My Toronto includes streetcars and croquet

There are many things I like about Toronto and my list most definitely includes the streetcar. There is a westbound stop across from where I and The Wife reside, and it can get mighty chilly on a cold winter morning while waiting for the vehicle to arrive. Then just when all seems lost the noble prow of the 501 crests the hill at the Queen and Lee intersection and suddenly all seems right with the world.

I see by the papers that a Montreal store is refusing to have anything to do with the one cent coin. Store management refuses to give out the humble coin in change and will not accept them when they are offered in payment.

In my opinion this is discrimination in its crassest form and it should be vigorously stamped out by authorities, and I will tell you why. Familiar old phrases such as a penny for your thoughts will disappear from popular use because it won’t mean anything to a generation that will grow up in a penniless society.

And here’s another thing. In my lifetime I have worked with many women with the first name Penny and without exception they have all been intelligent and very attractive.

But getting back to the penny for your thoughts argument, what will replace it? A nickel for your notions doesn’t have the same ring to it. There is a very real chance that, if the anti-penny forces succeed in getting rid of the unassuming coin, I believe they will turn their dark attentions to getting rid of the five cent piece and eventually the eradication of coins altogether and what kind of a world will that leave us? The merry jingle of coins in one’s possession will be replaced with the dour rustle of paper money and to me this does not represent an improvement in our lives.

Speaking of improvements in our lives, I and The Wife were delighted with the resounding success of the first annual Gardeners’ Cottage croquet tournament which was held recently on the pristine playing grounds in Kew Gardens. Lawyer Don Snider, an avid croqeteer, was a great help when it came to explaining the rules of the game and other niceties, and it is our hope that the game will become an important part of the sporting events in the Beach. It was part of a fundraiser organized by the local Advisory Board for Kew Cottage (aka. the Gardener’s Cottage), and the profits went to the continued upkeep and restoration of the Gardener’s Cottage which has stood at the foot of Leuty Avenue for more than a century.

Unfortunately I and The Wife were unable to attend due to a previous commitment, but reports from witnesses brought back memories of the croquet matches we used to hold at our various residences in this great part of the city. They were hotly contested affairs replete with accusations of sandbagging and other deliberate attempts to throw opponents off their game, but despite these allegations, all of them unproven, I am pleased to say, the games were conducted in an atmosphere of good fellowship and keen sportsmanship.

There were a few flair ups to be true but at the end of the day these outbursts were forgotten, and all contestants received a prize, none of them worth more than $1.25. I know that sounds a little chintzy, but our expenses were high because every year we had to replace croquet mallets that were broken over the heads of competitors and croquet balls that were split in half by the swings of frustrated competitors. I was very pleased to learn that there were no reports of similar behavior at this year’s inaugural event.

I am sure that pattern of behavior will be continued in the years to come when I am confident the croquet tournament will become an established part of the Beach athletic scene.

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