Listen, Vancouver…

While I usually use this blog to reminisce about the good old days of the 1970s and 1980s, from time to time I’d like to take a brief break from the usual fun and games and focus on the dear city that I call home: Vancouver, British Columbia.




Listen, Vancouver…


No Toque

…we have to talk.

About your habit of wearing toques (or ‘beanies’ to my American friends) indoors. Particularly when it’s above room temperature outside.

Look, I get it. You want to be cool. And, for some reason, you think that doing what all the other cities are doing will make you cool too. I can understand. Being your own person, following your own path can be a hell of a thing, and it takes guts and courage—maybe the kind of stones you just don’t have. I mean, it makes sense; you see big ol’ New York doing it (well, Brooklyn—which, sorry, isn’t really New York), and your big brothers Montreal and Toronto, well, they’re doing it; heck, you see your spirit-animal city Portland doing it and even your idol San Francisco has done it, once or twice, and, well, you begin to think that, maybe, some of the lustre, the ‘stuff’ will rub off on you.

It won’t.

Listen, it’s just like this beard thing. You saw some fools from Brooklyn co-opt the logging guys from upper Maine’s (or the Okanogan) everyday ‘manly’ work look—flannel shirts, jeans, work boots—and pilfer their I-work-as-a-forester-so-I-was-stuck-in-the-bush-and-I-couldn’t-shave-if-I-wanted-to look and turn it on its ironic ear. (Or what they confuse for irony anyway.) And, just like this beard craze, Vancouver, your embarrassing indoor toque thing is like the dude that got invited to the party who just doesn’t know when to leave, who doesn’t know when to say his thank-you’s for the invite, clear his dead soldiers from the coffee table, and get the fuck out. These toques (and beards—holy shit, the beards!) have hung around WAY too long—I mean, have you checked the calendar lately? How ‘bout the weather? The time? It’s pretty much t-shirt o’clock, Vancouver. Your head doesn’t need to be protected from the elements any longer. In fact, we probably didn’t have a single day this winter where you had to take that stupid toque out of the drawer, let alone wash it.

Or even look at it.

But here’s the kicker. You just plain look stupid. And you scream, “Look at what an asshat I am!”  when you wear those asinine things indoors.  A toque is outdoor wear, meant to protect your head from the cold—not the balmy room temperatures typically found in restaurants, bars, and supermarkets. What’s your next ridiculous headgear being worn indoors, Vancouver, hockey helmets?

And no offence to those other cities that you so clearly look up to, but they look stupid too. (Sorry, Portland. I like your beer and your bookstores, but…) And don’t start back-pedalling with that but, but, but, I’m the envy of the world, look how metropolitan I am, I hosted the Olympics, in some effort to save face, Vancouver.


Anyway, I feel you. It’s hard. It’s a crowded world and you want to fit in, be like the other kids that you see around school, be accepted, who knows, maybe even make a friend.  But someone needs to be honest with you, Vancouver. Someone needs to tell it to you like it is. Vancouver, you look like an idiot.






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