I am officially uncool. While this may have been painfully obvious to others for a very long time, it is news to me.
I just found out at dinner tonight. After we'd finished eating our curried chicken and rice, my sister Jane stood up and said, "Who wants to go for some after dinner drinks at the Tango Hotel?"
"The Tango Hotel? Where's that?" I asked, thinking it was some new trendy hot spot on Queen Street West.
To my surprise, this was met with loud laughter. I didn't realize I had said something funny, so I repeated my question.
"No. Seriously. Where's the Tango Hotel? I've never heard of it."
More laughter. Louder this time. My dad tried to give me a hint.
"Think about it," he said. "TH. What does TH stand for?"
Really confused now, I blurted out, "The Old Sod?"
Even louder laughter. TH? What could TH possibly stand for? Somewhere you can get drinks. But where? It was a brain twister.
"Hello? You're the one who was going on all night about how lubricated your brain was so figure it out," said Jane.
It's true. I spent a good part of dinner telling my family about my "brain lubrication" theory. Basically, when you use your brain a lot, it becomes well lubricated, and when something is well lubricated, it just works a lot better and the thoughts and ideas slide around all over the place.
Eventually, they got tired of making fun of me. My dad explained that Tango Hotel is cop code for Tim Hortons. Get it? TH? Tango, hotel (radio call speak). Tim Hortons? Turns out, I was the only one in my family who wasn't hip to this little saying.
It's one of the things my mom has learned on the job as head of the Mobile Crisis Response Team at St. Michael's Hospital. She wears a bullet proof vest and goes out on emergency calls with the police whenever they have to deal with mentally ill people (the result of a high-profile coroner's inquest after Toronto police shot and killed a guy with schizophrenia who refused to drop a hammer he had raised when confronted by police in 1997). Her job is to get the police to stop shooting mentally ill people.
She's out there during hostage takings and stabbings and all kinds of crazy shit that goes down in Toronto. But she comes home and tells us about the cop code for Tim Hortons instead. The excitement I miss while living in Vancouver. Sigh.
On an unrelated note, I watched Global News today and was amazed at the "Oh my God it's going to snow tonight!!!!!" newscast. They spent 15 minutes of the front end of the newscast talking about: 1) how it's going to snow tonight, 2) how people at the Toronto airport sure were hoping to get on their flights before the snowstorm, 3) how it sure is fun to take the train, 4) how to drive properly in icy, snowy conditions.
Holy crap, people. You'd think it had never snowed in Toronto before. Was it a slow news day or is this how all local news stations operate? I vaguely remember writing my share of "Oh my God it's going to snow" stories when I was a journalist. I was earnest enough to think it was something that really mattered.
I'm becoming so cynical. And it's two days before Christmas. Okay. I'll stop now.