You know you’re a Montrealer when

(please note, many of these apply specifically to anglo Montrealers (see point 4))
you pronounce it “Muntreal.”
you have ever said anything like “I have to stop at the guichet before we get to the dep.”
your only concern about jaywalking is getting a ticket.
you understand and frequently use terms like ‘unilingual,’ ‘anglophone,’ ‘francophone,’ and ‘allophone.’
you agree that Montreal drivers are crazy, but you’re secretly proud of their nerves of steel.
the most exciting thing about the South Shore is that you can turn right on a red.

you know that the West Island is not a separate geographical formation.
in moments of paranoia, you think that there’s no red line on the Metro because red is a federalist colour.
you have to bring smoked meat from Schwartz’s and bagels from St-Viateur if you’re visiting anyone west of Cornwall.
you refer to Tremblant as “up North.”
you know how to pronounce Pie IX.
you have an ancient auntie who still says “Saint Dennis.”
you believe to the depth of your very being that Toronto has no soul – but your high school reunion is held in Toronto because most of your classmates live there now.
you greet everyone, from lifelong bosom friends to some one you met once a few years ago, with a two-cheek kiss.
you know at least one person who works for the CBC, and at least one other person who used to work for Nortel.
(generated around the supper table with Dr. T, TB, Irene, Dave and Kate and a few bottles of wine)

you know what a four-and-a-half is.
you’re not impressed with hardwood floors.
you’ve been hearing Celine Dion jokes longer than anyone else.
you can watch soft-core porn on broadcast TV, and this has been true for at least 25 years.
you cringe when Bob Cole pronounces French hockey player names.
you get Bowser & Blue.
you were drinking cafe-au-lait before it was latte.
Shopper’s Drug Mart is Pharmaprix and Staples is Bureau en Gros, and PFK is finger lickin’ good.
you really believe Just For Laughs is an international festival.
for two weeks a year, you are a jazz afficianado.
you need to be reminded by prominent signage that you should wait for the green light.
everyone on the street – drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists – think they’re immortal, and that you’ll move first.
you’re proud that Montreal is the home of Pierre Trudeau, Mordechai Richler, William Shatner, Leonard Cohen and the Great Antonio…
and, you consider Donald Sutherland (and by default, Keifer), Guy Lafleur, Charlie Biddle, and Roch Carrier Montrealers, too.
you know that Rocket Richard had nothing to do with astrophysics.
you know the apocryphal story of the fat lady at Eaton’s.
you miss apostrophes.
you’ve seen Brother Andre’s heart.
no matter how bilingual you are, you still don’t understand “ile aux tourtes.”
you know the difference between the SQ, the SAQ, and the SAAQ.
you measure temperature and distance in metric, but weight and height in Imperial measure.
you show up at a party at 11 p.m. and no one else is there yet.
April Wine once played your high school (alternatively, Sass Jordon or Gowan).
you know that Montreal is responsible for introducing the following to North America: bagels, souvlaki, smoked meat and Supertramp. Also, Chris de Burgh.
you don’t drink pop or soda, you drink soft drinks.
you have graduated from high school and have a degree, but you’ve never been in grade 12.
the margarine in your fridge is the same colour as lard.
every once in a while, you wonder whatever happened to Luba.
you never thought that Corey Hart was cool, but you know someone whose cousin or something dated him.
there has to be at least 30 cm of snow on the ground in less than 24 hours for you to consider it too snowy to drive.
you remember where you were during the Ice Storm.
you used to be an Expos fan, but now all you really miss is Youppi.
you know that your city’s reputation for beautiful women is based on centuries-old couplings between French soldiers and royally-commissioned whores (aka Les Filles du Roi).
you don’t understand anyone from Lac-St-Jean, but you can fake the accent.
Inspired by similar lists on blogthing. Keep the list going and add your ideas in the comments!

19 Replies to “You know you’re a Montrealer when”

  1. …you approach a yellow light, honk the horn and then go through the red.
    …whether you’re in Toronto, London or New York, you always take the Metro. (In Paris, they just point and laugh at you)
    …you wonder what “pooteen” is.
    …you know where to hit a metro transfer box to get one. (Advanced Montrealers only)
    …you are never more than three blocks from beer.
    …you discuss potholes like most people discuss weather.

  2. -You encounter bilingual homeless people.
    -While watching an American made-for-TV movie, you realize that “Vienna” is actually Old Montreal, that “New York” is actually that big glass building on McGill-College and that the “The Futuristic City” is actually Habitat ’67.
    -You find it amusing when people from outside Quebec compliment you on how good your English is (okay,okay, that one’s from my act).
    -You have yet to understand a single announcement made on the Metro PA system, no matter what the language.
    -You think of Old Montreal as nothing but a bunch of over-priced restaurants, old buildings and badly paved streets.
    -You understand that La Fete Nationale is not a celebration of “Quebec’s birthday”.
    -You don’t find American comedians speaking “gibberish” French even remotely funny.
    -You don’t find it weird that there’s a strip club on every corner in the downtown core.
    And on the pronounciation issue: I’ve found that “Muntreal” is pretty much the norm throughout English Canada. It’s only the Americans that insist on referring to our city
    as “MONtreal”.

  3. You laughed all the way through Beyonce’s performance of a French song on the Academy Awards. (Okay, maybe not specific to Montreal, but to anyone who understands French)

  4. You can turn right on a red on the south shore?! I never knew that! Then again, I never drove when I lived in Montreal (which is probably how I managed to survive 11 years there relatively unscathed),

  5. When you lived here, we couldn’t – no right turns on red anywhere in the province. That law was recently changed – except for the entire island of Montreal. We can’t be trusted with that kind of power 😉

  6. I’d like to add one.
    You know you’re a Montrealer when
    you’re somewhere other than Montreal, and you ask for a hot dog all dressed with ketchup, or a hamburger all dressed with no mayonnaise.

  7. “You know you’re a Montrealer when..” is becoming a craze now!!! I found some other pretty funny ones on the net:
    You consider poutine, steamés, may west (or joe louis)and pepsi a full course meal!
    You can say “screw 450”

  8. whats the fat lady at eaton story – ? i can attest to all the others except that one – what is that all about?

  9. The fat lady at Eaton’s is a mythical figure who essentially represents the repression under which French Quebec lived for generations before the Quiet Revolution and the advent of the PQ.
    The story of the Fat Lady is that one day in the 1960s or thereabouts, a French-speaking Montrealer walks into Eaton’s – at the time a true bastion of all that is English Canada – and tries to get served by a fat saleswoman. The fat lady refuses to serve the shopper in French.
    Unless I am mistaken, that’s about it. It’s not famous for its plotline, obviously, but rather for its political/social/cultural significance. The idea is, I guess, that the fat lady’s message is “the customer is always right, unless the customer is French.”
    The myth is a metaphor for everything the Nationalists were/are fighting against – instead of continuing to live as second-class citizens, soyons maitres chez nous.
    Or something like that.

  10. You know you’re a montrealer when:
    you’re driving in the fast lane of any highway, and, the instant you see someone coming behind you….you move out of the way! Unless of course you yourself are stuck behind the car with Ontario plates going slower than the traffic any other lane!!!

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