Friday, January 23, 2009

Not the best time, but fun nevertheless

For some time, there was a picture of a headstone that was circulating on the Internet. The headstone has a poem inscribed on its back, and the first letter of every line spells FUCK YOU. I never thought much of it, until I came across this picture, and I realized this masterpiece of cynicism and humour was actually located in Montreal! (See the Oratory on the top right of the picture)

So, today, I went to the cemetery with a friend, and, armed with that picture, set off to find that headstone. Granted, it was rather cold outside, and I can say that we could definitely have chosen a better season for such an expedition, as there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground.

We started at noon, and since we had no idea where the headstone was, we just entered from the first gate we saw, which was the one on Decelles. History will tell that we chose the wrong entrance to start the search.

We didn't have much to go on. From the picture, we tried to triangulate the position based on the Oratory and the other building. Unfortunately, there were 2 high-rises around that place, and we made the mistake of referring to the wrong one. We walked a bit too much to the east, until I realized this was not going to work, as the angle was wrong. In case you go looking, the building in the picture is actually the one on the right. (You'll know if you go there)

I was a bit confused at first, since the Oratory seemed farther in the picture than it was in real life, making me think the stone was farther uphill.

It took us about 40 minutes to walk to the general area corresponding to the picture. Once we got the building aligned just right, we had pretty much spotted the lot in which the stone should be.

The first clue was when I found the tree. (The contorted one you see on the right.) The rest was a matter of observation, and we soon found the stone. It was surprisingly conspicuous once we spotted it, and I don't know how we missed it after walking past twice. There was a road behind the lot, and the stone was in the first row, although right behind it was a rather large tree (whose trunk splits in 2 rather close to the ground). Given the snow, I was quite happy we didn't have to go looking any further. Considering the size of the place, I'm just glad we found it at all. Honestly, I almost lost hope at some point.

I took 2 pictures. Here they are:

It took us about 50 minutes to find the headstone. We then took the bus to go back to the Cote-Des-Neiges metro, and it took us 2 minutes to go back. It would've been easier if we had started by taking the bus to the entrance on Cote-Des-Neiges (where the main building is), as the stone was in the lot right behind it. I'd provide you with the lot number, but where would the fun be?

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