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Paris street harassment just one case of many

A woman named Marie Laguerre was walking down the streets of Paris last week when some idiot thought it would be appropriate to harass her on the street. After she shut told him to shut up, he walked up to her and struck her in the face before taking off like a coward.

The only thing more rage-inducing than these animals who can’t take a hint is that there are still people who believe this is an isolated incident.

It obviously isn’t just me who undergoes harassment on the street or on the bus. But, I’ve gone through my fair share of cat-calling, wolf whistling, and being stared down on the subway. One incident that particularly comes to mind is when I was on the way home with my mother on the subway. This older man sat across from me and my mom and kept staring at me, looking down at my chest, then back at me, smiling the whole time. I glared right back at him, but he only turned away when he sensed that my mother would punch a hole in his chest if he didn’t stop looking at me. It didn’t end there, though. He whipped out his phone and then went to some porn site in the middle of a crowded car. He refrained from touching himself, but he drew the disgusted glances of women entering the car as they saw a pair of large, wet breasts bouncing up and down on his screen. I was mortified.

Sure, you can rip into these guys. But at what cost? You have no idea how they’re going to react and this Paris incident is only one of thousands. I don’t want to deal with someone following me down the street. I don’t want to deal with someone trying to harass me or attack me just because he’s too weak to handle being told off. It’s blood-boiling to know that these street harassers can’t take no for an answer and the only way they can assert their feigned sense of dominance is to attack someone for shutting them down. Yeah, you’re real tough.

Plenty of women I know were called crude names after telling off catcallers. What was “Hey, mama” a second ago soon becomes “Whatever, you ugly bitch.” Sometimes you have them exit their cars and walk up to you and start an altercation because nothing screams “Look at me, I deserve the attention of women” like harassing whoever doesn’t respond to piggish advances.

There are also the typical “Why didn’t you tell him off?” comments. This video is why. The countless other incidents just like it is why. Look at the woman who bumped into that guy on the Westminster SkyTrain station and then was pushed on the ground, close to the tracks. He also threw his coffee all over her before knocking her down. She didn’t even say anything to the guy. How can you honestly ask why women don’t confront street harassers or cat callers when unprovoked attacks are just as likely to happen?

The good news is that with the Paris case, the majority of people are rallying behind her in support of not only catching this guy but also in understanding that this type of behaviour has no place in society.

However, it would be incorrect to say that there aren’t people placing blame on the woman. Without naming names, Facebook comments on various news posts have ranged from “we must get both sides of the story before we judge,” “Question…..Why did the woman not go directly into the restaurant and call the police but only came back to argue with this idiot….Then she walks away…Not stay around, call the police, and get witnesses…..something fishy!!!!,” “KARMA……..” and one man who simply commented “Nice.”

The comments on the woman being pushed on the ground weren’t much better. Dozens of people were commenting on how she got what she deserved, how him pushing her wasn’t unprovoked, and how the woman was no victim.

These types of incidents are everywhere. Ask just about any woman you know and you’ll be introduced to just how many times this has happened and in what capacity. More awareness needs to be raised about these issues without welcoming comments from trolls or conspiracy theorists. This type of behaviour needs to end and the more awareness people raise and the more everyone talks about it, the more educated people become.

The only good thing that came out of all this was that people everywhere are talking about ways to end street harassment. People are seeing first-hand what kind of things women go through on a daily basis.

It’s not right for a woman to fear standing up for herself, just like it isn’t right to have women harassed on a daily basis. But, a woman’s hands are tied because the majority of the time she either endures harassment and goes on her way or tells the guy off and risks being physically assaulted.

What kind of world is that to live in?

Benefit concert to take place at Danforth Music Hall for victims of shooting

Billy Talent and a collection of other musicians are banding together to perform a concert at the Danforth Music Hall on August 11 in support of the #TorontoStrong fund following the Danforth shooting.

A benefit concert called Toronto Together will feature musicians such as Billy Talent, Pup, City and Colour, and other currently unannounced artists to raise money for the #TorontoStrong fund. The fund was started by the city of Toronto and Toronto Foundation to raise money for those affected by the April 23rd van attack and the July 22nd Danforth shooting.

