Tuesday, May 30, 2006
everything you always wanted to know about the caloric intake of the british military in 1814 (*but were unafraid to ask)
Caught little of Doors Open on the weekend. Got a late start on Saturday, so I drove down Jarvis, figuring there might be enough time to crawl from mansion to mansion. Long lines at 3pm scuttled that idea. My mind raced to figure out any location that wouldn't be overwhelmed.
Cue my first visit ever to Fort York.
I arrived in time to latch onto the final guided tour of the day, a trip around the barracks. The group started with around 10, ended closer to 25. One family was mildly annoying in the first barrack as hey fiddled around with loud, static-filled walkie-talkies while the guide was speaking.
When discussion came to the enlisted soldier's diet, a stern-faced, baseball-cap wearing woman had a stream of questions about the "caloric intake" of a soldier. She seemed distressed that they ate so little. She also barked at the walkie-talkies. She then made a lengthy speech about class warfare, before returning to "caloric intake". The guide appeared to take this in stride.
We moved over to the officers' quarters. When question time rolled around, another question about the officers' "caloric intake". Some heads began to be scratched.
The last stop on the tour was the kitchen behind the mess hall. Take a wild guess as to the first question, its source and and least two words used in the query.
Cue the rest of the group rolling their eyes or stifling laughs. Can't make this stuff up.
After the tour, I wandered around the rest of the grounds, finding cool relief from the heat in the blockhouses. Shockingly, none of the exhibits made any mention of "caloric intake". - JB