kilometers away on the Quebec side of the Ottawa river we could drink in a public park any time we wanted. I've noticed the French use their parks a lot more.

Getting a Marriage Certificate

You need a valid piece of photo-id to get married. For some inscrutable reason the government doesn't accept the health cards they force us to carry. I can't drive a car so that makes me a second class citizen.

I could get a passport just to get married but that's expensive and feels like being a peasant in Soviet Russia. Any other piece of ID would take 4-6 weeks to arrive—not enough time before the wedding. The quickest, easiest route was to get a Statutory Declaration of Identity. In other words, the government refused to believe I was who I said I was until some stranger who is a lawyer agreed for $40. I gave the lawyer my health card as ID. Also, the marriage certificate cost $160. It all makes me feel very special.

Depositing a Cheque

I got a cheque made out to me and Jessica even though we don't have a joint account. I biked down to the bank to cash it but was told I needed her signature. I obtain it and return to the bank. Now they told me she needed to come and have proper ID. Next time me and Jessica had a car we tried again—it turns out the bank closes at 4:30 everyday because the apparently the proletariat isn't allowed to both work and use a bank. Eventually, we got lucky and managed to cash the cheque.

Riding a Bicycle

I had to return some library books to the university and decided on an ambitious bike route. In the middle of the experimental farm—two thirds of the way there—I got a flat tire. Making it to the university I walked to a friend's place and grabbed a bike pump. The tire was flat again by the time I rode the pump back. I shackled my bike with the world's most temperamental lock and took the bus home.

Later that week Jessica drove me by in a car rental and I crammed the bike into the trunk. The bike repair place fixed the tire and I gleefully hopped on to ride home. Now the tire was grinding against the frame—I return home empty-handed.

My attempt to pick the bike up up later was thwarted by my own stupidity when I spent an hour getting lost. I trust Google better than my own better judgement, you see, but this only works when you happen to be interpreting it's maps correctly. The more I got myself lost, the more I reassured myself that Google knew what it was doing. The bike shop closed before I arrived.

When I did get my bike back to ride home it rained harder than I've been out in all summer.