The concert will also be taking place during Taste of the Danforth festival.

“What has happened in Toronto this summer and what happened on the Danforth a few blocks from our studio, has not only hit close to home, this has hit home,” Billy Talent said in a statement. “All we know is that we can’t just sit here. We don’t know what we want but we want to do something. We want to throw a concert to show the world and more importantly our community that Toronto is a place of love, of community, of kindness and compassion. The violence that has happened here this summer does not represent the majority.”

The Danforth Music Hall is only metres away from where the deadly July 22 shooting took place. 29-year-old gunman Faisal Hussain approached civilians in Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood and open-fired, taking the lives of 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon.

The Toronto Foundation wrote about how Mayor John Tory and the city of Toronto partnered with their foundation to establish the #TorontoStrong fund, which has gained over $3.5 million in donations for those affected by the van and Danforth attacks. “Serving as the Fund’s pro bono Fund Administrator, former Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall is working to disburse the entirety of funds to the victims in a timely fashion. Contributions will continue to be received up to August 31 with final disbursements made by September 30, 2018,” they wrote.

After the funds are distributed to the victims, the volunteer steering committee of the Toronto Foundation will generate further ideas to prevent future violence in the city and “long-term strategies related to city-wide impacts of mass acts of violence.”

Ving Rhames held at gunpoint in own home

Actor Ving Rhames was held at gunpoint in his own home after a neighbour called the police to report “a large black man” breaking in.

Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible, Don King: Only in America) has come out and told the public that he was held at gunpoint in his own home. The incident happened after a neighbour of his called the police to report “a large black man” breaking and entering.

The Santa Monica Police Department released a Facebook statement on the incident on July 28. “On July 29, 2016 at about 1:52 p.m., Santa Monica Public Safety Dispatch received several calls from residents of a possible residential burglary in the 800 block of 23rd Street in Santa Monica. The reporting parties indicated a black male was seen entering a residence and did not live there,” the statement read. “Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) responded to the area with the information available to them. Within minutes, officers arrived at the residence. As officers were assessing the residence, they encountered the resident at the front door. Officers recognized the resident and the situation was quickly de-escalated with no use of force occurring. The resident was identified as Ving Rhames.”

Rhames went on the Clay Cane Show to discuss the racism that he’s dealt with in his life and recount the incident that took place. He explained how he was in his Santa Monica residence at approximately 2:15 p.m., clad in basketball shorts, and with his two puppies when he heard a knock at the door. “So, I get up, and I’m just in my basketball shorts, I open the door and there’s a red dot pointed at my face from a 9mm,” he said. “And they say, ‘Put up your hands.’ Now, I just walked up and opened the door. And then they said, ‘Open the front gate.’”

He further explained that three policemen and a police dog held him outside before one of the policeman recognized him. They apologized and ended the altercation. He was informed that a woman called the police and said a large black man was breaking in but when he asked her about the phone call, she denied it.

“I said to them, ‘What if It was my son and he had a video game remote or something and you thought it was a gun?’ Trayvon had a bag of Skittles.” Cane and Rhames then mentioned Sean Bell, a black man living in New York at the time when he was shot 50 times in 2006 by undercover policemen the day before his wedding.

The Santa Monica Police Department added in their statement plans to introduce a new program called “Meet Your Neighbors” so incidents like this can be avoided in the future.

Doug Ford receives backlash for plan to cut city council

After Premier Doug Ford announced that he would be introducing a bill to slash Toronto’s city council from 47 members to 25, NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Mayor John Tory are criticizing the decision.

On Monday Ford introduced the Better Local Government Act at the provincial legislature. The plan would be to cut city council nearly in half, a move that brought forth criticism from city council, John Tory, and opposing leader Andrea Horwath.

The Premier’s office released further information last Friday on why they’re choosing to introduce such a controversial bill. “At 44 seats, growing to 47 seats, Toronto City Council has become increasingly dysfunctional and inefficient through a combination of entrenched incumbency and established special interests,” they wrote. A streamlined Toronto City Council would empower Toronto’s mayor and help ensure that Toronto taxpayers can count on an efficient and effective municipal government.” They added that the bill could help save Toronto taxpayers over $25.5 million over the next four years but didn’t provide any specifics.

