Next month we’ll be celebrating 10 years on Prince Edward Island as refugees from Ontario.
All along I’d thought we’d been forced to leave Ontario because of the rise of the Mike Harris Tories, because of increasing movie prices, because of the introduction of toll highways, because of the conversion of Woolco stores to Wal-Marts, because all of our friends got divorced and reconstituted in confusing pairs.
Today I finally realized the truth of the matter: we were forced out of Ontario by Andy Barrie.
During my formative years, the host of the local CBC Radio morning show was Joe Coté. From 1979 to 1992 — from the time I was 13 until I turned 26 — Coté hosted Metro Morning. Along with his breezy traffic sidekick Jim Curran he enlightened and entertained the listenership from “dark and early” 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. every morning. And he became burned into my mind as the archetypal CBC radio host.
In the intervening years, Andy Barrie has become ensconced in Joe’s position. Because we live here and he broadcasts there, I’ve never heard Andy Barrie. Until today.
Today Andy Barrie filled in for Shelagh Rogers as host of Sounds Like Canada. Ack! Now I know why we had to leave Toronto: this man is not a host, he’s a bumbling, unfocused cardigan sweater. Whatever sharpness or wit is in the man is clouded in a mist of miscues and folksiness that is very annoying. How can you people in Ontario stand to listen to this morning after morning?
Luckily we have no such problems here on Prince Edward Island, where we have eminently capable hosts morning, noon and night.
By the way, it appears as though Jim Curran is still at it. This means he’s been reporting on the Toronto traffic scene for more than 30 years. Doesn’t he ever get bored?