The gazette ran an article on a loophole in the law around parking near fire hydrants. I don't really care about the legal loophole and don't recommend that you even read the article because canada.com (the meta-website that hosts all of CanWest's media properties) is a stinking shitpile of a website whose upper managers need to be tied in chairs and beaten around the head and shoulders with a bottle (a tip of the hat to Kingsley Amis for that one "Nor did he now, on the whole, intend to tie Welch up in a chair and beat him about the head and shoulders with a bottle, until he disclosed why, without being french himself, he'd given his sons french names.").
But what's interesting to me is this line:
"We asked the fire department how much space they actually need at the hydrant," Savard says. "They told us that with today's equipment, they only need one metre."
I am very happy to learn this information, as we have a fire hydrant right across from our apartment whose 5-metre legal limit is constantly being abused by outsiders as well as my actual neighbours. Orlando, the portuguese dude next door with the great set of power tools that he is quite generous with, uses it for his fleet of scooters. I am always disturbed by the breaking of parking laws on my street, but am glad to know that actual fire safety is not an issue in this case.
Orlando rules, by the way. He is a short, old dude with a bulbous nose who wears a greek fisherman's cap and smokes constantly. He sits around inside in his longjohns in winter, smoking in front of the tv. He beetles here and there on his turquoise scooter, doing various errands. His house was a portuguese corner store (though not on the corner) a long time ago. He bought it and put his daughter and her husband and kid upstairs. He and his wife sit outside when the weather is nice and watch their grandson play. The grandson is even more of a trip. He wears the uniforms of his favorite media character of the moment, dressing variously like Indiana Jones, Spiderman, Harry Potter and cruising up and down the sidewalk in his big wheel. He'll talk your ear off if you get engaged in a conversation with him, but it's quite easy to cut him off. He says "bye" abruptly and goes back to what he was doing before.