February 4, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 69  

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Talkin’ about walkers & fries

What the Shuk?
Mark Polishuk

Opinions Editor

Two items that require comment...

* In the winter, we’re all in a rush to get to class. We duck our heads down, put on our best Clint Eastwood-esque steely glare and boldly step forth into the snowy wilderness to beat that 10-minute countdown to the next lecture.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of walkers have apparently decided there’s enough snow around to cushion the blow of an oncoming vehicle, and thus, they blithely stroll across Western’s roads without any concern for their safety. It’s quite possible these snow-suited death-defiers are like Kenny from South Park and can continually return from the grave without any consequence, but the problem is that we drivers are left swerving, braking and swearing at these idiots who just stare dumbly across the road like chickens striving for the other side.

It’s even more of a farce once buses get involved. Last week, I found myself stuck in a bottleneck in front of the Natural Sciences Centre, between a school bus, a London Transit Commission bus and a Chevy truck. Since I was driving my pint-sized Toyota Echo, it was the vehicular equivalent of Danny DeVito playing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The reason for this traffic snafu (a traffu, if you will)? A guy wearing only a leather jacket and no hat or gloves — despite the -15C temperature — STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN ROAD to look into his backpack. I can only hope he was searching for a clue.

A reminder, boys and girls: before you cross the street, look both ways. If the way is clear, go ahead and walk. If a car, or bus, or Echo or Batmobile is coming, then stand and wait. A few more seconds out in the cold probably won’t make a difference between a cold and pneumonia, unless you’re dense enough to wear only a leather jacket in the frigid weather.

* On a lighter note, what’s the deal with The Spoke’s french fries? I’ve never been a fan over my four years at Western, but at the beginning of January, The Spoke began to use the same style fries as at The Wave. I rejoiced and felt prepared to actually spend money in The Spoke for the first time since I nearly set a high score on their old pinball machine in first year (yes, I realize that it takes not just a nerd, but a special strata of nerd to go to a bar and play pinball).

Then, a couple of weeks ago, they changed to their original fry style, a thin, overly-spiced stick that tasted more like gristle than potato. I walked outside and cursed the gods for teasing me so... and then I was hit by a car while standing in the middle of a campus road. Just kidding.

Now the fries have changed yet again. Version 3.0 now tastes like McDonald’s fries except without the artery-destroying amount of salt. Presumably, the snowplows are using that salt for the roads.

So I’m once again happy, but wary of having my heart broken again by the capricious whims of The Spoke. All I ask is that you pick a fry and stick to it, not unlike the gum stuck to the bottom of The Spoke tables by the class of 1983 that still exists to this day.



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