Archiving the “Big T.O.e”

Two in a week! Must be gunning to write a book. Or something. Ironically, this post is inspired by a previous one on sense and sensibility.

While I’ve been sincerely humbled by kudos on concerted efforts to practice what I preach, I keep hearing this dull, lingering voice in the back of my head: “give it up..why try to be clever when you want to be clear?”

Oddly, I’ve tweeted that line before (thankfully retweeted by @noelleee), and after random questions by @Magnuson, @dylancoyle, @jshuey and others on where the heck the Big T.O.e is, it dawned on me that what was once an inside joke should probably stay that way.

Displaced irony
The ‘TOe’ was coined by a former friend, an anglophone born and bred in Montréal. Her acerbic wit and dry sense of humour was contagious. And in our salad days, we ran with a fast, bold crowd of comedians, artists and writers who provided endless satire over the oddities surrounding the city once known as ‘Hogtown’.

That was then; this is now. Sensibility dictates, among others, sobriety and the need to be clear on where one stands in an unforgiving, transparent social landscape where your words inevitably end up under a microscope. Yep. Bravo to the professional ethic: without it, social media would be sunk.

view from Mont-Royal

View from the Chalet at parc Mont-Royal in Montréal
© Copyright 2008 Roy Tennant,

There’s no place like (a second) home
Inasmuch as I admit the frivolity of inside jokes and plaints embedded in memories that are now irrelevant to most, I am compelled to mention the ‘other’ eastern Canadian city, which will always have a special place in my heart and mind: Montréal.

Each time I go back to visit, I am drawn to a melancholic appreciation of its sheer beauty and European élan. Having lived there for five years in the ‘90s, I feel equally privileged to have immersed myself in its culture and vibe.

As the Quebec plates say: “Je me souviens”. And yes, I will always remember.

Hi ho-hometown!
So back to the TOe. I mean, back to the self-professed center of the universe. As of today, I’ve changed my Twitter location to properly reflect my geographic reference.

Yes, Toronto, I salute thee. In fact, deep down I feel extremely privileged by your influence and staying power. These are things one must respect from wherever one hails.

As for the lingering civil strike affecting garbage pick-ups, the much needed overhaul of the public transport system, uhm, er..well, let’s not go there.

Let’s just go with the Ontario plates: “Yours to discover”. Indeed.

4 thoughts on “Archiving the “Big T.O.e”

  1. Finally, the secret is out. 😉 Great blog on the big T to the uhhh-ohhh, Autom! I enjoyed your salute to my old (second) hometown, where as you know, I spent five fun-filled years. Much like you feel when you reminisce about Montreal, I feel the same about Toronto. And now I’ve moved on from Hogtown to Cowtown and it has its pros and cons like anywhere. Hmm… I wonder where life will take us next.

  2. Ca se peut meme pas! We know you how really like Montreal but come on!!! (kidding) Great post by the way. Liked how you make a point about the “unforgiving transparent social landscape” and how being professional about every detail counts. You should write a book (if no one else has told you this) Bravo!

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