Thursday, December 23, 2004

Drinks at the "Tango Hotel"

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.


JeremyTheAsian said...

nice post...made me laugh. thanks.

Sarah said...

You're welcome!

-- Sarah

Anonymous said...

1. Local news seems to have been Buffalo-ized. Global is the worst offender.

2. This might be a good place to regale us all with tales of how it used to snow in Toronto when you were a kid, how many miles you used to wal, and how freezing cold it was.

3. Your mom has a cool job. She needs to write a blog.


Anonymous said...

In your defense Sarah, you live on the west coast now and the only reason why we have any Tango Hotels is because the people who have moved out west from TO couldn't live without them. Do you think people born and raised in Vancouver really go there with any regularity? We are not a donut eating culture over on this side of the country.

Enjoy the snow. People are still running outside in their shorts here on this side of the country.

Three more sleeps until my trip. Aloha. K-PSTC

Sarah said...

I am LOVING the snow! I spent two hours shovelling heavy, crusty snow today. So much fun. And a really good workout. I'm going to do as much shovelling as I can because there will be nothing to shovel once I get back to Vancouver.

It's supposed to get really cold tonight too. I miss winter so much. It's awesome.

As for Global News, watched it again tonight for fun. The first thing that came up in big letters was "WINTER STORM WATCH." Oh yeah, more snow stories. And cheesy banter. Good times.

-- Sarah

Sarah said...

Sorry, one more thing. I moved to Vancouver from New Brunswick where there was a Tango Hotel on every corner. If there is a downside to Vancouver, it is that there are not enough Tango Hotels.

A few years ago, they built one on Alberni and Bute. About a 20 minute walk from my apartment. But so worth it.

And when I was a kid, I couldn't get enough of the snow. I used to play outside for hours, building forts and making snowmen and stuff. When I was in university in Ottawa, I would walk to school from downtown in minus 20 degree weather. Like I said, I LOVE winter.

-- Sarah

Anonymous said...

You can move the east coast lady west, but you can't move the east coast out of the lady. Glad to hear you're having so much fun! K - PSTC

Anonymous said...

2 hours? you shovelled snow for 2 hours????? i don't think so. hil and i were out there shovelling before you even started...and we didn't shovel for 2 hours. seemed to me you were taking a lot of "breaks" - trying different shovels, taking pictures, posing for pictures...

Sarah said...

Well, it FELT like two hours. Where's the love?

-- Sarah

Royal*T said...

You guys sound like you are having so much fun!! Speaking of gimmicky news, I did four live reports to track Santa with NORAD satellites this morning. I did it all serious and stuff, it was very campy and fun. Am just lugging my stuff out to the car now and after one more errand am off to the airport. Merry Christmas, Sarah and Marchildon family!

Sarah said...

Have fun in Edmonton, Tamara. And have fun in Hawaii, Karen. Geez Tamara, I can't belive CityTV has you doing Santa tracker stories. It's worse than all the weather stories.

-- Sarah

Nicole said...

Hey Sarah, remember me? I was in Saint John for like two minutes about 8 years ago? (Geez, has it been that long?) I must say, you've got an excellent blog here. And don't worry, I must be uncool as well. This is the first I've ever heard of Tango Hotel. I'm going to blame the fact that I was in Seattle for two years.
Hope you're having a happy holiday!

Sarah said...

Hey Nicole,

Yes, I remember you, even though you were in Saint John just for a little bit. And yeah, it was eight years ago! Wow. Funny how time just disappears like that.

I like your blog, by the way.

-- Sarah

Julia said...

I shared the "Tango Hotel" reference with a co-worker and had a good laugh. In reference to the snow, I live in what's called "The Snow Belt" of Western New York. Despite the fact that swaths of the area receive over 200 inches of snow a year, residents still seem incapable of driving safely when we get our first couple snowstorms of the year. So all those warnings and tips on dealing with the "bad" weather have merit.