Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Dispatches from the 9-0-5: Twenty-something Whitby Edition (Meaning: the major contributor to these dispatches is a twenty-something from Whitby, not that it is only meant to be enjoyed by twenty-somethings from Whitby. Indeed, anyone from anywhere who is curious, joyful, old, young, bored, excited, or bitter is welcome to read these dispatches.)

Post-election blues - In mute defiance of the majority of voters in Whitby-Oshawa who elected the Progressive Conservative candidate, I am about to subscribe to one of my favourite lefty magazines. Sometimes hanging out in Whitby just makes me feel a little too “blue,” if you know what I mean. In the city it's easy to sit back, be different, and be complacent. But the suburbs may drive to activism or something.

In not-so-mute defiance, I am starting this blog to work through some of the issues of importance to me, and to other Canadians and citizens of the World, that are being swept under the rug by politicians and media. Buckle up for un peu de fromage and, if we’re lucky, a little something more.

9-0-5 Survival – well, Whitby survival, really.

I have lived in and out of the Whitby area for the last 15 years, so I feel I’m qualified to give insight into the town’s goings-on (as much as anyone who commutes daily in and out of Toronto is qualified).

Let’s set some ground rules. For starters, what is the 9-0-5? It is a giant collection of suburbs that make a sort of circle around metropolitan Toronto (so far as I can tell). There are lots of different cities and cultures in the 905 area codes. Not just truckers, not just commuters, not just drunk drivers. Although many of the houses look the same, municipalities vary just like they do everywhere. Indeed, I’ve done some reading that makes me think that Whitby may the most backward municipality in the entire 905. More on that later.

Now to the topic at hand. This, my friends, could be a revolution.

As an adult, I’ve come to understand that very few people in this neck of the woods know how to have a good time without having to drive drunk at some point during the proceedings. It’s frightening. As a balm for this horror, I will suggest some alternatives to drinking and driving that I hope you will find amusing. I will make additions to the list as inspiration strikes.

How to Have Fun in Whitby Without Driving Drunk! (and without blowing too much money)

N.B. It is safe to drink while participating in any of the activities below, if it is ever safe to drink...

1. Start a blog.
It's free if you already have Internet, and there is potential to humiliate yourself in front of a way bigger audience than you would have in your average pub or dance club. Let's face it--this is how I am currently combatting the suburb blahs.

2. Play a board game or some cards at your place or at a friends' place where you can crash.
Everything old is new again, friends.

3. Walk to the pub and walk or take a cab home.
Yes, in Whitby and most suburbs it is a pretty serious walk to the pub. Few of us are blessed with a neighbourhood watering hole just around the corner. Still, walking is excellent exercise, and if we are going to abuse our bodies with alcohol and heaven knows what else, why not get in some good cardio while we're at it? Plus, any extended walk in the suburbs is an adventure because every other walker you see is a compadre (there are so few people on foot around here that I sometimes imagine my walking is some crazy act of protest) and being a little tipsy always helps me to notice (or miss) things.

4. Invite your friends to a stich 'n bitch.
Let's face it. Everyone loves bitching. And crafts can be fun! Just gather supplies for your fave craft (collage is a good one because supplies like old magazines and bits of string come cheap), buy a bag of chips and have a craft-stravaganza. Go bonkers with personal expression, or censor one another. Either way, good times will be had.


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