Sometimes when I'm riding the streetcar I eavesdrop, or glance over someone's shoulder at what they're reading, or make faces at babies.
Sometimes I downplay character traits that I think people will find undesirable or creepy, like eavesdropping, glancing over people's shoulders, and making faces at babies.
So I was 'glancing' at something this late-twenty-something Asian girl was reading the other day on the streetcar. She was conservatively-dressed and wore glasses, which made me automatically think that what she was reading was likely engineering notes from school or something; but this was not the case.
Scribbled out on one sheet of lined steno paper were the following nuggets of knowledge:
"Children are watching too much television today and it is making them stupid and violent. We need to control television to control violence."
"There is so much war in the world today that life is barely worth living."
"Food in the grocery store is covered in germs."
"Be careful who you trust. Not everyone wants the best for you. Some people will take advantage of you."
"People should be told what to do. If we are told what to do, then everything will be ok."
Life's a real bowl of cherries to her, ain't it?
Regrettably my study of 'her words to live' by was cut short when she noticed that I was glancing at her paper. I felt like telling her that it wasn't my fault, that television was to blame, but she had folded up her paper and moved away from me by the time I thought of my clever line.
The more I thought about the adages on her paper, the more I thought, "Maybe I should make up my own 'words of power' to read on the streetcar!!" So I did:
"People are watching too much 'Train 48' and it is making them stupid and causing them to have unrealistic hopes for their own transit experience. We need to derail the train and park it in the roundhouse next to Mike Bullard."
"There is so much Bubble Tea available on Yonge St. that no one can make a living."
"Food in the Dominion grocery store is over-priced."
"Be careful when picking up newspapers left on the streetcar. Someone may have used it as a tissue. It happens."
"People get off the streetcar through the front doors should be told to go to hell."
My list isn't nearly as interesting as hers.
In fact, to be perfectly honest, I prefer her's over mine. It has more. . .spunk.
I think that they'd make perfect fortunes for fortune cookies. Very right wing, Communist manifesto-cum-Oprah fear-mongering fortunes, but pefect nevertheless for today's world!