the seventh circle of hell

… is colder than one might think.

This was the scene facing me when having to journey out to the dreaded Forest Hill Market.

And this was the back window of JJs car right after he drove it home from work in the storm!

I scraped, I brushed, I swore… and then I drove at the rate of apprximately 30 km/h to…

This was the scene in the parking lot:

I was very briefly heartened when I entered the complex to see this cheery display:

…only to be almost immediately depressed by a dry cleaning bill of $39.75. And then to the LCBO:

I really find it difficult to believe that anyone would actually be idiotic enough to take a shopping cart the size of a small pony:
… into a “boutique” liquor store approximately the size of my living room but containing 10,000 full liquor bottles (as opposed to the 10,000 empty liquor bottles I will get to schlep out to the recycling bin tomorrow…).

(I tried to take a pic inside the store to show you just how ridiculous this would be. However, a cop – a real Toronto cop, mind you, not a wannabe Intelligarde “cop”- stopped me. He told me that it was illegal to take photos inside the liquor store. I answered that I found this very difficult to believe, and suggested that his time would be better used arresting the woman who was braying into a cellphone at top volume and butting into the 10 person line at the same time. He disagreed. I didn’t think I should push my luck, and put away the camera.

The Toronto Police Force budget last year was something along the lines of $740 million. This was an increase from the previous year – every other municipal budget line in the same year was cut. I must tell you that it is really very heartwarming to see my tax dollars so hard at work.)

However, apparently this is a big issue since they had about 15 copies of this sign plastered around the entrance to the shop. I tell you no lie. I counted them – it was either 14 or 15.

I tell you, it’s enough to drive you to drink!

I picked this cocktail as it best reflected my state of mind after talking with Mr. Policeman.

I also picked up the requisite elixir for JJ:

(I keep asking him why this grouse is so famous. He keeps replying “Ah’d have te kill ye if ah told ye, hen.”).

And, in my usual generous spirit, here is a gift for someone else:
This is intended for and Mrs Super Mario. Well, kind of. I’m keeping the Bombay Sapphire martini jug for myself.

And now on to Loblaws:

This is the entrance to the store. Anything else I typically want in the store is at least 2.5 km away from this point. Grr.

So I navigate my cart (I have owned a car only once. It was a Fiat and I think it was smaller than the shopping carts at this Loblaws) past the requisite display of stale Italian Christmas cakes:

Does anyone actually eat this stuff? I’ve never really been tempted. They look nice, but the shelf life of seven years puts me off.

After about 15 minutes of trying to get through the store and arguing with morons who block the aisles with their carts:
I reach my destination.

It is a real testament to the powers of The President that I even bother to come into this damned store, I tell you.

So, here’s what I scored:

Candies for the kids of Super Mario:

Canadian candies to take to JJ and JC (JJs sons – I anticipate no little confusion over the next three weeks…):

Maple syrup to smuggle into the UK and sell for at least 10 times the face value:

Christmas crackers (I liked the penguins!):
And… these disgustingly sweet soft sugar cookies that I’m always compelled to buy. I then bring them home, eat half of one, pick up the two teeth that fell out of my head immediately after, then give the rest to JJ to take to work.

I then reached the checkout line, which resembled what I imagine the line at the movie theatre on the opening night of a Harry Potter movie would look like (I wanted to take a picture, but unfortunately Mr. Policeman came by at the exact moment bearing his dinner in hand. He butted in line, by the way.)

In leaving the store, I heaved a sigh of relief, and noticed some pretty things.

The sight of the flowers near the exit was also cheering:

Don’t you love this colour of yellow?

Ooh – aah!

So, for once as I left this godforsaken place, I had a smile on my face. It lasted approximately four minutes, or until I saw this road sign:

Why the hell are they doing construction in WINTER?!?!

And then I saw this, a sight always guaranteed to make my mood even worse than it normally is:
Can someone explain to me how the price of gas can go up and down seven cents in three days? We bought it the other night at 99.0/litre. Yesterday it was up to 105.6. Today, 102.8. Is it not, in all likelihood, the same #$&*($@#&* shipment of gas they’re selling? Legal theft!!

Anyway, I managed to make it back home without further ado – and just in time to heat up the dinner I bought for us at the churrasqueria earlier: roast lamb and potatoes cooked with pork. MMMMM.

Happy Sunday… I’m very happy because now I don’t have to go out to Loblaws today. Almost happy enough to forget that I have about a million pieces of clothing to wash… and a paper to finish revising…

Grr. I am my own worst enemy, really. Better relax by doing some knitting for an hour before the laundry room opens!

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