A Couple Montreal Moments

1. The “Wile E. Coyote” Moment.

Although Slavoj Zizek apparently prefers those moments when Wile E. Coyote has gone over a cliff but not yet discovered he is about to fall, I prefer moments of sheer, deliberate denial. In the climactic moment of his run-in with Bugs Bunny, he is inside a train car, praising himself “‘Wile E. Coyote, SUPER-genius.’ I like the way that rolls out,” as he fills a series of fake carrots with nitro-glycerine. At that very moment, Bugs Bunny is pulling his train car onto a track where there is an oncoming locomotive. Wile E. hears the distant whistle and his ears pick up for a moment, but only just a moment, before going back to filling the carrots and chuckling to himself as the locomotive comes ever closer.

So it was on Saturday. Carrie called her mom. She later said to me, “they’re getting tons of snow in Minnesota. You know we always get their weather.” Sunday, we take the car out to run errands. On our return from the grocery store, we park on the street. Keep in mind that we bought a place with a garage, something that’s hard to find. Monday morning we wake up the same way everyone else does — to the shock of the year’s first real snowstorm. Monday night, we run into our upstairs neighbor. Turns out his car’s stuck in the garage because they “never concluded the negotiations with the plow guy.” Still, I’d rather have my car stuck in the garage right now than on the street.

2. The “I can never fully assimilate into Francophone culture” moment.

On tonight’s metro ride home, we noticed a man in a tight-fitting sweater with alternating black and white stripes and a bright red scarf. He didn’t have the hat or the makeup and seemed a little old and plump to be a working mime.[a] But either he was a mime, or he just thought that was a cool way to dress.

P.S.: Special thanks to Cathy Davidson for the nod in Inside Higher Ed.

[a] Of course, I could be totally wrong. Since all of the mimes I’ve seen have been on TV, it could be skewed. After all, if everything I knew about doctors came from TV, I’d probably see a doctor on the metro and say “that person’s not young and sexy enough to be a doctor.”

Photo by Carrie.