Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More doughnuts, cats, cars

We left the city of Dartmouth and headed out into the wintry wilds again, driving through the fog into the middle of nowhere. As we ploughed on, strange signs wafted up from the whiteness: grapes, golfers, and then at last, the sacred service station, with its promise of sweet, sweet gasoline and delicious fried foods.

I'm sorry to say that Robin's doughnuts are not a patch on the estimable Tim Horton. Or perhaps it wasn't really a doughnut. Perhaps there's a different word in the Canadian vernacular to describe a pat of bread with stale chocolate frosting and some kind of gunge squirted inside it from an industrial gunge-syringe. I had one bite of it, and, confused by the taste, unsure if this was some exotic flavour previously unencountered, allowed my fiancee to take a bite, and then realise the dread truth.

Who would ever have thought that a doughnut purchased from a service station in the middle of the afternoon might be stale? If I hadn't witnessed it with my own mouth then I would have dismissed this as the ridiculous tale of a fantasist. As it was, I bleched and nearly boked by the petrol pumps, then clambered back into the car and left that blighted place forever.

One advancement in automobile technology that the Canadians have perfected is in-car-cats; this particular Honda came complete with a long haired fluffball called Monty, a Malinese or Balinese (by now my ears were too cold to make out the speech of the Canadians, a complicated and strange argot that approximates in some quarters to English) that resembles a pleasant Siamese. So, basically doesn't resemble a Siamese very much. Monty was quite comfortable to wander the cat while it was being driven down the highway, or sit on the driver's lap and keep him warm.

Monty would have been less comfortable in the car I was driving earlier in the day, when I discovered that I couldn't deal with an automatic, and that I've lost the ability to reverse a car accurately. If indeed I ever had that skill. In the past I've been able to accurately reverse a car over a large rock, into a tree, a gatepost and pretty much any other obstacle, but apparently that isn't the done thing in Canada so I had to relinquish the vehicle and let somebody else park it. I'll just have to come back next year to make my mark.


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