Monday, March 29, 2004

Keller Skelter

There is a tortured soul on Yonge Street whose appetite for the spoken word is insatiable.
I say "word" instead of "words" because his appetite is very selective.
Like Fraggles for Doozer buildings.
Or Gargamel for Smurf meat.
Or Oliver North for lying.

Yes, this discerning palate craves but one word, and one word alone: FUCK.
The Grandaddy of all curses, this man must be admired for cutting to the chase. There's no "Holy FUCK!" or "Jesus FUCKing Christ!" or "Mother FUCKer!"--not for this gent! Oh no! He gets straight to the point when he's cursing!

And he's blind.

And his swearing is very, very loud.

Thankfully, his blindness seems to keep him out of trouble, as he more often than not is cursing at a brick wall, or towards traffic (which in Toronto takes very little notice of those on two legs) and not directly at someone. Occasionally his cursing verges on adorable even! Like the day I saw his so gosh-darned tuckered out from screaming his obscenity that he had slumped to the ground, his only support a wall (which had obviously considered the earlier cursing he had given it as 'water under the bridge--noble, those walls!).

Many times I've been tempted to strike up a conversation--a little small fucking talk--but only once have I made a genuine effort. On the approach, ready to say "How the fuck goes it?", a lady in front of me motioned to put some change in his outstretched Starbucks cup. He jerked the cup back towards his breast just as she let go of the change, and coins danced around on the sidewalk like little elves wearing bells around their tree bakery!

B- "Don't touch them!! Leave them on the ground!!"
A- "Let me pick them up for you."
B- "No! Leave them!"

He was agitated. The good Samaritan was scared. I had lost my nerve.
The kind-hearted lady had put my mark in a bad mood, and I didn't figure he'd appreciate a little small fucking talk.

I was surprised at how quickly he pulled the cup back; I mean, another second and he'd be 35 cents richer!
I'm sure that the lady was surprised at how quickly he pulled the cup back; I mean, another second and she'd have done her philanthropy for the week!
He didn't give a fuck.

I wish that people like him would go on Speaker's Corner.
What a ratings boon that would be!

Monday, March 15, 2004

Pot of bold.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
Why, Parkdale has them all!

Recently I had the pleasure, and courage, to stroll through Parkdale late at night. And to my great delight, I saw a midget!

Being part Irish, we folks from the Emerald Isle consider the sighting of a Leprechaun just prior to St. Patrick's Day a good tiding. Leprechauns are as important to the Irish, and our celebration, as the albino groundhog is to the Wiratonian and Punxsutawnian.

I hope folks have no ill will for me as a result of my using the word 'midget'; then drawing a straight line from midget to leprechaun. If it looks like an orange, and smells like an orange, and tastes like an orange, it's likely an orange, right?
I think that the onus is on YOU, the reader, to accept that midgets and leprechauns exists, and are sometimes one and the same.

And anyway, the story hasn't nearly reached its offensive potential.

A local watering hole in Parkdale, The Dufferin Gate (known familiarly as "The Gate"), set the stage for this little drama to be played out. At nearly midnight I observed what looked like an infant with rickets hobble out of 'The Gate' and towards a tiny bike. Seconds later a drunk blonde and her escort fell through "The Gate" entrance and dove at the Leprechaun as he tried to mount his bike.
I listened carefully to see if, in the spirit of tradition, the Leprechaun revealed the location of his pot of gold.
The dizzy blonde had something other than gold coins on her mind--she wanted to say something to him:

A- (unlocking his bike)
B- (grabbing Leprechaun) "Hey!"
A- (balls himself up as if to protect vital organs and roll away)
B- "I've never seen a little person in real life before! Only on teevee!"
A- (clearly flattered by the attention) "Oh. (inaudible)"

The boyfriend now asked his burning question.

C- "Can you double me on your handlebars?"

To his question, the bow-legged Leprechaun sat on his wee bike in silence. I left the scene quickly, not wanting to see something that would pull at my heart-strings and give me guilt-ridden pause at my keyboard when I tried to record the goings-on.

Also, I hated to look at two people who caught a Leprechaun and blew their chance at riches with stupid queries and questions.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Hurricane Executive!

The other day I was at the corner of Bay and Bloor.
I was patiently waiting my turn to use the revolving door at the TD Bank.
The reason I was patient, was my mother always taught me to respect my elders. And one of my elders was at the power position within the revolving door. The door was moving like the hour hand of a clock.
But I was patient, out of respect.
Even though it was cold outside.

Inside, an elevator opened, and out fired a pinstripe bullet. The executive clearly respected no law above the GO Train schedule as he roared toward the revolving door.
Laws that he lay ruin to:
1. Do not run in leather shoes on a polished surface.
2. Do not run in a suit.
3. Do not run if the last time you ran was in Grade 8, because you will look stupid.
4. Respect your elders.

There I was, patiently waiting for the inevitable. The tortoise was about to meet the hare, head on, and there was nothing I could do.
Or, at least, very little.
Aesop never made the story this much fun.

The Suit either didn't see, or didn't care, or didn't care to see, my most revered senior plodding through the revolving door, and powered through the door like it was his job. He was so quick that I am sure my father would describe the event thusly:
"Like shit through a goose!"

It was just that fast.

As I gathered from eavesdropping on my three scientist roommates in university, for every action there is a reaction, which was traditionally related by the example 'lifting Labatt 50 to mouth will lead to Bruce Springsteen on the record player'.

This poor darling, my elder, having been caught in the cross-hares of the suit in sprint, found that she was no longer pushing the door, but the door was pushing her. Most times this would be helpful (ie. i am walking on the sidewalk/the sidewalk is doing the walking for me) but only if you're expecting such kind assistance. The senior, who I am most deferential to, was not expecting the help.
How she stayed on her feet is a wonder, but she did.
I hurried in behind; the door was still spinning like a hurricane, so I didn't have to exert myself. I did, however, have to approach the door like a little girl waiting her turn at double Dutch.
My elder galed at me, "Someone should tell that man he shouldn't do that!"
That 'someone', according to the lady's wagging finger, was apparently me.
I said, "Yes" and carried on my merry way.
I'm a fit enough guy, but he was moving pretty fast.

Let's not forget that I had, like, wasted half my lifetime waiting for her to creep two feet.

Besides that, what part of the expression 'rush hour' had mystified her? Led her to believe that it was the perfect time for her to do some cherry picking? I respectfully ask her to answer me that.