Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Piece of mind.

I recently overheard a conversation between two teenage girls on the 504 King Streetcar that caught my interest.

Pretty much any conversation catches my interest so long as it saves me from minding my own business or has nothing to do with gutting eavesdroppers.

I suspected that these two pretty Hoochies were on their way to the Don Jail; see if you come to the same conclusion.

Girl A- I'm tellin' you, I'm afraid of him.
Girl B- Then why are we goin' to see his sorry ass?
Girl A- Girl, you know how it is.
Girl B- Yeah.
Girl A- I just wish that I had more protection at home than a buddah knife.
Girl B- Like what? A gun?
Girl A- Naw. Just a bigger knife. Steak knife, maybe.

The girls went about checking each other's hair and doing some last minute preening before getting off the streetcar at Gerrard--my stop.

I last saw them heading towards the long line winding down the wheelchair ramp at the Don Jail.

I got me thinking about my own security.
I have only a cast iron alligator-shaped nut cracker to defend myself and my own.
I know that my girlfriend's mother has a Christmas Nutcracker soldier that stands five feet tall, and has scary eyes; I may try to conscript his services.

"Why buy the cow when the milk is free?"

Now that Christmas is over, and New Year's Eve nearing its annual go-around, it's time to start focusing on Valentine's Day.

And nothing pleases me more than to deliver a story of unconventional romance straight from the heart of Toronto's zaniest neighbourhood east of Yonge St.--the Arse of Riverdale!

Bruce Cockburn never said that being lovers was a safe proposition; apparently employees of Riverdale Farm share Cockburn's mother-like apprehension.

I wonder if this is what Stompin' Tom would call a 'Thunder Bay Thursday Afternoon'?

Oddly enough, the encounter was shunned by the "dauntless" reporters of The Friends of Riverdale Farm who chose to favour more mainstream newsworthy events. Even then, the "Friends" news is so sanitized and Bowderdized that their on-line publication can barely pass for something more than 'fairy tales'. Following are examples from the "News" page with modest injections of the truth: "English Black Sow 'Mathilda' and the birth of her piglets" (out of wedlock); "Cotswold Twin Male Lambs 'Frosty & Icicle' born at Riverdale Farm on January 24th" (were sent to Italy after being caught in an incestuous embrace); "Goat - Alpine Doe 'Kaboom' had a single birth, 1 female kid 'unnamed' yesterday around 10 am" (and was quickly taken into American captivity as 'Detainee Kaboom' and 'Detainee Unnamed').

The City of Toronto also failed to deliver honest and objective coverage of the 'Riverdale Romance', even though their "Purpose" as outlined on their website clearly states that Riverdale Farm will try to provide ". . .the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of a small Ontario farm".
Show me a small Ontario farm (besides 'SizeSmall Farm') where there isn't a little sex between the species going on and I'll show you a time bomb waiting go off! You'd be able to cut the sexual tension with a knife.

I also noticed that on the list of words one might hear at the Riverdale Farm the glossary fails to define recent expressions I feel would be helpful for visitors, such as: beastiality or unconsentual sexual relations; dismount; assault with a weapon; animal midwifery. The farm should be more than just 'a slice of country' for the children of large 'c' Conservatives.

Lastly, is anyone surprised that beer was involved?
Can the police really charge a guy for having his beer goggles on?
Surely there are some men amongst us that can sympathise with the situation?
And who was Mr. Kottaris trying to impress by running into the horse stall? Not only was that a "dangerous" move; but when was the last time you heard someone exclaim, ". . .and he was hung like a MAN!"
I doubt Holly, the resident mare, was the least bit impressed.
Perhaps Rooster, the gelding, took a mild interest.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Fledgling George Washington

I have noticed that it is cherry season in Little Chinatown again, a time when young virgins giggle at the idea of having one of THOSE inside of them (while secretly worrying about what happens to the stem and pit when their cherry is popped).

And it made me think of a time, last year, when I bore witness to drama played out over the most common form of felony--the casual sample. In this case, the 'casual sample' serving size was above the recommended, and comprised of an entire fistful of the luscious red fruit.

On the corner of Broadview and Gerrard is a place I like to call 'The Bazaar'. One can roam the sidewalks browsing through the many commodities available, living or dead, legal or illegal, edible or simply advertised as such. Many merchants patrol their goods along the sidewalk in an effort, I assume, to discourage thieves, as it certainly isn't to provide product knowledge.

(while standing over a basket of little blue crabs wrestling for their lives)
B- How do you cook these little fellas?
A- Dolla four-nine.
B- Yes, but how do you cook them?
A- (begins to package some up)
B- I don't want any--I don't know how to cook them.
A- (holds up a crab for my approval) Good?
B- I don't know--I don't want any. No crab for me.
A- (dumps bag of crabs out and turns back on me, newly-liberated crabs try to hide under other crabs)
B- How do you. . ah, nevermind.

I almost bought one to let loose in my bother and his wife's house as a playmate for the cat, but didn't. His wife is a redhead and I still have too much to live for.

