Al Gore, the former vice-president of the United States, lives in a mansion that uses more electricity than the average family's bungalow! David Suzuki rides on a bus that uses more fuel than a Smart car to get across Canada! Oh my God! And this is just the tip of the vanishing iceberg!
I was born in Darien, Connecticut, but in 1959, when I was four, my parents moved to the suburbs of Toronto. Then, in the late 1960s, they bought a cottage in a resort/trailer park in the Kawarthas region of Ontario, and we moved up there. I wrote a book about it in 2000 called 'Last Resort: Coming of Age in Cottage Country.
It's one thing, holding open the door for someone at a grocery store, or the library, or just about anyplace else. But the doughnut shop is a different thing altogether. This is a get-in-and-out-as-fast-as-you-can operation. There's no room for courtesy or chivalry here.
Before I left the 'Star' last year to write books full-time, I welcomed catastrophe. It was material. Missed planes, broken pipes, dead lawns, digestive disorders, you name it, if it was something that had gone horribly wrong, it was worth banging out 600 words about.
Generally speaking, rural drivers are a much better behaved species than city drivers. I'm not sure whether they're intrinsically this way, or there are just fewer opportunities for them to do behave badly. You can't go around running red lights if there aren't any red lights to run.
My biggest complaint about drivers out in the country has tended to be that they're not in a great hurry to get where they're going. This is particularly true of old men wearing hats. If you get behind an old guy wearing a hat on a winding road, you might as well just phone ahead on your cell and tell your friends you're going to be late.