Friday, March 17, 2006

Things I learned at the Vernissage

Michel learned from Andrew that the word "Vernissage" comes from the old practice of applying a coat of varnish to a painting as the final step. When the varnish has been applied, time for a celebration.


During a discussion about what Ottawans do with lost mittens, Michelle revealed that her husband Al expressed dismay about having lost a mitten one morning and within hours, she found the lost mitten on a fire hydrant marker.

Several weeks ago, she noticed a "scowly" woman on the street stop, bend over, pick up a mitten and place it on a sign post. She found it significant that even a person who appears to be having a bad day will take the time to elevate a lost mitten.

In further winter conversation, Michelle told us that after one snowfall this winter her snow shovels had vanished. No problem for our resourceful Michelle, she dug out her car with a large Rubbermaid container.

This prompted Davin to relate that he had also found an alternative winter use for a plastic storage container. When he couldn't find an ice-scraper, he cleared off his windshield with the lid from an Ikea food storage container.

It was at this point in the conversation that I took out my notebook to record these ideas for the blog. I could tell that Fran didn't feel happy that she hadn't contributed a blogworthy idea. I leaned over while the others were talking and told her I was sure she'd come up with something I could put in the blog. "Well, I do hoard those plastic disposable gloves you get at Herb and Spice and other bulk food stores."

"Ah, ha," I said, "that's exactly the kind of thing I'm interested in. What do you do with these gloves?"

"I have them in case I come across a doorknob I wouldn't want to touch."

"How often does that happen?" I asked.

"So far it hasn't..."

"but you never know when it could," I said, "so best to have some of those gloves around..."

"Yes," she said. "Davin thinks I shouldn't tell people this because it's kind of crazy..."

"Well, sure," I said, "of course it's crazy, but everybody is crazy in some way. Did you notice a bike outside with a broom attached to it?" She nodded and I continued, "it's mine."


zoom said...

LOL. Is the broom a permanent fixture on her bike?

David Scrimshaw said...

Whoops, unclear writing. I'd better add an "I said". It was my bike with the broom. Not Fran's.

zoom said...

Maybe it was unclear reading on my part.

So is the broom a permanent fixture on your bike?

David Scrimshaw said...

so far the broom is not permanent. I had found it earlier that day in a refuse pile ("refuse pile" does sound better than "garbage pile", doesn't it?) and strapped it to the bike to take home.

zoom said...

I love finding good stuff in the garbage.