My, the strange things you do see across this fair land if you just keep your eyes open. A fellow in Winnipeg saw a woman get out of a car with a pair of her husband’s trousers over her arm, but before she took them into the dry cleaner’s she paused to wipe off the car with them. An easterner appreciatively sampling the pride and expansiveness of the booming west was taken aback to discover in Edmonton a store called The Wee Supermarket. And an Edmonton salesman, stopping for a cup of coffee in Edson, Alta., found himself next to a customer who ordered a cup of boiling water and made his own coffee from a jar of the powdered stuff he carried in his pocket. Meanwhile, back in a traffic jam in Kingston. Ont., a motorist tells us of watching a little girl make three or four frightened attempts to get across a busy intersection, quite unnoticed by two women who stood gossiping by the curb. Finally she was rescued by the driver of a giant transport who effectively blocked traffic with his oversize vehicle, leaned out to wave the child safely across, then directed a scathing blast of invective at the two women for ignoring the child’s plight.
* * *
A policeman in one of Toronto’s northeastern suburbs did a lot of complaining upon being assigned to the bright-yellow cruiser with the big letters POLICE ACCIDENT SQUAD figuring he’d never even catch a speeder in a squad car as prominent as that. But after a holdup attempt at a service station other cruisers searched the back roads for an hour without result, until our friend joined the chase. The
wanted man walked right out of a field and flagged him down, thinking he'd found a yellow cab.
* * *
Many prairie dwellers climbed into their long woollies this year still shivering from the cold they endured last winter. We know of one couple in Grenfell, Sask., who closed off their upstairs completely to save fuel oil. moving a bed down to the front room and huddling there comfortably right through last January. Only real complaint they had was that their radio started acting up, ruining the listening enjoyment of those long winter evenings by sputtering,
squawking and occasionally fading right away. The repair man they took it to said it ran fine in the shop and they’d better look for faulty connections at
home; but when they turned off the refrigerator, deep freeze, furnace, lights and even the clock, the radio sputtered just the same. About Feb. 1 hubby made a hurried ascent to the polar regions above to find a missing pipe or something and heard a faint buzzing in a bed. It was the thermostat in an electric pad, which had been clicking on and off for 46 days and 46 nights, ruining radio reception, wasting in electricity
much of the money saved in oil, but
keeping that unused bed the snuggest spot in the house.
* * *
The new mining days aren’t like the old. We were reading recently that the proud citizens of Elliot Lake, Ont., near
the more famous Blind River, hired one of those town planners and he designed them a slick model community having one of everything a town should have, including a jail. Even in these model mining days the boys still whoop it up on a Saturday night, and it wasn’t long until somebody obligingly turned up drunk and disorderly. There was not a little interest and pride among bystanders to see the town constable march his unruly prisoner off to what might be described as the grand inaugural of the new hoosegow. But there was considerable dismay next morning to find that the prisoner had gone, having smashed through the bars with a sledge hammer someone had conveniently left inside.
* * *
As it must to all fire departments sometime, Fire Prevention Week came to the Ladner, B.C., fire squad with their chief in hospital, the victim of burns incurred when he threw a pail of water on his back-yard bonfire and it turned out to be gasoline.
Parade pays $5 to $10 for true, humorous anecdotes reflecting the current Canadian scene. No contributions can be returned. Address Parade, c/o Maclean's Magazine. 481 University Ave., Toronto.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.