The bill will also extend the nomination period for city council candidates to September 14, 2018, though the deadline for Mayor would remain the same.

Mayor John Tory told reporters that the bill was “absolutely not right” to introduce without consulting with Torontonians. “I’m angry at the process because I think it is disrespectful of the people, most of all, in that I think people, when there’s a major change being made to their civic democracy, deserve to be consulted in one way, shape or form,” he said. “It wasn’t put on the basis that he was planning to do it. He said that he’s talked about it before and I actually sort of dismissed it on the basis of saying, ‘Well, that’s not something that could be done. We’re in the middle of an election campaign,’” he added. “The matter dropped at that stage because I didn’t have the sense he was pursuing it, either.”

Tory also called for a referendum, which was approved by city council. “I will continue to advocate that the province pushes the pause button on this process and let the municipal election already underway proceed,” he added in a Twitter thread on July 30.

Ford received further criticism from opposing leader Andrea Horwath, who released a statement about the bill, saying that he didn’t announce these plans on the campaign trail or consult people. “It’s clear that Mr. Ford wants a smaller number of councillors to have more power, fewer checks and balances, and less accountability. This is obviously a move to make it easier for the premier to control Toronto City Hall. The actions we hear Mr. Ford plans to take not only mean less accountability and transparency at City Hall, but that each Torontonian will have less help and less access to their city councillor,” she said.

Horwath also tweeted about the bill, calling it something Ford “cooked up in a backroom.”

Ford is defending his decision at City Hall and on social media since July 27. “I promised to reduce the size and cost of government, and end the culture of waste and mismanagement. More politicians are not the answer. These changes will dramatically improve the decision making process, and help restore accountability and trust in local governments,” he wrote on Friday.

Ford posted a video of him yesterday addressing the concerns of his bill. “We’re gonna create jobs. We’re gonna create transit. We’re gonna fix the infrastructure and we’re gonna take care of the billion dollars backlogged of housing. People are sleeping on the streets cause too much money’s going to politicians,” he said. He accompanied the 0: 15-second clip with a tweet saying, “We’re going to make government work for the people. We can’t allow political gridlock and dysfunction at City Hall to keep delaying progress on critical issues. By streamlining City Council, we will help Toronto move forward on transit, infrastructure and housing.”

Progress Toronto, an advocacy group supporting democracy, started a petition to stop Ford’s bill called “Stop Ford’s takeover of Toronto politics.” They wrote that Ford is “abusing his power as premier and he is messing with our political system in the middle of an election to try to control Toronto City Hall from Queen’s Park.”

Torontonians threaten to boycott conservative fast-food chain Chick-fil-A

The American conservative fast food chain Chick-fil-A is coming to Canada and the decision to migrate over is already causing an uproar with the LGBTQ2 community and Torontonians.

 The fast-food company has drawn controversy in the past for openly supporting homophobic views and referencing the bible in response to their views on family. In 2012, Chick-fil-A’s then-president Dan Cathy told The Ken Coleman Show I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”  

Though, in 2014, he stated that he regretted getting the company caught up in the politics of same-sex marriages. He didn’t, however, retract his statements and asked people to respect his opinion on the matter.

Chick-fil-A has also reportedly donated millions of dollars to organizations like Exodus International, an organization that was well-known for their gay conversion therapy. They also donated money to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a non-profit organization that openly supports homophobia. For example, their student leader application has a section titled “FCA’s Sexual Purity Statement,” which specifies that “God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness. The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”

It added that leaders would need to step down from their role if they were caught going against the outlined protocol. “This does not mean that I am a bad person and that the FCA does not love me and want me involved; this is in order to protect the integrity of the ministry and to protect the ones to which we are ministering,” it says. 

Currently, the chicken restaurant is set to make its first Canadian appearance in Toronto by next year. According to a letter from Chick-fil-A’s current president, Tim Tassopoulos, they also plan to expand their operations across the GTA with an additional 15 locations over the next five years. In light of the news, LGBTQ2 communities and Torontonians are speaking out against welcoming a restaurant with such a homophobic past.

