Showing Off, Shown Up


Mandatory Animal House reference out of the way, since yesterday I moved from the Canadiana Hostel (2003 North American Hostel of the Year!) into a frat house out on the grounds of the University of Toronto (or U of T). It’s going to be an interesting summer. It’s a mix of frat members, potential members and few odd layabouts (like myself).

My room marginally scrapes towards shotglass size and was unfurnished except for a rickety shelf and dusty desk. My goal for the day took me to Canadian Tire and I left with an inflatable bed. Perfect for my immediate needs.

However I didn’t know the layout of the store and had to inquire at the customer service desk, in front of me was a scruffy caucasian gentleman trying to sort out a problematic key. As he returned the ill-fitting key he piped up to the Asian woman behind the counter, “Do you know who Magellan is?” And pointed to a GPS system below him under a glass case.

Her response was brilliant, “I know a Magellan back home.”

Scruffy puffed up his chest and stated, “Magellan first sailed to Africa.”

Me, “Actually, he was the first European to circumnavigate the globe.”

Scruffy, “Oh, that’s right. He went around South Africa.”

Me, “He went around South America, which is why they’re called the Straights of Magellan south of Argentina.”

Scruffy, “Oh, that’s right. I knew he went around the Cape of Storms.”

Me, “…” (South Africa is the Cape of Good Hope.)
I likely should not have entered the conversation but he was trying so hard to feel superior over this lovely woman (from the Philippines or Indonesia) who really just wanted to help him with his troublesome key that I couldn’t help myself.

It’s also a story about being careful what is said and where , because the guy without a bed might just be able to trump the alleged knowledge being offered without being requested.


3 thoughts on “Showing Off, Shown Up

  1. Actually her response, “I know a Magellan back home” is really interesting, since Magellan actually didn’t complete the voyage, he died, shortly after arriving in Indonesia.

      • I knew what you meant Bob, and also found it interesting, I know that of all the sentences spoken during that conversation, that was the one that rung with the most resonence and likely what inspired me to write the story down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s