Only in Canada ‘Eh?

20 Jan

(June 2010) While waiting for a connecting flight between Montreal and Toronto, I decided to take my chances with the airport coffee counter and invest an unusually substantial amount of money for a predictably disappointing snack and a bland cup of coffee.  As I left the snack line and turned back in the direction of the departing terminal, my line of vision was interrupted by a familiar face.  Looking straight at me, he smiled and nodded politely without stopping as he passed. I returned the kind gesture wondering who I had just encountered.  With a feeling like this was someone I should have immediately recognised like maybe an estranged uncle or former landlord, I looked back to see if he was waiting for a response but he had already dissolved into the crowd, swept away by the motion of the terminal.

Racking my brain in an attempt to place the face, my mind’s fading rolodex offered little help.  Childhood neighbors, families from my old paper route, and the few middle school teachers I could remember from my first attempt at the seventh grade all came to mind.  No match found.

As I made my way back to my not-so-comfortable seat it finally hit me.  I had just come face to face with Brian Mulroney, our country’s 18th prime minister.

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2 Responses to “Only in Canada ‘Eh?”

  1. Andrew Bedford January 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    I once stood waiting to get on an elevator as Jean Chretien got off the elevator. I found out much later that his office was 2 floors directly above the office I worked (in montreal, of course). It was the same office that had been occupied by Pierre Trudeau.

    He is a very large man

  2. Cathy Carter January 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    A similar thing happened to me when Christopher Plummer was visiting the theatre festival in Wolfville. As I made him his cappuccino I was rolling through the memory bank, trying to recall how I knew the man. I had finally decided he must have been an old customer that had just returned to town when I noticed the owner of the shop was practically jumping up and down in excitement. After telling me who I had just waited on she asked me to save his unwashed coffee cup for her. She kept it on a shelf in her office for a couple of years.

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