Take a moment to bear witness to the following few seconds of magnificence (make sure you un-mute)
It’s Judy here on College Street with a raccoon at Shoppers Drug Mart.
If you are fourteen you perhaps already know this, but the Judy in question is one Judy Perly, 65, of Toronto. There are quite a few facts about Ms. Perly available in this Buzzfeed profile of her, but I’ve been appreciating Judy in a different way over the last couple of days by simply experiencing this Vine, again and again and again. Zen. A few observations:
– Judy here … It’s her byline, her greeting to the world, and she uses it in all of her videos. Some people even call her Judy Here as if Here we her last name. Ms. Perly’s trademark beginning strikes me as reporterly, strangely journalistic. Also, involuntary — as if she were destined to greet the universe in this way, forever.
– As far as I can tell College Street is the one in Toronto, and the Shoppers Drug Mart in question is probably this one (note position of the door vs. the sign — this corresponds with the entrance where the raccoon was hanging out.)
– the raccoon. This is where things get magical. Sure, it’s perhaps unusual to see a raccoon in broad daylight hanging out in the city. But if Toronto is anything like the Canadian city where I grew up, then it’s perhaps not a complete shock to observe one foraging around. Perhaps the animal was confused about the time of day? Particularly attracted by the smell of the bulk candy section in the vestibule of the store? Then there’s the matter of Judy’s pronunciation of the word raccoon. It strikes the ear as being slightly nonchalant, like: of course there’s a raccoon at the College Street Shoppers Drug Mart why wouldn’t there be one? Hers is an intensely Canadian voice. She pronounces the name of the animal with a sort of double tonal dip, ending in a sort of gracenote upswing. I could listen to Judy say the word raccoon all day (and thanks to this Vine I suppose I now have.)
– At Shoppers Drug Mart! Judy concludes her report with her trademark bravado, despite the words she must by virtue of her location and choice of sentence structure, say. Shoppers Drug Mart: it’s a banal name for a banal place, boring even when one considers the entire field of Canadian drugstore chains (and who hasn’t.) But Judy is undaunted and un-bored … Like another Judy that I once knew, she gives a sense of grace and excitement to the only-slightly unusual. Even with the emPHASis is placed on the wrong idea (it’s surely the raccoon that is the more unusual element of the scene, but it’s the name of the drugstore that seems to excite Judy Here even more) she leaves us with a feeling of freedom and joy about the world … and what more can we really ask for, eh?