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Rogers and Me: The Film Back to Top
On February 8, 2006, I sent Ted Rogers a letter in which I referred to the signage on the door of the Rogers outlet on the ground floor of Corporate Head Offices. I wrote:
"The signage on the door of that outlet reads "The Experience Starts Here." My own experience with Rogers since August 26 - which has been a hellish one - has given that phrase a whole new meaning for me."
And then poof!
Within one week of the letter that I had couriered to Ted Rogers on February 8, 2006, the door with “The Experience Starts Here” on it had been taken down.
As I had spent so much time at that Rogers outlet, on the ground floor of corporate head offices, disputing my various invoices and other indignities, I had gotten to know the customer service representatives (CSR's) quite well. Way back in September, 2005 in one of my fits of pique, I had told one of them - a very helpful and extraordinarily professional CSR called Erin - that I was going to give that phrase a whole new meaning by the time I was done with Rogers.
When I discovered that the door marked with “The Experience Starts Here” had been taken down within the week after I had sent Mr. Rogers that letter, I returned to the video outlet to inquire as to what had happened. Erin told me that it had been taken down earlier in the week because, apparently, “the door window had shattered one windy night.”
So there would appear to be little record that either the door or the signage ever existed.
…I happen to have an unimpeachable record that a Rogers door, with the sign “The Experience Starts Here”, used to exist on the ground floor video outlet that is under Rogers’ corporate head offices at 333 Bloor Street:
In the fall, I was taking film production and film editing courses at Ryerson University as one of my undertakings for my sabbatical research for the 2005-06 academic year. As my battle with Rogers was intruding upon all of my waking hours at that point in my life, I decided to economize and do a film called Rogers and Me for one of my assignments and kill two birds with one stone.
The film was a riff on a children’s book, by the brilliant French children’s author Philippe Corentin, which I used to read my son when he was younger.
The book, Mademoiselle Sauve-qui-peut (or Little Miss Run-for-Your-Lives), is itself a riff on the Little Red Riding Hood story.
One of the opening scenes from the movie shows the lead character entering the Rogers video outlet at Jarvis and Bloor Streets in Toronto. As the door closes behind her, the camera zooms in on the signage, which was intended to be a recurring theme in the film, and lingers upon it.
Although I completed the film course, unfortunately when I was out of the country over the Christmas break working on my other sabbatical research agenda, someone broke into my home and stole my son’s saxophone, the hard drives on which the film was saved…and the Rogers-serviced cell phone that I had bought to replace the one that had been stolen in the summer.
Happily, I had removed the phone’s SIM card before I departed so no illicit charges could be fraudulently incurred on THIS phone. But the hard drive, and the original Rogers and Me film that was saved upon it, have never resurfaced. All I have left is the raw film footage.
Here, then, from that raw footage, are sample shots from the now evaporated film Rogers and Me, shot on a windy October day in 2005.
Rogers and Me: The Children's BookBack to Top
Mademoiselle Sauve-qui-peut, Philippe Corentin’s brilliant little take on the Red Riding Hood story can be purchased in its paper back version for $10.00 from Amazon (along with many of his other hilarious and beautifully illustrated children’s books).
I haven’t found an English translation of Mademoiselle Sauve-qui-peut (which I translate as Little Miss Run-for-your-lives) so I here offer my own:
Little Miss Run-for-your-lives
Once upon a time there was a little girl, the most mischievous one that has ever been known.
She dreamt of nothing but of teasing and of playing pranks on everyone. She was a real little vixen.
She never stopped. “Pif! Paf! Pouf! Et patapouf!” It’s really very simple: she was such a pest that everywhere she went, she was known as “Little Miss Run-for-your-lives”.
“Et boum! Et badaboum!” She was indefatigable.
But her pranks, after a while, left nobody laughing.
So one morning, her mother, beyond herself, told her “Stop already! That’s enough. You’re making me crazy! Look, instead of driving me nuts, get yourself to your grandmother’s house. Bring her this little cake and this small pot of butter.”
“Et zou!” Off she went! Run for your Lives!
“Et hop!” The next thing you know, she was at her grandmothers. Knock! Knock!
But at her grandmother’s house…nobody was there. “Mamie, mamie!” No mamie. A hearty stew cooking that smelled delicious, but no mamie.
“Mamie, mamie! It’s only me. Don’t be afraid.”
“Mamie, mamie! Where ARE you?”
“She’s not here. That’s strange…Hmm. Now's my chance to prank her by making her bed sheets into an envelope” it suddenly occurred to Little Miss Run-for-your-lives. “Hee, Hee!. Let’s have a good laugh.”
“But Mamie, what are you doing here in bed? Why didn’t you answer when I called? Are you sick?”
“Do you have a toothache mamie? Poor mamie. Let me have a look…Oh! But your teeth are all huge!”
“And your tongue…Have you seen your tongue, how huge it is and how it’s all white?”
“And your eyes…Have you seen your eyes, mamie? They’re bulgy and all yellow. Did you swallow something without chewing properly? Do you have a booboo in your tummy?”
“Give me a break Mr. Wolf. Do you really think I don’t know how to tell the difference between a wolf and a grandmother? Come on. Up you get! Out you go!”
“Allez, zou! OUT! And get a move on! Do you want me to get pissed off for real Mr. Wolf. Who do you take me for? Little Red Riding Hood or something?”
“Stop, you miserable child!” said the grandmother, entering. “Leave him alone. It’s only a poor little creature that I found in the snow banks, dying of cold and hunger.”
“Allez. Come instead to the table. I have a lovely stew for dinner,” said the grandmother. “No, no, mamie, I’ve got to run. I’ve go all sorts of things to do,” her granddaughter replied, giving her a big kiss. “Well at least give me a big hug,” said the grandmother. “No, no mamie, I’ve gotta run.”
“Is it over? Is she gone? Asked Mr. Wolf anxiously. “Of course,” replied the grandmother. “For sure?” “Mais oui, I’ve already reassured you. It’s the end of that story and in any event, it’s the last page.” “Ouf,” said Mr. Wolf. “What a tale!...”Back to Top