Friday, 19 April 2013

Goosed Stories

"Code 50, Code 50.

All drivers please be aware that there are a couple of nesting geese between Pinecrest and Bayshore stations. Please use caution around the area. Bruce the Goose is on the loose."

If you've been on an OC Transpo bus this week, you may have heard that announcement.

You may even be tempted to head down to Bayshore to have yourself a gander.

Bruce the Goose seems to have moved in, and OC Transpo seems to be supporting Bruce and his bride-to-be as they use the newest section of the Transitway to do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.

I can't remember the last time that OC Control made me laugh like like that. There is really no good reason to tell us about geese around the Transitway. Let's face it. If we called out every bird source obstacle in the city, we'd be calling out turkeys and geese all day long.

What makes this story funny to me is that they named the goose.

I can't help but wonder what process was used to name the goose in question. The City of Ottawa does not take naming things lightly. Take OC Owl for example. His name isn't the traditional name of every novelty owl in existance -Hoot-. It is OC Owl. We don't mess around. He is an Owl. He works for OC.

Therefore: OC Owl.


Logically, Bruce the Goose should be OC Goose. Or Transitway Goose. Or G.I.B.B.A.P. (Goose In Between Bayshore And Pinecrest)

But the city named the goose Bruce. After Bruce who?

Springsteen? He was born in the USA.

Willis? Two words: Die Hard. Why tell drivers to avoid that? He'd just string together a bus trap from some spare parts and save himself by blowing up the whole Transitway.

Bruce Lee? Enter the Transitway.

I think it may be time to call in some city staff to find out who this Bruce really is, and how he circumvented city policies to be officially named without a debate on the subject. There are clearly shennanigans at work here, and this blogger will be placing a call to CFRA's Lowell Yellow and Blue to expose this subject to the kind of scrutiny it deserves from the rednecks that listen to him.

I want answers, and I want them now.

I'm not looking for an OC Transpo investigation either. You can call off the four point nines (not quite five-oh's) and their constant observation of the area in question from the seats of their Crown Victorias at the bend near Pinecrest. The geese see you there, coppers. They HONK! in your general direction. Check out the grass beside you. There's poop in that thar grass beside the pile of Roll up the Rim cups.

As an aside, geese are actually very much like bus drivers. Not only are they likely to peck you in the crotch seemingly without warning or provocation, they also spend much time behind others of their kinds. Honking... Flapping... Walking slowly across the street in front of you when you both know they can clearly fly... Okay, bus drivers can't fly.

Nicknaming a goose requires some care and thought, not just some willy nilly alliteration joke. If this is truly to be an official City of Ottawa bird, there must be a transparent process by which the bird is named that reflects the diversity of our community.

There must be a tendering process by which the goose receives his name, so Presto and Clever Devices can develop a clear strategy to broadcast his honks in both official languages.


I'll post the results of my investigation sometime soon.

In the meantime, be careful around Pinecrest and Bayshore. Running over Bruce and his bride-to-be has been strictly forbidden by OC Transpo management.

Plus it might give you goose bumps, and other bad puns.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Jack's Back... On Wheels

Every few weeks or so, I get an email about Jack.

Where we last left the story, Greg the driver had spearheaded the campaign to get Jack a new bike. A driver, Abdullah, donated a bike. Not just a dust bucket in the shed, a good, decent bike.

Then there were a few speed bumps. The first problem was a distinct lack of Jack. Greg carried that bike around the city for a few weeks, but never saw Jack. We all kept asking Greg what happened, but Jack was nowhere to be found.

After a month or so, the bike wound up locked up at a transitway station, awaiting its new owner as soon as Greg ran into Jack. Jack had gone AWOL, and of course, the bike was vandalized. That's what happens to nice people.

To see Greg, you'd think this guy would be at home in a biker bar. He's a black tee-shirt kinda guy. Leather. Bearded. Music junkie. Greg is the kind of guy that has a favorite song by Tool, and might think less of you if you didn't. He might not even want to know you if you couldn't name one.

You might judge him by appearance, as you might judge Jack by appearance, but Greg has a huge heart. And more importantly, Greg gets it. We are all part of a family here at OC Transpo. We take care of each other. There are many stories like this one.

And what about Jack? Jack's not a driver, but we take care of him too. Right is right, and Jack's an alright guy. The drivers have his back.

So Greg had a problem. He had a bike that he wanted to give to Jack to replace his stolen bike, but now it needed repair.

Enter: Bushtuka.

They were about as good a company to Greg as a company can be, and went well beyond what most companies would do to help someone out. They took Greg at his word, and did something very special. They fixed up the bike, free of charge.

We live in an awesome city. Thank you Bushtuka.

Now get in there and buy something.

So after an entire winter of Greg the bus driver hoarding the bike in his shed, another driver, Kelly, ran into Jack and took down his contact info. She posted a note on a local driver's forum, and got Greg back in touch with Jack.

I'm proud to work with these people. These drivers that care about each other, and our passengers. I'm proud to live in a city where a company like Bushtuka would step up like they did.

I'm proud to serve in a city that makes things right sometimes.

Friday, 5 April 2013

April 6.

Clare, Brian, David, Harry, and Ray.

We remember.