Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fixing a car is never as fast as eating at McDonalds.

I just waited five hours for my car to be fixed. Not that I'm sour about it. I fully knew it would take that long, and it was easier to wait. The good people at Bank Street KIA offered me another car so I could drive around, but I was happy to just wait and read my book.

But I've found that you meet some very interesting people in automobile service department waiting rooms. (Last time I discovered that, however, I waited NINE hours at Canadian Tire to have my tires replaced!) This was much better.

This time, I met a really great guy who had just come back from Kandahar, where he was stationed with our Canadian troops, until he was shot and sent home. I wish I could remember his name, but I was already pretty out of it by the time I talked to him. I did ask, but forgot at some point over the next four hours of waiting.

He says that his regiment over there listens to CHEZ, and specifically to Doc and Woody, on their connection over there. (He also said they like me more than Doc and Woody. Ha! Take that, you blog-haters.)

But what I found fascinating was his take on the "wear red Fridays". I always thought that if I was a soldier I would not feel terribly encouraged by such a show of "support" so far from where I was. And in talking to this man, he said exactly what I'd been thinking. It really is an empty gesture by people who don't understand what it is to be a soldier over there.

Of course we have to support our troops, even though we don't necessarily support the war. I, for one, certainly don't support the fact that we're over there, but in no way does that reflect on my opinion of the soldiers caught in the unfortunate conflict. But wearing red on Fridays, is, quite literally, the least you can do. This soldier wasn't upset that people were doing it, he definitely didn't resent those that did, but he certainly wasn't applauding it either.

It's like the bracelets people wear. The yellow ones that say "I support ending cancer", or the white ones that say "I don't want people to have Lupus any more", or the green ones that say "I'm against genocide" or whatever they are. Well, no kidding. You really would like cancer to be cured? You're a great samaritan. The one good thing about these bracelets is that you have to make a donation to get one. So they are doing SOMETHING to help.

But saying you wear red because you don't want Canadian soldiers to die? Of course you don't. Show me someone who DOES. (Who isn't out there fighting us already.) So what's the point? If you want the soldiers to have it easier, send a letter. Much as I find it fairly ridiculous, even Max Keeping actually went OVER there.

This man was done his tour of duty, and, now with a bum leg and an $800.00/month cheque from the government, it was back to work as a welder. He says it doesn't hurt as much as you think to get shot. It feels like getting a tattoo. But he wouldn't reccommend it. For him, it just means he no longer has to be there, now he is allowed to be here, with his family. He seemed to be glad.

We talked about Meher Arar. This man believed that there is no amount of compensation that our government could have given him to make up for what he went through. If we will give money to a guy who was wrongfully imprisoned for twenty years in Canada, then we should do this for Arar as well. I agree with him. If Arar was tortured, of course he needs to be compensated. If this was all made up, and he wasn't tortured, of course he still needs restitution. If I had the choice, I think I would choose 20 years in Canadian prison over two years in a Syrian prison, torture or no torture.

When he left, I shook his hand amd said it was great to meet him. It really was great to meet him. But I didn't say thank you for what you've done, I didn't say I appreciated his efforts. I think he would have been irritated if I had. If I had said that stuff, I may as well have been wearing a red scarf and a yellow arm band.

My timing belt cost me 400 bucks.


  1. Eric,

    I share the same sentiments.. Great post.

  2. BTW, it cost me $1200 for my timing belt about 8 months ago..

    Count yourself lucky!

  3. I do...of course, it cost me an additional 400 bucks for all the other belts to be replaced, and all the other things that I should get fixed once I got in there. I do feel lucky, though. I really thought it would be much more.

  4. Perhaps they felt sorry for you because you're no longer allowed to have sex with female police officers in your car.

  5. Oh, I'm still ALLOWED to...I just can't talk about it on the radio. But so far they've all turned me down. I plan to keep trying.

  6. Ok, well, keep trying then. If you ever need bailed out, gimme a call.