Canada’s Wonderland

It bothers me a lot that the police can break the law indiscriminately, and even brag about their ability to do so, without any apparent consequences. At G20, we had police beating up the handicapped, raping and torturing women, and general disregard of the law, and I can pretty much guarantee you that there will be zero consequences, let alone the criminal charges that would ensue if anyone other than the pigs were the ones doing it. Of course, the law enforcers and law makers have always been above the law, so why am I surprised? Because I kidded myself into thinking that Canada isn’t as corrupt as every other top-of-the-class-system nation out there?

No surprise admission: I like driving fast. However, driving fast is largely illegal. So the police camp out at spots where the letter-of-the-law and the public’s driving habits are out of sync when they feel like making some money, and I’ve been caught more than a few times. But what I don’t get is why speeding is aggressively policed, but no one seems to care about smoking? Smoking kills a lot more people than cars, and if we’re going to have laws to protect the public from second hand smoke, it seems reasonable to say that they ought to be enforced. But any day I go to the park or any other no-smoking space, there are always people puffing away, stinking up the area… And the police just drive right on past, ignoring it, and I’m a little confused as to why one law is enforced but the other isn’t.


Today I went to Canada’s Wonderland with Nefarious. This is the first year that she’s 48″ tall, meaning that she can finally go on all the big roller coasters, so we had plenty of fun doing just that, as you can see below. The picture above was also taken at Wonderland, and as you can see, these lovely classy ladies not only are chain-smoking as they’re pushing little kids around in strollers, but the one is and carrying another baby around in their belly. Ah, pregnant smokers. Really nice… And again, even though it’s a no-smoking facility, no one bothers doing anything to stop this child abuse.


The good news about Wonderland today was that the lines were really short, so for many of the rides we only had to wait two or three minutes to get on… I’m not sure that I would have had the endurance to stand in the sun for an hour to get a thirty second high-G beating. We have seasons passes though, which means there’s no need to make the most of a single visit — the nice thing about the passes is that we can go for a couple hours, have fun but not get tired out, and then go again a few days later.

Oh, and while I’m thinking of health issues, holy WOW are there a lot of fat kids these days. When I go to Ontario Place or Wonderland, I’m completely floored by the number of grotesquely overweight children there are, both male and female. When I was a kid, being fat had a stigma to it, and was rare (so on average a given class of thirty kids would have at most one “fat kid” and they’d be “THE fat kid” as a result), but these days it seems like it’s the norm. On one hand it’s great that no one is suffering and living in shame, but on the other hand, how sad that being morbidly obese is so normal that no one notices. But I was just blown away by the number of little boys with huge breasts moving in on two hundred pounds, and ten year old girls with bellys overflowing into a term that should never be applied to children — BBW… It’s really sad, and I don’t understand why the parents haven’t stepped up to help their kids, because the consequences that being fat as a child has on adulthood is profound.

The foundation is the most important part of a building, and the foundation that one builds for one’s life as a child is the most important factor in determining how your adult life will unfold, and in determining the limits of its potential. As has been remarked on many times before, how have we evolved to the point where the generation currently growing up is expected to have a shorter lifespan than its parents? I mean, it’s nothing but slow suicide.


  1. Carmen wrote:

    Sadly, fat is the new class signifier.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  2. Em wrote:

    I completely agree with you.
    Speaking as a smoker myself.. I don’t have kids, but my brothers and my sister does. I don’t smoke around my nieces or nephew. I think that’s it’s very ignornat and selfish to smoke around kids. I mean, kids don’t actively go out and seek to sit next to people that smoke.’Adults’ should have more consideration for other people. Some of us do have consideration for other people, no problem at all, why does it have to such a hassle for others to be considerate themselves. I wouldn’t be happy if somebody else was smoking around my young family.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink
  3. kate wrote:

    some of the best memories of my life involve riding roller coasters with my dad as a child.

    i ‘love’ how that women is sitting in her kid’s stroller to rest as she smokes. too good.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink
  4. Warren wrote:

    the police definitely have an odd concept of what to police and what not to police.

