an idiot in ontario

March 2001

Sunday, 11th March 2001.

We collected Nancy at 10am. Last night, whilst under the influence, Nancy had offered to cook us a big breakfast of pancakes and the like, but Barb and I figured that there wasn't a chance in hell that that would eventuate. Nancy was considerably less perky and energetic than she was earlier in the morning when she was torturing the unfortunate cab driver that brought us back from The Ranch.

The plan today was to go to a couple of wineries en route to Niagara Falls. We left the navigation to Nancy, who was sitting in the back seat of Barb's car. That turned out to be a bit of a mistake. When we'd been driving along the freeway for quite some time, we asked Nancy how close we were to the turnoff. Nancy didn't know, because she had been looking at neither the map nor the road. So the navigation duties fell to me. That's how bad things were!

We found our way to the first winery. There we signed up for a guided tour. Our tourguide had the entire spiel down pat. We tried throwing her a few curly questions to knock her off her stride. No, she didn't know if the seasonal workers' families starved during the off-season. No, nobody treads on grapes in a vat, and if we did I don't think we'd allow people with fungal conditions to engage in any such activity. No, the staff are not permanently "hammered".

At the next winery (navigation by Ian) we took the self-guided tour, which we decided to truncate because we figured they grew the grapes pretty much the same way as the last winery.

Niagara Falls. Honeymoon capital of the world! More jacuzzis than you could shake a stick at. A tasteless little town in the extreme. There were a great swag of "waxworks" museums: film stars, aliens from film and tv, great mass-murderers of the 20th century...the list went on. (I am not making this up.)

The three of us walked down to the falls, which are spectacular. Despite it being bloody cold and the falls being half-frozen, there were still heaps of people wandering around. I took a photo of Barb wearing her Carlton beanie (a present from me). I suspect that Barb was only wearing it to humour me!

As the sky darkened we walked to the casino. We were asked for ID at the door, and then the security guard decided he needed to search my backpack.
"Do you have any food in your backpack?" he asked. No, I replied.
"Any alcohol?" No.
"Any explosive devices?" No.
"Any small farm animals?" he asked in all seriousness. The girls cracked up.
"Uh, no, not today," I responded, and we walked off in fits of laughter.

Like many casinos, the Niagara Falls Casino is a very strange place. No natural light, lots of people blowing money, no smiling faces. The girls blew some money on the one-armed bandits, and we left.

The journey back to Guelph was in near silence. We were all too tired after our exertions the previous night at The Ranch.

One last thing: after dinner Barb and I watched "What Lies Beneath", a film starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. If you're thinking of watching it, don't. It is complete shit. And if you're wondering, he killed his lover who then haunts the house, and ultimately drowns him in a contrived and mind-numbingly lame ending.