Skip to main content

Ten years ago today - August 28, 1998

Back in 1998, I tried a little experiment. I tried to write down five things I learned every day.


Here's what I learned on August 28, 1998:


1. Stag parties aren't as wild as I'd thought -- just a bunch of guys playing cards
2. It's the best man's duty to plan the stag
3. Replying to the "remove me" address on spam can get you on another mailing list
4. Stopping distance is usually more than you think
5. There's a collision reporting centre near the west end (Islington). Learned all about collision reporting.


The story? I was out on assignment west of Toronto, doing a story at a truck inspection station. I don't recall what the story was, but it was pretty dull. I was tired and hungry and driving back to Toronto on the QEW with a bit of a headache. I wanted to make decent time because I was going to my first stag party, in honor of then-680News police reporter Jim Morris (RIP)

I was driving the company's Subaru Outback wagon. Suddenly traffic stopped ahead of me. I pressed on the brakes thinking "oh, I have plenty of time to come to a full stop ... lots of time ... stopping now ... oh crap, I'm going to hit this Jeep." I hit the Jeep.

I was afraid a large angry man would emerge and thrash me, but it was a young respirologist in scrubs on her way to St. Michael's Hospital in downtown Toronto. If I hadn't rear-ended the spare tire on her Jeep, we probably would've ended up at the same parking garage.

Damage to the Jeep wasn't much -- nothing visible, even. The only problem was the swinging spare tire wouldn't quite click anymore.


Damage to the Subaru was a little more obvious. The hood was a bit crumpled.


We went to the collision reporting centre and filled out the appropriate paperwork. I don't even remember how I got back downtown after that.

Eventually I made it to Jimmy's stag party in the north end of Toronto. And as you can surmise from the notes above, it was kinda weak. Mostly old guys sitting around playing cards. There was a 50/50 draw, with someone winning a lawnmower. I was honored to be invited, though. Jim was a helluva guy and his death in 2002 was hard to take.


To make matters worse with regard to crashing the company car, the following Monday when I had to take the car to the north-end dealership for repairs, I gouged up the car parked beside me with the sharp edge of the crumpled hood. That made me feel even stupider than the first collision.


I haven't driven many times since then. I mean, sure, I've driven. I've even rented a car and driven it around. But I'm still not a particularly *experienced* driver, even ten years later.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A request, as we reach two years

Wow, long time no write.

I didn't enjoy this past winter. I was certainly in a long slump. Things were very challenging at work. Gordon was awesome, as always, but I was just in a sustained funk from last summer on. And I'm not sure I'm all the way out of it yet. I'm still largely in quiet hermit mode, but have been making progress at resuming social contact. Little dude and I have a very busy summer that will go by in a flash.

This Thursday will mark two years since Amanda died. I still replay the events of that night in my head almost every day. I'd like to not. Sometimes it feels like forever ago, but sometimes I'm right there all over again.

Hey, can I ask for your help with something?

Two years ago, so many wonderful people told me that if there was anything they could do to help .... Well, I don't ask often. And I should've asked more. And I should ask more even now. I'm still not comfortable asking. But I'm asking for this.

I put out a vi…

Meh. Extended Meh.

I haven't posted here in quite a while. There are a few things I haven't done in quite a while. For a while, I've been kind of meh.

In late August, Gordon and I went for the long-awaited trip to Nova Scotia. It was an epic journey, three years in the making. We visited places he'd only heard about. We spent time with friends he hadn't seen in more than a year. We took Amanda's ashes back to the ocean as she requested.


We were there for a week and were on the move almost every day. We put 1000 km on the rental car in between flying there and flying back.

It was excellent, but it was also exhausting. And I found myself different in the weeks after.

Before, I was going out. I was being social. I was busy and optimistic.

After, I seemed to drop contact with almost everyone. I thought I was just tired, then I thought I'd shifted into some different gear of creativity or contemplation. But the months have worn on and I'm still not quite back to where I was. I…

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the weirdness of time and how we feel it.

As of today, my son Gordon has been without his mother longer than he was with her. The length of time Amanda has been gone is now longer than the length of time we were a family of three. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but that dangblasted calendar tells me it’s almost three years. I have not said a word about it to G, but tonight, for the first time in a long time, he pulled out the Missing Mummy book for bedtime.

Today was my last day in broadcasting for a while, as far as I can tell.

I spent the past five years as Program Director at Newstalk 1290 CJBK in London, Ontario. And in recent years, I was also the noon-hour show host, afternoon news anchor, a commercial voice guy, TV news promo voice guy, and more.

Also in the past five years, I’ve bought a house, endured renovation mayhem, …