    Everyone is constantly being hounded about driving and talking on cellphones. Yet I’ve seen numerous police doing just that.

    honestly, i also gotta admit, i’ll be a happy camper when the rate of smokers drops significantly. Being a former smoker myself, I can nearly suffocate when walking down the street behind or near someone who smokes. I can only imagine how kids suffer with their lungs,etc.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink
  5. DON wrote:

    I was interested to read the comments in your first paragraph, because as a result of the heavy-handed policing of the G20 in London last year, footage was posted on YouTube, nearly 300 complaints were made to the Police Complaints Commission some of which are still being investigated and at least one officer stood trial for assault.

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 12:48 am | Permalink
  6. Dreya wrote:

    Glad to see you posting a little more often :). It is sad to see so many children with adult diseases because of poor diet.

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  7. Twwly wrote:

    Smoking pregnant women? Shannon, you didn’t tell me you guys visited Kincardine! Glory be.

    We visited upstate NY this spring and I was shocked at the obese children. And what was for sale in the grocery stores, or lack of produce therein. No concept of nutrition, pretty much across the board. My lean, vegetable eating children were a complete anomaly.

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink
  8. peteD3 wrote:

    be careful what you wish for!
    policing smoking, diet, etc. are BS to me. id rather they stick to the speeders! haha

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
  9. Laura wrote:

    I am always disgusted when I see a person smoking while pushing a stroller, let alone while interacting with children or while pregnant.
    I still find myself shocked each time. There is always going to be a few ill-educated people who do unadvisable things. There are, however, so many people who still feel no shame or guilt over exposing their children to vast quantities of poisonous smoke. How is this possible? How can you be faced with the realities of second hand smoke and still expose children?

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink
  10. bonnie wrote:

    Twwly, what part of upstate NY were you in? The Wegman’s markets around here have a HUGE selection of produce, a lot of it from local farmers. I think the problem with obese children speaks to parental lack of education about nutrition, and more, exposure to BPA’s are shown to cause childhood obesity.

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  11. MONTE wrote:

    these days we’re raised to accept people who are obese and support them as well, to “accept them for who they are” and anything different is politically incorrect. obese people have more and more role models these days than ever. it’s become an environment of acceptance and support, even for youth. these days more and more parents are giving their children what ever they want, good or bad for them, without think about the consequences. and once the child is fat they feel even worse taking things they love (the food that is making them fat) away from them).

    and isn’t allowing this women to smoke in front of children in public just putting acceptance in childrens faces as well?

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
  12. Zandelion wrote:

    You should come out to the Civil Liberties Day of Action tomorrow!!

    Sat – 1pm Queen’s Park

    Friday, July 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  13. starbadger wrote:

    Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  14. Caitlin wrote:

    I think that the problem with food is that a lot of people just don’t know how to cook. When I was in junior high school and took one year of home economics, the only thing we were taught to cook was Lipton’s chicken noodle soup (not cup-a-soup) in the microwave. Seriously. We were not taught any useful skills at all, not how to use knives or knead bread or measure flour. It’s very little surprise that people gravitate towards convenience foods, have you ever made lasagne from scratch? That’s time consuming and messy, and if you’ve only eaten frozen ones, that’s what tastes ‘right’ to you anyway. I do a lot of cooking around here but I confess to using more frozen and convenience foods than I like. I mean, really, I look at a beautiful cake online and think, I’d love to make that, then I look at the list of ingredients and start feeling uneasy. What if I mess it up? What if no one eats it? That’s when I reach for cake mix and call it good.

    Well. And cake mix IS good, gosh darnit!

    Anyway, point being that whole foods went out of style a long time ago and that’s when this obesity epidemic came along. I think things might slowly be changing back-lots of people demand organic and local produce these days.

