You never forget your first time. For me, it was on a wet, cold Saturday night. My first reaction was to the price; I couldn’t believe it was only 60 cents. I’ll never forget how warm and tender, sweet and chewy it was – my first hot bagel in Montreal.
See, I grew up in Vancouver, a city without indigenous bagels. My parents are Toronto emigrants, and so it wasn’t until my teenage years that I first encountered the real deal: the Montreal-born, pre-boiled bliss that are the bagel world’s hole-y grail. [Editor's note: Groan.]
Now here I am, sitting on Michael Ignatieff’s campaign bus in Montreal, with what was once a full bag of bagels just a few rows away. They are the lone survivors of this morning’s pilgrimage to rue St-Viateur, where Michael Ignatieff and our Liberal candidate in Outremont, Martin Cauchon, visited local small businesses and chatted with patrons. I, meanwhile, stood outside, teeth chattering, under-prepared in my undersized trench coat for what apparently passes for March in this town. I still can’t feel my fingers.
It took every ounce of my strength to resist eating every last bagel on this bus. Eating well on the campaign trail is notoriously difficult, and I’ve only just recently retired my wide-waisted pants from the Liberal Express summer tour. (If President’s Choice made trousers, these would be called “Memories of Timbits.” For that matter, if President’s Choice made campaign gaffes, Stephen Harper’s would be called “Memories of 2004.”)
My willpower lasted until after Michael Ignatieff’s lunchtime speech in Ahuntsic. (Be sure to read Robert Asselin’s post about the speech, over on the French side of the blog.) Then, after Michael Ignatieff met the press to answer their (unscripted!) questions, I snuck back onto the bus to begin what will be my slow transformation into a carbohydrate. Those poor bagels didn’t know what hit ‘em.
Later today, Michael Ignatieff is headlining a rally at La TOHU in Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel with Massimo Pacetti. If you’re in the neighbourhood, you should join us. Michael Ignatieff is the real deal, too. Also, we have bagels.
Adam Goldenberg is Michael Ignatieff’s speechwriter. He’ll be on the road with Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal team until election day. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/adamgoldenberg. Email him at email@example.com.