IMG_1117Unconfirmed sources have provided unsubstantiated reports of an ongoing argument between two men believed to be in their late to near fifties over the use of the phrase “used to (of) it.”  A  man with piercing blue eyes was standing at the empty lot on the corner of Saskatchewan Avenue and Third Street talking to another man sporting a fashionable blazer when the argument broke out.

A woman passing by with her windows rolled up falsely claimed the man with blue eyes said, “People around here are just used to of it,” as he pointed at the undeveloped lot.  The man in the blazer took quick exception and corrected the man.   “It’s used to it not used to of it.  Used to of it is grammatically incoherent.”

“I’ll tell you what’s incoherent!  These lots sitting empty on the main drag for years and no one seems to give a darn!  We just get used to of looking at the darn ugly things.”  The blue eyed man stiffened his resolve like a hardened drifter.

The man in the blazer made wild claims that there was a movement afoot to use the empty lots to create a sandlot baseball league and tournament in hopes of attacking the filming of Sandlot IV.  The fourth Sandlot movie is planned for a direct to the bargain bin and garage sale table release.

The blue eyed man countered by saying he didn’t think Portage could get used to of having a film crew here in the summer because most of the films made here are about hockey.  The snappy dressed man countered by saying, “Used to it.”

According to the two men just making things up, other outlandish plans for the empty lots could include the storage of vintage RV’s, derelict automobiles and a depot for used appliances to create a kind of museum effect downtown.

Old blue eyes claimed, “My neighbour George has a ’63 Chrysler Saratoga parked in his backyard and I’m so used to of it I don’t even notice it anymore.”  The other man became more agitated and said, “USED TO it!”

At the end of the shouting match the men calmed down and agreed using the powers in the Municipal Act, by providing some incentive or motivation, may help to get things done.  Blazer man wanted the City to offer tax breaks to develop the available downtown land while blue eyes preferred motivating developers by increasing taxes on them after five years of the lots sitting empty. “I tell you, if we have to get used to of looking at empty lots they can get used to of paying more taxes!” he said.

“I think we wouldn’t have to get used to anything if they got tax breaks for developing the land right away,” replied the man in the blazer.

At this point the two carried on the age old debate as to why some people from Portage say “used to of it”, even if it doesn’t really make sense, while others use the more common, “used to it”.  Like the issue of abundance of undeveloped lots, the two men forgot what they were arguing about and simply got used to (of) how the other spoke and moved on to complain about the PCU Centre being on the Island.

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