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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns to toe the line

My parents used to say I’ve been blessed with an overactive imagination. I would hear the wind whistling through the trees as a little girl and promptly duck under the covers as it was exactly how I imagined it sounded like before the headless horseman of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow made an appearance. 

Even as an adult, my imagination has been the cause of some interesting episodes in my life. One, particularly, still has my colleague in splits. We live around the corner from each other and car pool to work, taking turns on alternate days. One day she was driving us home, and while I was distracted by thoughts of what to serve for dinner, I heard the traffic reporter on the radio describe a collision on the highway. 

Thankfully, there were no casualties reported, and no one was hurt, but he said there was “a toe on the scene”.

My mind immediately went into overdrive. A toe on the scene? How grisly. But how on earth did they even see a toe on the road? If I looked out the window of the car would I be able to spot a toe? Heck, if I walked past one I probably wouldn’t see it. But wait, if there was toe on the scene, obviously someone was hurt and hurt badly? All these thoughts flashed through my mind in a fraction of a second.

I turned to Angela and said, “A toe on the scene? Isn’t that awful?”

“Why?” she asked. “They would need one to move the vehicle.”

And the penny dropped. It was a tow on the scene, not a toe.

“Why didn’t they just say tow trucks?” I asked, feeling defensive as Angela was overcome by giggles. 

But now I can’t hear the announcement about a “toe on the scene” – sometimes multiple toes! – without laughing myself. 

– Sushmita Ghosh

What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Feb 2, 2019

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