Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Canadian Writers Who Support CUPE 3903; or The Gifts They Gave

I'm really ashamed that I haven't done more to chronicle the strike at York, but for the longest time there just wasn't much to say. The union wouldn't budge; York wouldn't budge. The union's negotiators, in an attempt to blow off steam, went to the gym. It was one of those gyms with a pool, a spa, a sauna, and a Turkish bath. And they were excited; they were ready to swim, sweat, steam, and soak. But no one would take off their shirt.

A couple of days ago I wrote about Margaret Atwood's visit to the picket line. She must have had a good time, because the next day David Helwig was out, ready to lend support to the strikers. He brought his guitar; and, though his fingers froze, he still got off a pretty good interpretation of Brown Eyed Girl.

Nino Ricci brought his flute and some tomato sauce.

Arundhati Roy was out, and so was Jhumpa Lahiri. I couldn't figure out what they were doing in Toronto, but a friend has since told me that JetBlue had a sale on tickets to Portland, but you had to fly out of Pearson. So that question's answered.

Jacob Richler was going to come out, but the sun rose that day.

By far the most exciting visit was made by Carol Shields. I love to pick on Carol, but she's really a terrific woman. If I could be friends with any Canadian writer, it'd be Stephen Marche. But if I could fuck any Canadian writer, it'd be Camilla Gibb. But if I could have any Canadian writer fold my laundry, it'd be, without question, Carol Shields.

Carol was out on the line, answering questions, signing autographs. You should've seen her cringe when someone handed her a copy of Mr. Sandman.

"Get that thing away from me!" she yelled.

It turns out that Canadian writers really do support Canadian English faculty. No, they don't love them. They don't really like them. But they will come out for subsidized hot chocolate.

Carol's great. She looked at the female TAs and contract faculty, bit her lip, and took everyone to H&M. You don't see too many women wearing canvas anymore.

The shopping trip was a big success; everyone picked up a bunch of stuff.

"Don't worry," Shields said, "I can afford it." She reached into her purse. "I shorted IYG."

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All Posts On This Site Are Intended As Juvenalian Satire. If They Veer Into Horatian Satire, That's OK Too. Just, Please, Don't Take Them Too Seriously. PhD Students Can't Afford Libel Suits. CUPE Doesn't Cover Court Costs.
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