It was a crisp Saturday morning in a city called Hamilton. Actually, it was the former City of Stoney Creek but apparently that’s not important anymore. The Hammer Family were having a nice breakfast and debating what to do with their day. Let’s listen in…
“Get dressed kids,” the father said excitedly, “We’re all going to downtown Hamilton!”
“Why, Frank?” the mother asked slightly perturbed as she perused her shopping list, “Everything we need is right around here.”
“I think it’s only right that after a billion dollars has been spent by the Liberal government, a government that we both voted for, that we need to do our fair share to show the LRT was worth it, Linda,” Frank explained with a tinge of anger.
“I don’t want to see the traffic circle, dad,” little Tommy said, “There’s nothing there. Can’t we just watch cartoons?”
“No you can’t!” Frank barked, “I cancelled the cable service. It’s too expensive!” Suddenly, Frank noticed the sliding door was slightly ajar. “How many times have I told you kids I’m not heating the neighbourhood when you let the dog out? We need every penny after all the hydro increases!”
“Well, I’d like to go for a ride on the LRT! One day I will be going to McMaster and need to know how to get there,” little Suzie announced happily. “We need to reduce our carbon footprint anyway.”
“Carbon footprint, isn’t that just another tax on everything? I heard Canada is only responsible for two percent of the world’s carbon,” Tommy chimed in.
“If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand times there is no place for facts in this house, young man!” Frank shouted.
“So let me get this straight. We’re going to drive our car to the traffic circle, park and then get on the LRT to go downtown. Why don’t we just drive all the way and save time and money?” Linda said.
“Because… because… um… ah,” Frank stammered.
“I know you’re fibbing when you start talking like Justin, Frank!” Linda responded.
“Well… we may go to the football game and I don’t want to park on someone’s lawn!” Frank yelled getting testy again.
“Is that the stadium that’s in the same spot but turned ninety degrees?” Tommy wondered aloud with a perplexed expression, “There’s no place to go eat or do anything around there.”
“Can’t you see I am trying to teach you a life lesson, Tommy? I want you to see the homeless and hungry in the core so you’ll know how well you’ve got it here!” Frank pleaded.
Promptly, Suzie stopped playing with her Tofu bacon. “Wait a minute. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to spend some of the billion dollars to help the less fortunate?”
“No! That money can only be spent on the LRT!” Frank commanded as he got up and poured himself another cup of coffee.
“How many people live in Hamilton, dad?” Tommy asked.
“Why?” Frank replied angrily.
“Well, I’m just trying to figure out why all the suburbs have to keep paying for the downtown and this new train when they will never use it?” Tommy pondered.
“And what about all the businesses that will be disrupted or go out of business for good because of the LRT?” Suzie added.
“It doesn’t matter how many people live in Hamilton proper! We’re taking the LRT and that’s final!” Frank grumbled.
“Do we really have to go, mom?” asked Tommy.
“Of course we do, stupid. Dad works for Metrolinx,” Suzie replied and stuck her tongue out at her brother.
“If you ask me this whole LRT thing was a done deal long before the city even knew about it,” Linda said, “I bet some people made a lot of money on this.”
“What are you trying to say, Linda?” Frank mumbled through gritted teeth as the power flickered.
“Did you forget to pay the hydro bill again, dad?” Suzie queried.
“No, I did not forget!” As a matter of fact I changed our house to wind and solar power but it’s not windy and it’s not sunny!”
“Sunny Ways and Real Change, uh dad?” Suzie stated with a grin.
Frank pointed a warning finger at his daughter. “Don’t get smart with me! Besides, I need that extra money to fix the suspension on the car after I drove down Burlington Street!”
And so the Hammer Family piled into their car and they were going to take the Red Hill but it was flooded. Sadly, Frank’s car blew out two tires in a huge pothole on Barton Street and the vehicle had to be towed. The family then had to take a cab to the traffic circle because there was no bus service from where they were stranded.
The End… for now.
Written by: Ben Guyatt
Ben Guyatt is a stand-up comedian and a published author. Visit his website at www.benguyatt.com and follow him on Facebook. He also hosts The Ben Guyatt Show every Sunday at 9 pm on AM 900 CHML.