October 28, 2003


Colby Cosh, on the horrible spectre of brilliant science journalist Bob McDonald speaking at a military event. Over the years I've heard Bob speak live, to big groups and small, and he's even better in person than on television (Americans: think a smarter Bill Nye... on acid)... I'm envious of the New Brunswickian military contractors.

The quote at the end got me, though. It's because in my journalism days I also talked with David Suzuki occasionally... just professional stuff via the phone, no biggie. One day, though, I ran into the guy at a McDonald's north of Toronto. He was there alone, and I was passing through with some workmates late at night, so I walked over to say hello and introduce myself in person. Suzuki didn't quite shake my hand: in fact, he went completely white, glared at me as if my head had suddenly unscrewed and fallen off to reveal some Cthulhuesque tentacled apparition, and then quickly fled.

Even counting all the horrible intro lines at parties, it was the worst first face-to-face meeting I have ever had, with anyone. It just left me feeling dirty. Oh, did I mention I was in uniform at the time? Sorry, guess I left that part out.

(I got back to my table and my friend Greg, who'd only seen the interaction from a distance, actually asked me what I'd said that was so insulting... I believe the exact words were, "Hi, Dr. Suzuki...")

UPDATE: Writer Ken L. suggests Suzuki, as an anti-capitalist environmentalist, wasn't necessarily mortified by talking to soldiers, but by being caught in a McDonald's.

Posted by BruceR at 01:37 AM