    I wonder if the feminist movement somehow inadvertently caused this to happen, in that home ec classes were suddenly seen as oppressive to women…

    Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  15. LotN wrote:

    I think “lack of time” is the accepted excuse. Many working women with families are certainly pressed for time when it comes to cooking. People don’t seem to accept that it doesn’t take all that long to fix up a plate of food (and even less time the next night if you make a large amount and have leftovers). The fast food chains have done a fine job of convincing people that they’re the answer to the lack-of-time issues.

    Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
  16. Alyssa wrote:

    I’m a smoker, and I go to great lengths to avoid all other human contact while in the midst of indulging my habit, so I don’t feel too bad. I was once in the back of a parking lot, and this old woman yelled at me for smoking while pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant, not even close.. I’m just fat because I wasn’t taught the value of food as a child. This is all very depressing.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink
  17. Ania wrote:

    Obesity catches up quickly over here, too and we used to be, allegedly, the thinnest nation in EU. But it’s so easy to fall into a trap of bad food and even worse habits – lack of time to cook and work out, fatigue after long days at work etc.
    I’m all for eating lots but I’m also all for making sure to get enough physical activity;
    to quote Bill Bowerman, ‘to all who complain that they can’t aafford the fifteen or twenty minutes a day, I echo the words of Arthur Lydiard: ‘you cannot afford not to take the time!’

    Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 2:38 am | Permalink
  18. Em wrote:

    I’m kind of saddened by your comment, Monte. As someone who is overweight, by a “double blessing” of genetic defect and second generation eating disorder, it is precisely the (positive) role models and people who “accepted me as I was” that I a thankful for today for as healthy, active and intellectual a person as I am. The negative influences, those scene queens, nagging fat haters, evil exes and, fuck, most of Japan while helping me lose a lot of weight forced me out of shame and self loathing to do so in a horribly unhealthy fashion, one that’s had very bad repercussions on my personal health over the years.

    I don’t think kids should be obese, and it’s sad for me to see that. But I saw a study recently that rang true. In it, researchers found fat/obese kids were less likely to participate in sports because they felt ashamed of their bodies. I feel very thankful I had role models who were obese and excercised with me and team mates growing up who were kind. Jesus.

    Not really the comment I wanted to make. The sad thing is in Japan seeing an obese person was a rare thing and nowadays my train to work is slowly growing full of them. I really do think it’s a fast food diet, and I think more than feminism women in the work place and not as free labor in the kitchen has a lot to do with it. And all my home ec. class ever taught me to make: orange sherbert smoothies (with orange concentrate and sugar), cinnamon rolls (with pilsbury dough, sugar, butter and cinnamon).

    Monday, July 12, 2010 at 4:39 am | Permalink
  19. Shannon wrote:

    I’m glad you commented Em, what you’re saying rings very true. I wasn’t obese or unhealthy as a kid but I was heavier than average for back then (but lighter than today’s average!), and after a few negative comments at the right point in my life, a great deal of scar tissue was formed that kept me from enjoying activities where my body would be exposed. It took getting lipo to give me the confidence to start going to the gym, and that was one of the best decisions I ever made (and having that foundation of health, even though I can’t exercise any more in the same way, has gone a long way to protecting me right now).

    Monday, July 12, 2010 at 5:13 am | Permalink
  20. starbadger wrote:

    The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons… were the fatties.

    lighten up people

    Monday, July 12, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink
  21. R wrote:

    Ha, Caitlin, in high school we learned how to make nutritious cream horns. The recipe for this goes, if you were wondering, “buy cream. Buy pastry horn. Somehow amalgamate the two”. I shouldn’t laugh, really – this provided a solid foundation for Lesson Two: Nutritious Apple Puffs. (“Buy apple sauce. Buy Pastry”. I think you see where this is going…)

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 3:24 am | Permalink
  22. Danny wrote:

    You’re such an amazing father. I’ve followed BME for the last 10yrs and I’ve always made it a point to read your blogs over the years and then since you’ve come here, I still do so. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re a true inspiration to me and so many others and any child would be lucky to have a man like you as their father.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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