People have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns and threats of a boycott. The hashtag #BoycottChickFilA has started on the social media platform and dozens of people are expressing their disinterest in the fast-food chain moving to Toronto.

 The decision to invest in Toronto as our first international Chick-fil-A market isn’t one we take lightly,” Tassopoulos said in his letter. “We’ve spent years researching cities across the world, and the more time we spent here, the more we knew Toronto was the perfect place to roost.”

Turning away from social media

Social media has taken over computers and businesses for the better part of the 2000s and I think it’s doing more damage than good.

There have already been countless studies that have come out talking about the negative effect social media can have on people, most of all impressionable children who spend a good portion of the day online. It can be hard not to get lost in people’s Instagram stories, their snaps, their tweets, or their Facebook posts. Every thought needs to be shared, every meal needs to be photographed, and every event needs to be publicized. But, when people are sharing the best parts of their lives without any honesty or reality behind it, how can we tell their real life from their fake one?

It’s no wonder that children feel the need to seem “cooler” or like their lives are a mosaic of interesting things and nothing but. When their friends or their enemies are posting all the highlights from their lives, how could you not feel crappy about your own? It’s not like you get to speak to people for your job or go to all these cool events or get free things on account of your blog. If only there was some way to make it all better, right?

But, what people fail to realize is that no one’s life is perfect. It can be hard to see and realize this when you see nothing but the good things about someone’s life, but that doesn’t mean their lives are only the things that you see. There’s heartbreak, paranoia, bad moods, dark circles, blemishes, and meals that didn’t quite reach the Instagram-worthy cut.

Everyone is so wrapped up in pretending to be something they’re not or trying to match the highlights of their friends. Not only do we miss a great chunk of our lives doing this, but we remain in a constant state of competition for no good reason.

I made my social media profiles public when I first took this job, but I quickly realized how unhappy that was making me. It’s not like all I do is see the CN Tower, eat nice food, and go to concerts. In fact, it takes more effort pretending that that’s what my life is. To only capture the social media moments is a sure-fire way to guarantee that you’ll see life through the lens of an audience instead of living for yourself. Who wants to do that? Why would you want to do that?

There’s nothing wrong with taking the time for yourself and accepting that even if you aren’t as interesting as the people online, at least you’re living your life for you and no one else.

Tim Hortons welcoming all-day breakfast across Canada

Tim Hortons has announced they are officially introducing all-day breakfast across participating locations in Canada.

The Canadian staple announced that they will be welcoming all-day breakfast to participating locations due to a high demand from the people. Tim Hortons already introduced the concept to approximately a dozen locations across Canada earlier this summer and due to high demand, the conglomerate will be expanding the breakfast menu to be an all-day affair.

In May, Tim Hortons’ president Alex Macedo told The Canadian Press that their all-day breakfast plan was going really well and was met with further demand. “The demand is loud and clear. Any time we bring up the idea of breakfast at any time, the response is very favourable and very strong.”

Tim Hortons is behind other companies who have already introduced all-day breakfast for well over a year. For example, A&W and McDonald’s introduced all-day breakfast in February 2017, which skyrocketed their sales.

The coffee shop also needs to clean up the mess from past discrepancies on their end. Tim Hortons fell to fourth place on the list of Canada’s favourite coffees, falling behind McDonald’s, Second Cup, and Starbucks. A study released in April of this year marked further downfall for the company as they slipped to 50th place. At the time, Rick Murray, managing partner and chief digital strategist, at National Public Relations wrote “Tim Hortons, a perennial top five brand that we’ve previously believed impervious to issue, has fallen mightily in the court of public opinion. The Company dropped 25 points from last year, and fell from #4 to #50 in the rankings – largely through issues of the Company’s own making.”

Tim Hortons was also at the receiving end of boycotts and protests after store owners cut paid breaks from workers and benefits in order to cut costs amid Canada’s minimum wage hike.

Though, I wonder how this will go. I work in the heart of downtown Toronto and I was standing in line in Tim Hortons last week when someone in front of me asked the workers if all-day breakfast was coming. As I reached the front I asked the same question. The workers laughed and told me that it just wasn’t feasible since, according to them, the eggs only have a lifespan of three hours on them. One of the workers told me that “unless the company redoes how they’re going to do breakfast, I don’t think it’s possible.”

