Sunday, September 04, 2005


While waiting at the checkout at Loblaws this morning, I run over to grab a copy of the Toronto Star. Not knowing exactly what day it is, I grab a copy of Saturday's paper and hand it to the woman behind the register.

Her (holding paper out and reading the huge headline): "What Took You?" What does that mean? It sounds like something is missing.

Me: Probably "What took you so long?" ... Considering all the other horror stories from down there. [Including Bush's refusal of aid from Canada.]

Her: Right! Of course. That's it. ... You'd think so much more could be done, but maybe we don't know all of the logistics.

Me: Well, it's not like they didn't know the storm was coming.

Her (shaking head): We think of them as such a powerful country, but ...

Me (surprised, then very consciously avoiding pronouns): It wasn't a big concern. It's just a lot of misplaced priorities.

Walking out, I'm amazed at her use of that one word. Them. Not us. Not we. Them.

The United States is now one of those other countries that exist outside the place I live. Powerful and important, of course, but definitely Not Us.

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