My husband and I do not have a subscription to any newspapers. But once in awhile, The Ottawa Citizen insists on providing us with a few weeks of regular freebies, to try to tempt us into subscribing. I was kind of pleased at first, but when I read an article in yesterday's paper and started swearing and stressing out, I realized that this was exactly the reason why we don't get the paper. I inevitably read something that pisses me the fuck off.
Yesterday it was an article about Yves Roy. Mr. Roy has been a driver with OC Transpo for a number of years. He likes to sing while he drives. He has a good voice and knows many songs by heart. During his first few years on the job, his then supervisor sent him many letters commending him on the positive response that was being received about his singing. People commented that his voice cheered them up and made them look at their day a bit differently. I no longer ride the bus on a regular basis. But I do remember a bus driver who occasionally sang and was very polite and helpful to his passengers. I remember hearing him singing and I remember exchanging pleased smiles with other passengers. How nice it was to hear something besides squealing gears and honking cars as the bus made its way through the city.
Apparently, the head honchos at OC Transpo have now asked Mr. Roy to cease and desist, claiming that several letters have been received from people who do not enjoy his singing. This makes me incredibly upset for a couple of reasons. First, this driver is doing what he loves and sharing the gift of his voice and cheerful spirit with the people of Ottawa. And now he is being told to stop? Right. How dare you try to inject a little levity and lightness into this serious city? And, secondly, to the people who wrote in to complain: don't you think a little bit of impulsive singing in an atmosphere that is routine and boring could be excused, even if, on some occasions, you cannot find it in yourself to smile? I mean, seriously.
Ottawa's Mayor has now come out in support of OC Transpo's decision to quash Mr. Roy's singing. But his argument is rather silly. As my friend Cath put it in her Facebook update yesterday:
So our mayor thinks the singing bus driver needs to be shut down b/c if he's allowed to sing, then who knows what will happen next "people bringing huge boom boxes on the bus and playing rap music or karaoke machines...." First of all "boom boxes and rap music" - is he living in a Spike Lee movie from 1989? Secondly, karaoke on the bus? would be pretty great. Siiiiiigh wonder why Ottawa has a reputation for being boring/uptight/bureaucratic
Anyway, I was pleased to see this Facebook Page has been started to show the support of most Ottawans for the Singing Bus Driver. Please 'like' this page to show your support for Mr. Yves Roy and hopefully get him singing again.