Not Politics: Toronto or Montreal?
I was working in a mall one August, when I saw a mother and her adult son arguing and walking towards me.
"Let's ask this man," she said, "he'll settle it." A chance to play Solomon: cool! She began without introduction: "Who do you think should have won the Stanley Cup this year, Montreal or Toronto?" This was in 1993, the last time Montreal won the Cup, and by the experssions on their faces it looked like that was the son's team.
It was an awkward moment, as I was still young enough to actually be polite to potential customers, which either of these folks might be. I was also brought up to be more polite to women than to men; but then, Montreal had the much despised Patrick Roy... What to do?
Then the words of old neighbour of mine, Paul Minneville, came back to me from 1989, as we watched the fantastic Flames-Canucks series, and the answer became clear to me.
"Well, ma'am," I said, "You're in the West, now..."
"Yes...?" she prompted. The last vestiges of etiquette silently shed themselves.
"We don't particularly care who wins, as long as it stays out of the hands of those Eastern bastards." The son was amused; the mother, not so much.