Trawna report

Now that Ontario is a “have-not” province and is eligible for equalization payments from the rest of Canada, on a recent trip to the Centre of the Universe (Trawna) I took pains to see how things were progressing.
First, you have to understand although the good old Drizzle Creek District is technically part of Ontario, in reality the border of the province stops abruptly at the edge of the GTA (Greedy Trawna Area). The only exceptions are a few outlying centres that contain an auto-making plant, like St Thomas and Windsor.
The rest of the land base is more like a territory—only considered important when there is a gold or diamond discovery, or when the GTA needs a new dump site.
So you folks up here don’t expect too much largesse from the politicos at the Queen’s Park Bastille in Trawna. Besides, you’re already used to tough times. Why should anything change?
But not only has the provincial government under Dolt McFlinty gotten into the equalization begging game, the private sector is doing their part, too. Down at the corner of Bay and Yap Streets in Trawna, here’s the picture. Recently pink-slipped stock brokers and investment bankers were busy panhandling.
“Hey, buddy, could you spare me a ten-spot so I can pay for my parking slot for my BMW?” was the standard line from the disheveled pin-stripers.
Meanwhile, they demonstrated their multi-tasking skills by texting on their Blackberries with another cell phone pasted to one ear, an Ipod in the other, and nervously glancing skyward to avoid the landing of any other financial hotshot taking the swan dive off one of the financial towers.
Poor souls.
Even my wife, The Pearl of the Orient, experienced the shock of equalization as practised by the hotel restaurants.
“Yes ma’am, what could we get you this morning,” wheezed the obviously bored waiter as he poured the morning coffee and set the water glasses on the table.
“Oh something simple,” replied the Pearl as she searched fruitlessly for her glasses in her Pullman-sized purse (reading without her glasses is not one of the Pearl’s strengths).
Finally terminating the fruitless search and closing the menu, she looked up—her glasses perched all the while on her forehead. “I’ll have hot oatmeal with some fresh fruit, and brown toast,” she ordered. “How much is that?”
“That will be on the breakfast buffet special. It is $27.90, plus tax and tip, I think,” replied the flustered waiter, first pecking hurriedly on his calculator and then chewing in frustration on his pencil.
“[Expletive deleted] how much?” choked the Pearl, who had just started to swallow some water to wash down her morning meds. Her menu sailed across the table, collecting the napkins, water glasses, silverware, and centrepiece on its trip to the floor.
“[Another expletive deleted]. I’ll just have the oatmeal and fruit, and please another cup of coffee,” sputtered the Pearl, still in sticker shock.
The oatmeal arrived along with three raspberries and two blackberries, preceded, of course, by the fresh tablecloth, silverware, and coffee.
When the bill arrived, it was $37.50 plus tax.
“But this is more than the whole breakfast, you first quoted me,” sputtered the Pearl, once again losing her hard-won composure.
“Oh yes, ma’am, but that was a package. This is a la carte,” sniffed the waiter, departing post haste.
The Pearl made her contribution to the financial equalization program and we departed Trawna, poorer and wiser—maybe.

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