So, we’ll see how it goes.

Police release names of victims from Danforth shooting

Police released the names of the Danforth shooting suspect and victims following Sunday’s deadly attack.

Reese Fallon was identified as the 18-year-old Julianna Kozis was identified as the 10-year-old, both of whom lost their lives after a gunman open fired in Greektown over this past weekend. Fallon had recently graduated from the Malvern Collegiate Institute and was planning to attend McMaster for nursing.

Kozis, who was a Markham native, will be honored by flags flying half-mast. The mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpitti, released a statement on Twitter saying that “The City of Markham will lower flags in honour of her memory and in remembrance of all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy.”

Police have also identified the shooter as being 29-year-old Faisal Hussain. Hussain was said to be suffering from mental health issues, a concern that was addressed in the statement released by his parents.

“We are at a terrible loss for words but we must speak out to express our deepest condolences to the families who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions,” his family said. “We are utterly devastated by the incomprehensible news that our son was responsible for the senseless violence and loss of life that took place on the Danforth.”

“Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life. The interventions of professionals were unsuccessful. Medications and therapy were unable to treat him. While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end,” the statement continued. “Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy. We will mourn those who were lost for the rest of our lives.”

A GoFundMe page was created on July 23 by Julie Steel, whose husband taught Fallon at Malvern Collegiate. The page was created “to establish a scholarship fund to be distributed each year to a graduate of Malvern Collegiate entering a nursing program as a way to keep Reese’s memory alive.” Steel wrote that the money will be directly released to Fallon’s family who will then be in charge of the logistics regarding the creation of a scholarship. To date, the page has raised $31,680 of its $50,000 goal.

13 injured, 2 dead in Danforth shooting

Over a dozen people are injured and two victims have died following a Toronto shooting that took place on July 22 at approximately 10:00 p.m. in the Greektown neighbourhood.

An unnamed 29-year-old shooter was armed with a handgun and open fired on pedestrians in Toronto’s popular Danforth and Broadview area. The shooter was also pronounced dead in a nearby alleyway after an altercation with police, though reports have yet to confirm whether he died from police gunfire or if he took his own life.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke with reporters following the attack.

“Approximately 15 people have been hit with gunfire,” Saunders told reporters. “There are 15 in total. One is the alleged suspect, the other 14 are victims. I can tell you that one has succumb to their injuries at this point in time. A young girl is in critical state right now and the other 13 are in hospital and being treated.”

Regarding motive, Saunders told reporters that he’s keeping every option open. “I’m looking at absolutely every possible motive for this. When you have this many people that are struck by gunfire, it’s a grave concern. I certainly want to find out exactly what it is, so I’m not closing any doors or any chapters on this,” he said. “I certainly don’t want to speculate as well. Once we have a better concrete picture of exactly what happened and what the motivation was behind it, we definitely will be having a further conversation on that.”

He added that he didn’t believe the shooting was random. “I’m not calling it random. This person was here and he definitely shot. I don’t know why he did what he did,” he said.

Saunders also asked any witnesses to come forward, including those who may have dash cam footage.

Mayor Tory then spoke with reporters, saying that he wanted to reiterate a few points from Saunders. “First of all, people should not reach any conclusions because the police themselves have not drawn any conclusions as to exactly what happened here and why,” he said. He added that he also wanted to reiterate Saunders’ call for help from any witnesses who may have seen something.

“Please don’t draw any conclusions, please wait for the police to do their job,” he continued. “They have plenty of police resources here.”

He added that the families of the victims have the city’s thoughts and prayers.

The Danforth shooting comes just three months after Toronto’s deadly van attack. When reporters questioned what Tory had to say to those who were still recovering from the previous attack, he said, “It’s almost inconceivable these kinds of things can happen. We were too used to living in a city where these things didn’t happen and we saw them going on in the world around us we thought they didn’t happen here, or couldn’t, or shouldn’t.”

“I can just say to people that they should try to stay calm while the police do their job because we have to figure out what happened here. We don’t know.” he continued. “[…] Please just comfort your fellow Torontonian. These things, you can never brush them away and I’m angry about them. I’m angry when these kinds of things happen in the city and lots of people would be angry about it.”

