Curious questions from Niagara Falls tourists
Curious questions from
In his book, Neither Here Nor There, Bill Bryson captures the quirky behaviour of those of us who love to travel: "You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home, and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile attempt to recapture the comforts you wouldn't have lost if you hadn't left home in the first place."
If I had a nickel for every American who stopped me while backpacking across
Maybe that's why, at the information booths around
Question: Are we able to bring our guns to
Answer: Hell, yes. It's the firing pins and ammo you need to leave with me.
Each tourist season, staff members who operate the information booths around the Falls collect the oddest questions asked of them, in hopes I can come up with the answers. Actual questions, 1 might add.
Question: Isn't there anything interesting here?
Answer: Please, madam, do not let your encounter with the weather spoil your visit.
Question: Can you tell me what type of money you have in
Answer: Funny money. It's all different colours, the two-dollar bill is now made of brass, the one-dollar coin is named after a silly bird, the hardware store takes Canadian Tire money. Look, give me all that cash and use this Air Miles card to pay for everything until you leave the country.
Question: Is your electricity the same as ours?
Answer: It looks the same as yours in that it's invisible, but it's twice as powerful. You could use a blow-dryer from across the room. No, I'm serious. You could mow the lawn of your motel with an electric razor.
Question: Do the whales at Marineland come from the Falls?
Answer: Yes. We catch them in the spring when they're spawning. They swim up river, then jump over the falls to lay their eggs in Chippawa. We pay students $50 each to stand at the brink of the falls and catch them before they hit the water.
Question: Can you tell me how to get to
Answer: OK, you go back down the QEW to
Question: What is Canadian food?
Answer: It's really just American food at twice the price.
Question: I'm here on a one-day hike. Where can I see the moose?
Answer: OK, you follow the
Question: Is my birth certificate valid here? I now have a different last name.
Answer: Welcome to the Honeymoon Capital of the World. We're tolerant people here in
Question: Do you pay in the public toilets here?
Answer: No, you pee in the public toilets here. Some things are more important than capitalism.
Question: When do you shut everything down?
Answer: I figure one more victory by the Harper government oughta do it. Oh, you mean the Falls? I'm closing up now, but when you're ready to leave, just hit that secret button on the side of any of those pay telescopes. That will shut off the water, the lights and the mist. Whatever you do, don't press twice. That activates the nuclear option on the power generating plant.