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“Bwahahaha! Love that line about explaining ourselves to aliens – it really puts things in perspective. And in this admittedly wonky world, the Mad Hatter’s Tea parties are some of the fine moments which justify it all. After all, how could the party exist unless the world was nuts, and yet said parties are delightful. I am a Caadian and live in the capital Ottawa. Montreal, Quebec is only about a 2 hours drive from here and, in the past, I often found myself driving there on business. Now Montreal is an ostensibly French city and likely the most energetic, emotional, multi-cultural city in Canada. The “Joie de Vivre” (Love of Life) is palpable and they drive with their emotions, not with the rules. And the women are, shall we say Oh, La, La! This is an absolute shock to anyone not used to it and can cause early termination by heart attack, stress, accident, or any manner of distraction leading to death. I drove a gas tanker in this challenging environment – some would say mad or insane – and soon discovered that survival depended on driving in the same manner as the locals. For instance to come to a complete stop at a stop sign is to invite the car behind to rear end you, as no one here stops completely and it is totally unexpected. Or engaging in an unexpected manoeuver while passing a gaggle of office ladies walking downtown on a sunny July day in their mile high heels, will certainly lead to an accident, as all the other drivers (male and female) are busy watching display (which enjoys beng watched) and not paying any attention to what is around them. So, the answer to survival (and enjoyment) is as the Bible suggests – When in Montreal, do as The Montrealers do. That means driving like a maniac, oogling sexually attractive pedestrians, going as fast as possible, ignoring trafic signals and rules, and most importantly, expecting others to act this way as well so as to understand even apparently insane but perfectly predictable behaviour. The absolute worst thing one can do to survive is to expect the situation to be sane.

So, my suggestion IB is to become “isanityrules22”. When in Rome… Oh, and welcome aboard, we’ve been eagerly awaiting your enrollment, as hesitant as it seems to have been. Ha! feel better yet?”  – Paul Curran


Just remembering our good friend Paul Curran who recently passed on and the many and varied conversations we had.