Tory added that Toronto has a gun problem and that firearms are too readily available to people who aren’t the police. “We clearly have to do more about to because there are too many people who are carrying around guns and using them in whatever manner they use them in whatever connection,” he said. “That’s part of what we shouldn’t conclude, just that there was a gun used. We have a gun problem and I just hope every step is going to be taken by all those who have responsibility.”

Video footage of the shooter opening fire on civilians was posted to Twitter in a four-second clip.

Premier Doug Ford tweeted out as well saying that his heart went out to the victims and thanking the Toronto police for responding so quickly.

Confronting an eight-legged fear

“An arachnophobe walks into a spider exhibit” sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but stick with me.

I’ve battled arachnophobia ever since I was a kid. I hate spiders. I hate them. I don’t like all their legs or their quick little movements or how they invade my kitchen, forcing me to take my dinner elsewhere.

And it’s not just the hatred of them; my burning distaste is accompanied by an all-consuming fear that I’ve dealt with ever since I was a wee lass. Even at 25-years-old, the tips of my ears turn red, I want to cry, and I can feel them crawling all over me the second I even see a spider. I also can’t move and refuse to do so until someone removes it from my line of vision. True story: I came home one night at 11:30 p.m. and there was a spider dangling in front of my house’s door. So, I needed to literally stand there and watch it string down on its web and then back up again for five whole minutes before it eventually crawled far enough away. I actually contemplated sleeping outside just to avoid this one spider.

Anyway, that’s how bad my arachnophobia is. It’s senseless and consuming and exhausting. But, apparently, that’s not enough to stop me from seeing an entire exhibit of spiders at the Royal Ontario Museum.

I saw posters for it and advertisements in the theatres (I couldn’t even look at the big screen when a spider crawled across it). As soon as I saw the advertisements I knew I wouldn’t be going. Of course not!

But, my boyfriend suggested that I need to go. It would behoove me to confront my fears and I’d also have a killer article at the end of it. After much deliberation, I told him that I would only go if he accompanied me… mainly so I could squeeze his hand until I crushed it. He agreed.

As soon as I entered there were huge faux spiders to greet patrons. I immediately wanted to go home and hoped to hell they didn’t have live spiders (which they did). He and I kept moving in and there was a wide array of little displays to get lost in. You could learn about their webbing, what they eat, how their blood is blue, and how they hadn’t killed anyone in Canada in 2012. I mean, that wasn’t exactly comforting but kudos to the ROM for trying.

My boyfriend and I went to see the live spiders. There was a centipede, which didn’t freak me out as much, and a few tarantulas hanging around in their cages. Despite my initial fear that they would be sharpening knives and waiting for me, the spiders were really calm and weren’t moving around too much. Their lack of movement allowed a bunch of people to take photos of them, which I wanted to do.

He and I moved a bit closer and I handed the camera to my boyfriend to get some photos. But as I gave him my phone he went, “Wait. Why am I doing your job? You can do it. Go ahead.” I’m pretty sure I had a headache with how much side-eye I gave him. But, I approached the cage and gulped down the belief that this tarantula would gain Herculean strength, smash through the glass, and murder me. I snapped a few photos and quickly walked away.

My boyfriend and I walked around for about an hour exploring all the different live displays and learning facts about spiders. For example, I had no idea that they had blue blood. I also didn’t know how intricate their web designs could be. I also learned facts that re-affirmed my fears, like how some spiders can kill fish because they’re huge and gross and strong.

Towards the end, I started getting tingles on my legs that I kept mindlessly brushing away. Suffice to say, I had had enough. My urge to cry and run away was getting stronger the longer he and I stayed in there. But, eventually, he and I made it to the end, which included a wonderful Spider-Man display. I felt overwhelming relief seeing my favourite web-slinger. My boyfriend and I took photos inside a life-size comic book and I marvelled over first edition comics that were on display.

To be honest, as I walked out I didn’t feel any better. The exhibit stated how over 90% of people feel better once they confront their fears, but I think I fall into the minority. I can’t begin to express how happy I am to be out of there. Though I will admit that even if I still fear spiders as much as I used to, it was a heck of an experience.