Dear Rick Mercer,
A few weeks ago my niece asked for help on a rant she had to write about clear-cutting for her grade 7 geography class. I said, “No problem, just try to do it like Rick Mercer does.” The blank look on her face was enough to tell me that she had no idea who you are. No worries – she’s only 12. If you follow the career path of all other great Canadian TV hosts (Don Cherry, Peter Mansbridge, Jeanne Beker), she will definitely know who you are for the NEXT 40 years. Even after you lose your hair!
While her clear-cutting rant is over (with As across the board), I decided to pick up A Nation Worth Ranting About, a collection of your rants and I wanted to tell you about the big impression it left on me. I loved it; although I must confess that I prefer your rants about the general state of things (like snow tires and students) than your political rants. It is probably due to the fact that I come from Etobicoke. In the last year, simply living in Etobicoke is enough to make one a social pariah – guilty by association. Thanks to Rob Ford, I am now an unofficial crack-smoking, camera-damaging, butt-grabbing supporter of the mayor. You can see how politics have been getting me down.
In contrast, your rant on “How to Use an Escalator” (click here to view it) had me howling in the subway. As a daily Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) commuter, I have at various times offered my own, albeit brief, rants as I emerge from the bowels of Spadina Station and am forced to stop because someone has decided to re-pack their lunch on the escalator. While I only rarely speak up (because the last time I did, I was told to do several unpleasant things to myself), after I read your rant I made a resolution. I photocopied the two-page rant (which I believe is well under 10% and considered fair use) and scaled it to 75% of its original size, making it easy to transport. I have since made many copies and will carry them in my backpack. From now on, when someone is stopped in the passing lane on the escalator, or comes to a dead stop on the staircase because they are texting something, I won’t yell at them. I won’t scream. I will simply pull out a photocopy of your rant and politely pass it to them. That way, they can tell you to do unpleasant things, and not take their ignorance out on me. Perhaps you should consider a line of RMR greeting cards for these types of situations!
P. S. You will be happy to know that I am a high school teacher and every time I see my students hogging an entire escalator step, I tell them to move over. So, while I am not teaching escalator etiquette IN school, I am teaching it on the way to school.