What I'm about to descirbe unfolded like a Hong Kong action movie version of the classic 'David and Goliath' tale.
The casual sampler is A.
Storekeeper is B.
Casual sampler looks like he spent the under aboard Captain Morgan's ship "The Pisstanker".

A- (grabs a HUGE handful of cherries, stems and all, and begins eating them like you would an apple)
B- NO! You--NO! (grabs the forearm of A and begins to pull it away from his mouth)
A- (silent, but bent on eating cherries, continues to struggle, his lips reaching for the fist with the fruit. . .red juice trickles out of his mouth)
B- NO! (something in Chinese--sounds like cursing, or a call for help, but definitely not a song)

Back and forth the fist of cherries goes, and it looks for a moment that the men are too evenly matched for one to win. Cherries are flying everywhere; some half-chewed, some still saleable.

A- (begins to yell) Hey! Hey hey hey!
B- (still cursing, absolutely not lyrics to a song)

In this situation, and if I were B, I would have let the vagabond's forearm go, as his fist would have likely catapulted the cherries into his own face. B, however, had different plans: wrestle it out. Good on him!

They jerked the fist of cherries back and forth until there was but one left in A's hand, which A managed to pop in his mouth. The shopkeeper looked very upset, and his mood wasn't helped by the gloating laugh of the nere-do-well. Johnny No-Good pushed his luck when, in response to the shopkeeper's scolding (part in English, part in Chinese, mostly just finger-waving) was to spit the ill-gotten fruit pit in the face of his critic. The pit bounced neatly off the proprietor's forehead.

A- (loud, for the crowd) I don't know what yer sayin', but I ain't done nothin' wrong.
(the irony literally staining the plaque on his teeth blood red)
B- (for himself, kicked the man in his left shin)

Neighbours and friends descended on the scene to add distance between the two men, both very very angry and ready to rumble. As a final act of defiance the hobo grabbed an orange off the stand and bit into it. . . then spat it out, realising that an orange demands more commitment than cherries, and will only yield its fruit if peeled.

Just another day at the market.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

"There's a Brown-Sheared Choda Finch at the feeder!"

In the small town I called home for so many years of my life (and still harbour great affection for) eccentrics were the norm, not the exception. Everyone has something about them that, in this fine city, would cause people to cross the street to avoid contact (or, at the very least, wish that they had). People wore cowboy hats in church, or kept Christmas lights on their house until August, or got drunk and shot the neighbour's Christmas lights off their house with a rifle, or got drunk got naked put a paper bag on their head and tormented their ex-girlfriend.

I am especially fond of that last one: got drunk got naked put a paper bag on their head and tormented their ex-girlfriend. I mean, where else can something like that happen and have it seem more hilarious than frightening?

A jilted ex-lover, drunk and missing his former squeeze, one night decided that the best way to recapture that "lovin' feeling" was to pay her a visit 'in cognito'. Lacking any real skill for disguise, and being more drunk than clever, the fellow reasoned that the materials at hand were enough to satisfy his need.
The materials happened to include all of one item: a single brown paper bag, slightly used.

Hoping, in his drunken haze, that just seeing him again might feed a flickering flame back to a fiery passion he put his best attribute forward and left the house without his pants.
Or shirt.
Or socks. . .actually, he may have had socks on--the paper didn't say.

Arriving at his ex's house he crept about in the bushes, bag on head, hoping against all hope that he might escape discovery and catch a glimpse of her, oh--I don't know, climbing out of the shower NAKED. Washing the dishes NAKED. Maybe running the vacuum over the mud room rug NAKED. Sighing deeply the whole while, wishing that some sweaty middle-aged man with 18 fingers of rye down might come and exorcise the boredom of her world with his member.

There are no accounts of how long it took her to notice the man wearing the bag mask and stomping about her geraniums with his dingly-do swinging about between his legs like some half-dead monkey clinging to a tree in a hurricane, but my guess is "not long".
Which was surprising, considering that he had taken great pains at discretion.

Ideally, when he saw her picking up the phone, it was to call him, and he wouldn't be home; that would cause desire in her, perhaps even a bit of jealously--"Out having fun with another woman!"--and just when her evening couldn't get any worse, Ding Dong! and there he'd be!

So when the police arrived, he pretended that he was just out for some fresh air.

And when the police asked him why he had no clothing on, and was wearing a paper bag where most men in town wear John Deere hats, he plead ignorance. The paper didn't say if he attempted to affect the "Who. . .wha. . .where am I? What's happening?" but if he's anything like me in a pinch, then the paper would have been wasting ink--the weather column doesn't print that the sky will be blue when you wake up tomorrow, with a 30% chance of rain; you already know.

"Yes, officer? Can I help you?"

That would have been a smooth line, too.

The paper also neglected to note whether he was photographed by police with or without clothing, and bag on or bag off. It would have been interesting collecting his personal belongs before admitting him to the holding cell: "One brown bag w/ eye holes". I'd love to find that outside my house one morning.

Thinking about the story now, it reminds me of that joke about 'sealing the deal' on a date with someone who was so ugly that they needed to wear a bag on their head to make love. He was, according to witnesses, a double bagger.