Okay, now I've heard everything. As if this world hasn't already gone far enough into the insane realm of suing over the stupidest things, now we've got Canadian cities banning tobogganing. You might just as well ban eating because here in The Frozen North -- as in many other parts of the world -- tobogganing is a staple of family winter fun and entertainment.
Apparently, there is a concern about cities being sued because of people being injured while enjoying the thrill of zooming down a snowy hill. Of their own free will. And I am assuming they must have a couple of brain cells to rub together if they can figure out how to toboggan, and therefore should understand that they just might get a little banged up in the process.
If there are actually people suing cities over this, then shame on those irresponsible fools. Not only should they be thoroughly embarrassed for even considering it, they are ruining the fun for the majority of the population who understands how this really ought to work.
While other Canadian cities are now putting tobogganing on ice (pardon the expression), I am delighted to hear that once again, our brilliant and beloved Mayor Naheed Nenshi is not remotely considering closing our tobogganing hills. In fact, he has the good sense to be talking about opening more of them. We've only got about 18 to serve approximately 1.2 million people here in Calgary. Bless him for wanting us to have even more fun.
If cities are going to ban tobogganing, they might as well ban skating, too. Zipping around on two skinny blades on ice is dangerous, so that should mean no more community skating rinks and no more hockey either. Plus with hockey, you might get hurt with a flying puck or a smack with a stick. And while we're at it, let's tear down Canada Olympic Park and stop people skiing and snowboarding, too. Heck, that reminds me, we'd better ban the Olympics, too.
And oh, no, another hazard - cycling. After all, the City has constructed countless miles of bike paths so it might be sued if someone falls or smashes into someone else.
I guess driving is next on the hit list because the City has built the roads on which we drive. And what about walking? Heavens, that can be dangerous, too. I know someone who wasn't paying attention and broke her ankle pretty badly when mis-stepping off a curb. Guess the City should not have built sidewalks and just let us walk on the side of the road instead.
Perhaps cities should ban bars and liquor stores because they are causing alcoholism. No stores allowed either, because there are people who steal and shop owners could sue the City for having given permits for the shops to open. No food allowed either because we might choke. Oh, dear, cities are wreaking havoc on people's lives and wellbeing. Yes, we really must put a ban on everything that might hurt us, no more hammers in the house or power tools or medicines or sharp knives.
Okay, I'm being ridiculous but no more so than the notion of banning tobogganing. It's like smokers suing tobacco companies after getting cancer or emphysema. Really?? It doesn't get any more stupid than that. Except when those people win or receive some sort of compensation.
Which reminds me, if we haven't banned cigarettes yet, we should be mega millions of light years away from banning tobogganing.
How did our world become so eager to sue? What the hell is wrong with people that they can't just take responsibility for their own actions? Why is there such a need to blame others? Or is it just that our society has become greedy? Haven't we got enough "stuff" already? Aren't there enough luxuries and gadgets and teens having fancy new cars and little kids having computers and blah blah blah proving how spoiled our culture has become?
Perhaps that's the problem. Perhaps we have created a generation of people who are used to having everything their way and getting everything they want. Our society has become increasingly permissive and the balance of power has shifted to the children in recent decades. We are raising people who become adults who think the world - and everyone in it - owes them something.
Well, that's not how I was raised and I know there are still a good number of sensible, responsible people out there who were raised with the same values as I was.
We are so lucky to have Mayor Nenshi "behind the wheel" in Calgary. He's a man of integrity and principle. He has his finger on the pulse of our beautiful city and what makes its residents tick. He is down-to-earth, accessible, friendly, making Calgarians feel like he's everyone's next door neighbour. He's got a brilliant sense of humour and playfulness. He knows what it means to be a Calgarian and he hasn't forgotten what it means to be Canadian either.
And that, my friends, includes the right to hop on a toboggan and zoom down those snowy hills as many times as you can stand it, collapsing in heaps of laughter at the bottom before heading home for some steaming hot chocolate. And if you burn your tongue on it, don't sue your mother for having made it. It'll be your own damned fault for not having let it cooled down a bit first.
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