Monday, May 13, 2013

Language Police and Home Economy


In US they are worried about terrorists and bombings and shootings and  kidnappings; here in Quebec we are waging a war on happy thoughts and flowers.


This morning I got up knowing I had some major cooking in store; I have a tonne of stuff in the fridge that is going bad,  some of it bought on sale over the weekend or earlier. And throwing food out is not a way to save money, any way you look at it. 

I've got two whole chickens that we bbq'd ourselves on the deck with middling success (we had to put out a rather large fire), too many red and yellow peppers getting soft in the veggie drawer and kale up the ying yang.

But there was also a pile of pots in the kitchen sink. (Hey, it was Mother's Day yesterday!)

 I begged my husband, "Would you go to to the hardware and see if there are any scouring pads that are heavy duty stainless steel and not those things that melt in your hands after the first scrub."

(I like to blame my slovenliness on my materials. But it's true. Scouring pads used to last for weeks in my childhood and now they are a one-off. Good for the economy, bad for the planet.

Anyway, he was happy to oblige. He likes going to hardware stores. Any hardware stores any time.

He drove  up to Rigaud to the Home Hardware there and came back with some metallic hairball  that appears heavy duty. Time will tell.

When he arrived back home, he told he had seen a member of the Language Police (probably)with camera in hand taking notes outside the Home Hardware on a large pad.

That hardware store had erected some temporary shelters for the petunias and begonias and such and the tag line on the flap reads Home Owners helping home owners. English Only.

Someone clearly had complained!

I've spent the last little while watching too much TV and Internet news and frankly, it's been dismal, hasn't it? Capped with the wonderful fact that the Planet Earth's atmosphere has reached a scary (perhaps catastrophic) new level of Carbon Dioxide. This kind of policing pales in comparison, doesn't it? Seems so petty, all considered.

Rigaud is a little village, not far from where we live, but we seldom go there, not any more It's kind of a town forgotten, but with a beautiful mountain and many well-groomed walking trails. We used to exercise the dogs on said trails.)

Over the years, we patronized another hardware, in Hudson, most of the time (the language police love to haunt Hudson) overpaying for everything, probably. But the people were super friendly.

If we had a big purchase we went to the West Island. 

Vaudreuil has expanded hugely and that place has many huge hardware stores today. But these stores are impersonal I find. Once I asked a pretty young woman at the information booth at a brand new mega-store where to buy a certain small specialty item and she merely waved me in the general direction of 3 gargantuan  30 foot high aisles.

Lately, we've been going to the two hardwares in Rigaud, the Rona and this one - for the smaller purchases. Friendly stores.

We bought the red paint for our problematic cack-coloured wooden wall two months ago at the Rona. The salespeople were most obliging as they helped us decide on a shade and shine of paint, even if their English was laboured. (And as every seasoned hardware salesman knows, when a couple comes to buy paint for redecorating, it's a complex business rife with marital back story. So it was with us.)

We all muddled along in Frenglish (I don't know the terms for different paints in either language) and the end product was an inexpensive change to my home making my vestibule come alive with a vibrant cherry colour that improves my quality of life and quality of marriage. (I blamed the ugly old wall on my husband, you see.)



 So, it's true. It's just like the Hardware Store Advertisements like to Trumpet.