(james benedict brown) on the road

Welcome to Montréal…

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 19 November, 2005

Forwarded God-only-knows-how-many-times from one (anglo) Montrealer to another, but for me it’s beginning to make more sense…

You know you’re a Montrealer when:

· You pronounce it “Muhntreal”, not “Maahntreal”.
· You say things like “I have to stop at the guichet before we go to the dep.”
· You know that a “poutine”, “steamés”, “frites-sauce”, “joe-louis”, and a Pepsi is a full course meal.
· You like your pizza all-dressed, and you can get one with any of the following toppings: fries, spaghetti, ground beef.
· You have no concern about jaywalking.
· You have no concern for crosswalks.
· You understand and frequently use terms like ‘unilingual,’ ‘anglophone,’ ‘francophone,’ and ‘allophone.’
· You agree that Montreal drivers are crazy, but you’re secretly proud of their nerves of steel.
· The most exciting thing about the South Shore is that you can turn right on a red.
· You know that the West Island is not a separate geographical formation.
· In moments of paranoia, you think that there’s no red line on the Metro because red is a federalist colour.
· You have to bring smoked meat from Schwartz’s and bagels from St-Viateur if you’re visiting anyone west of Cornwall.
· You refer to Tremblant as “up North.”
· You know how to pronounce Pie IX.
· You actually notice and point out stop signs that still say “stop”.
· You still call ‘levesque street’ dorchester.
· You believe to the depth of your very being that Toronto has no soul.
· Your high school reunion is held in Toronto because most of your classmates live there now.
· You greet everyone, from lifelong bosom friends to someone you met once a few years ago, with a two-cheek kiss.
· You know at least one person who works for the CBC, and at least one other person who used to work for Nortel.
· You’ve been hearing Celine Dion jokes longer than anyone else.
· You have no clue who Rita McNeal is, but you know who Ginette Reno is.
· You can watch soft-core porn on broadcast TV, and this has been true for at least 25 years.
· You cringe when English sports announcers pronounce French hockey player names.
· You get Bowser & Blue.
· You were drinking cafe-au-lait before it was latte.
· You order fries ‘with sauce’, not ‘with gravy’.
· Shopper’s Drug Mart is Pharmaprix and Staples is Bureau en Gros, and PFK is finger lickin’ good.
· You really believe Just For Laughs is an international festival.
· For two weeks a year, you are a jazz afficianado.
· You need to be reminded by prominent signage that you should wait for the green light.
· Everyone on the street – drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists – think they’re immortal, and that you’ll move first.
· You’re proud that Montreal is the home of Pierre Trudeau, Mordechai Richler, William Shatner, Leonard Cohen, Guy Lafleur, Charlie Biddle, and the Great Antonio…and, you consider Donald Sutherland (and by default, Keifer), and Roch Carrier Montrealers, too.
· You know that Rocket Richard had nothing to do with astrophysics.
· You know the legendary story of the fat lady at Eaton’s.
· You know what the “language police” is.
· You miss apostrophes.
· No matter how bilingual you are, you still don’t understand “ile aux tourtes.”
· You know the difference between the SQ (cops), the SAQ (booze), and the SAAQ (car insurance).
· You measure temperature and distance in metric, but weight and height in Imperial measure.
· You show up at a party at 11 p.m. and no one else is there yet.
· April Wine once played your high school (alternatively, Sass Jordon or Gowan).
· You know that Montreal is responsible for introducing the following to North America: bagels, souvlaki, smoked meat and Supertramp.
Also, Chris de Burgh and the Police.
· You don’t drink pop or soda, you drink soft drinks.
· You have graduated from high school and have a degree, but you’ve never been to grade 12.
· The margarine in your fridge is the same colour as lard.
· Every once in a while, you wonder whatever happened to Luba.
· You never thought that Corey Hart was cool, but you know someone whose cousin or something dated him.
· There has to be at least 30 cm of snow on the ground in less than 24 hours for you to consider it too snowy to drive.
· You remember where you were during the Ice Storm.
· You used to be an Expos fan, but now all you really miss is Youppi.
· You’re a Habs fan; always was, always will be…
· You know that your city’s reputation for beautiful women is the result of centuries-old couplings between French soldiers and royally-commissioned whores (aka Les Filles du Roi).
· You don’t understand anyone from Lac-St-Jean, but you can fake the accent.
· You discuss potholes like most people discuss weather.
· You encounter bilingual homeless people.
· While watching an American made-for-TV movie, you realize that “Vienna” is actually Old Montreal, that “New York” is actually downtown and that the “The Futuristic City” is actually Habitat ’67.
· You find it amusing when people from outside Quebec compliment you on how good your English is.
· You secretly listen in on French morning radio ’cause they’re much funnier and the music is better.
· You have yet to understand a single announcement made on the Metro PA system, no matter what the language.
· You understand that La Fete Nationale is not a celebration of “Quebec’s birthday”.
· You agree that CHOM sucks, but there’s no alternative.
· You don’t find American comedians speaking “gibberish” French even remotely funny.
· You don’t find it weird that there’s a strip club on every corner downtown.

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  1. zura said, on 20 November, 2005 at 23:42


  2. Anemone said, on 14 December, 2006 at 05:49

    Yes, this has been posted for over a year, but I just came across it. There was only one I had trouble with — the fat lady at Eaton’s — until I realized I should be thinking of “La grosse bonne femme chez Eaton.” :-) Aaaaah, memories…

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