On Saturday, the fourteenth, we got another call from the
Money Mill doctors’ clinic. The wife’s doctor is moving from family practice to Hematology. She only works as a G. P. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is taking the entire month of April as vacation. They wanted us to come over on Sunday to see a replacement doctor, the cosmetic surgeon again, as it turned out. I had already made plans to take the daughter and a friend of hers to the Free Thinkers luncheon on Sunday morning. I expected to be home about 1 PM. The wife wanted a phone call when we left.
The last time we had to go to the clinic, they had put up signs saying that you could phone in and put your name on the list and get an approximate serve-time. That way you could sit at home or get a coffee at Tim Hortons and miss the wait at the clinic. When you do show up, they give you one of those buzzy, light-flashing flying-saucers you get at The Outback. We called the wife at one, and she called the clinic, only to find that the phone-ahead was cut off at noon, and all the good times were actually taken by ten. We got there by two, were almost the last served, just before five. The diagnosis was that her allergies cause constipation, and the Prescription was for another over-the-counter medication. She says, if it’s important, they’ll insist that she come in during working hours for a scheduled visit, no more of these three-hour, wasted afternoons, which only cause more inhalant allergies.
The daughter managed to get another hearing test and recommendation, from a different hearing clinic. Their submission was accepted by ODSP. I drove her to pick up her new Hearing Assistors today. The only thing left to do for paper-work is have her doctor sign the prescription sheet, so these nice people can get paid. See above. The doctor is on holiday. The earliest appointment she could get was May 2. They understand, and say they’ll wait. Her units are far nicer than the ones the wife and I got. She gets a business-card sized remote control. She can turn the volume up and down on each. She can turn either, on or off. She can switch from front mike, to rear, and with the purchase of an $80 box, she can plug into a stereo or TV, and have it broadcast directly to the units. Our $2900 units won’t do any of that. Hers were only $2500. 20/20 hindsight. If only we’d gone here first.
We have an interesting way of celebrating Friday the Thirteenth, fairly locally. Some of you may have heard of it. It started way back in 1981. As a gag, on a Friday the Thirteenth, 25 local bikers got together, and rode about sixty miles south, to a town on Lake Erie, called Port Dover. They had a great day and each of them told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on and so on. The next year there were over a hundred, and after that, it just took off. It’s like the Canadian equivalent of the Sturgis meet. Bikers now come from all over to attend.
The town of Port Dover is a little over 6000 population. This year they had between six and eight thousand bikes. Some of them had passengers, but the total estimated crowd was between fifty and seventy thousand people. They close off the road into town, and only bikes get to enter. Huge crowds of folks show up to mingle and watch. Cars are parked along roads for miles. Some farmers make more renting a field or two as parking lots, than they do on crops, the rest of the year. There can be up to three FTTs a year, but they don’t always happen when the weather’s nice. Even if they occur in Jan. or Feb., some of the boys still make the run. Some of them run tricycles, some strap on a sidecar and some of them just fire up the Buick.
The residents of Port Dover have been interviewed over the years. Aren’t you worried about drugs and drunks and violence? The answer is always no! Oh sure, with sixty thousand people in town, something always happens, but not usually from the bikers, who are on their best behavior. It’s a great financial shot in the arm for the town, and the gawkers often return for a bit of tourism. In the twenty years I rode a motorcycle, I often thought about taking the ride, but I was cheap and had too strong a work ethic. It would have been fun, but I just couldn’t see losing a day’s pay. I had hoped to be able to do it after I retired, but a dumb accident pretty much ruled that out.
What does or does not get printed in the papers can be interesting and amusing. KayJai lives a thousand miles away, but today I read a story of a guy in her city, who dug up and carted off in his pickup, a tree from the landscaping at a new Canada Post building. I howled at the line, “with Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in pursuit.” I can just see the poor tree in the back of the truck. That must have been like the OJ Simpson, low-speed chase. She says they don’t hear about the Oktoberfest silliness that happens here, when we get eighty to a hundred thousand visitors. Something to look forward to, fans.