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| You Say Tomato, I Say Toronto -- Let's Call the Whole Thing Off. . .

Poor Toronto. I mean, how embarrassing! In one week Toronto went from being a very pleasant and beautiful international city in the Province of Ontario, Canada to the disease infested capital of North America! It became the city equivalent of the kid who is sent home with a massive case of head lice. Eewwww. . .

I think the most humiliating thing to happen to Toronto this week was Major League Baseball's cautionary warning to teams traveling there to play the Blue Jays. I dare you to look at a Toronto Blue Jay baseball cap from now on and not think about disease and death. I bet you can’t.

Apparently, even thinking about Toronto is enough to get SARS.

By the way, what exactly is SARS? I bet the people in Toronto know!

Labels are a scary thing. One day you are on the top of the world. The next day somebody labels you something and presto – you become that label.

When I was an eighth grade student there was a girl in my class that the other students labeled “untouchable”. I do not know why she was labeled this, but I went along with it. She was poor. Her uniform was ragged and she didn’t have the fancy lunchboxes the rest of us had. As a result we all ignored her – that is when we weren’t making fun of her.

I have a lot of guilt about that girl today. She probably went home and cried herself to sleep every night over the taunting she received. She probably thought she was worthless. All because the rest of us scared 12 year olds designated her as undesirable.

I remember one day I was the first back into my classroom after recess. I saw our teacher hugging that girl; she was crying. Why? The girl’s brother had died the day before from cancer. We all knew this, but none of said anything to her. Why?

Because she was labeled “undesirable”

Nice bunch of Catholic boys and girls we were huh? That’s the power of labels.

I hope that girl, now a woman, has a good and happy life. She deserved it then, just as she deserves it now. Just as we all do.

Poor Toronto. It’s not easy being a Blue Jay when SARS is in the air. . .

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