Well, first of all the Toronto Polar Bear Club dip was both fun and funny — Out nutty club (me, Roo, and Allana — I think the papers should have some nice shots of them) were the only people willing to swim though (and Angela and Phil as well, but they were late so they didn't make the main swim)! Everyone else just kind of jumped in and then jumped out again, and we stayed in, swimming for probably about fifteen minutes in all — every five minutes they'd shout out to us, “are you OK?”

After that I went over to have a coffee with Saira and Michael. I've seen plenty of raccoons here in the city but seeing a possum is a lot more rare, and that's what was sitting on their back fence… Animal control came over and picked it up. It's a bit sick and I guess they keep it over night and then let it go in the park. Or so they say.

Their neighbor came out (the mother of the home), having just woken up to people in her back yard and asked what was going on… The conversation was decidedly deranged.

Neighbor: “What kind of animal is that?”

Animal Control: “It's a possum.”

N: “What's that?”

The woman from animal control took a while trying to explain what it was, but the neighbor seemed to have a lot of trouble understanding the concept. She (or her son) has a pitbull that's had complaints filed about it (and this is a ridiculously anti-pitbull region), and their yard is full of dog crap, and I guess the animal control person had been there before about it so she brought it up.

AC: “Who's pitbull has been making a mess of your backyard?”

N: “It's my son's dog.”

AC: “Well, tell him to clean this up, because it's a $240 ticket.”

N: “I don't have $240.”

AC: “Maybe then your son will clean up so you don't get a ticket. And you have to have the dog fixed or he's going to get taken away.”

N: “You're going to take my puppy?”

AC: “Yes, we would have to come and take it if you don't have him fixed or pay the tickets.”

N: “I can't afford to do that — how can you take my dog away just because I'm poor?”

AC: “Well, I'm sorry, but there are clinics that will let you pay on credit.”

N: “And how can you give me a ticket? I don't even know what kind of animal that is!”

AC: “It's a possum (repeat explanation)”.

N: “I don't even know what that is, how can you make me pay for it?”

AC: “No, ma'am, the ticket is because of your dog.”

N: “But I don't have a dog.”

AC: “Your son's pitbull.”

N: “No, he's a cat.”

AC: “A pitbull isn't a cat ma'am, it's a kind of dog.”

N: “No, he's a pussycat, he's so nice.”

AC: “That's an expression ma'am — it refers to the animal's temperament, not their species. A pitbull is a kind of dog.”

N: “Well it doesn't look much like a dog. What kind of animal is that anyway?”

AC: “It's a possum.”

N: “I don't see how you can write me a ticket for it, I've never seen an animal like that in my life before.”

AC: “No ma'am, the ticket would be for your son's dog.”

N: “Oh, no, he just has a cat.”

That was about all I could handle so I went inside after that.

That's an old painting (eight years?) I did based on a drawing by Dürer. It's called “Big Fish Eat Little Fish”. Anyway, time to go build some top contributor lists!

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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