Monday, July 13, 2009

Stop Telling Me What to Do

I went to a B.C. Lions game on Friday night. Canadian Football League action for those of you from other parts of the planet. That's football North American style, not soccer. The game was fine and enjoyable, but there was something very annoying to report. And I don't believe this is an isolated incident.

The stadium was less than half full, but it was a large crowd of 26,000. This crowd was happy to get up and get excited when it saw fit and that's the way it should be. However, the public address announcer kept coming on at times that he saw fit to try and exhort the crowd to "make some noise". His pleas were augmented by loud music and electronic signs that also encouraged the crowd. I find it condescending to me as a sports fan that I'm being told when to cheer. In this case it was usually to make it loud in the stadium on a key defensive play to make things more difficult for the visiting Tiger Cats of Hamilton.

Any football fan worth his or her salt or pepper knows that you're supposed to make noise to help out your defense. Sometimes as a fan you feel inspired to do this and at other times maybe you're not quite ready to put your heart and soul into it. Let me decide, Mr. Public Address Announcer, because you are not the boss of me.

In other news...

Have any of you other males out there noticed the evolution of the urinal that has taken place. It occurred to me when I was in a restaurant last week that had dividers between the urinals to provide more privacy. This is becoming more and more common. I'm not here to pass judgement on it, I'm just pointing out the phenomenon. On the other end of the scale if you go into a much older bathroom such as the one in the basement of the Fish House in Vancouver's Stanley Park then you're just peeing against a wall that drains into a trough. There are no separations between the users at all. You are all in it together.


  1. Dean and I were at that Lions game! I know what you mean about the announcer's ever-insistent demands to "make some noise"; even I know what to do when the Lions are on defense. Noisemaking is all well and good, but what gets me is when some clown sitting behind us blows his horn RIGHT into our ears (granted, this only happened once, but I'm pretty sure a few frequencies were blown). Be a fan, not a fool!

    In other news: I am both fascinated and repelled by the completely alien (to me) concept of communal urinals--just your choice of the word "trough" is disturbingly vivid--and don't even get me started on "urinal cakes". However, as a mere wimp*, I do not feel qualified to comment on the growing trend of these "modesty panels". I can say for myself that the dividers would have to be pretty high and deep before I would feel any kind of privacy peeing mere inches away from the next person. I guess you're not much further away from your neighbour when sitting in a cubicle, but the psychological barrier that those metal walls provide feels like miles away. Well, at least a few feet.

    * Did you know that "wimp" comes from a German idiom for "pee-sitter", i.e. woman?

  2. All this pee talk is grossing me out. Hurry up and post something else.

  3. Next up: Tales of Jack's extensive Mexican restaurant experiences.

  4. I think some of that hollering is meant to encourage the players, but like anything else, fake enthusiasm doesn't work.

  5. I'm a coward, that's why I didn't speak to the manager. I even passed by him on the way to the restroom and had the chance, but I was afraid the father would see me.

    I didn't speak to the father, not so much because I was afraid of a punch in the nose, but a gunshot in the parking lot. I live in one of the larger cities in our state. "Things" happen.

    Yes, it bothers me that I didn't speak to the manager. More for the waiter's sake than anything else. He really was very kind to those people. Maybe my stepping up would have restored his faith in humanity, which surely he loses on a daily basis.