There are many traditional signs of spring, iconized by the media, that amount to little more than a hill of buttons to the poor bastard standing in 10 centimeters of mid-May snow wearing capris and Birkenstocks all because he placed blind faith in some hayseed albino woodchuck that didn't see his shadow.
Similarly, the amazed gardener will simply mutter, in a soft, mournful tone while standing over her annuals, "I don't understand--I saw Mr. Robin Redbreast--I don't understand."
What is there to be said? Bad things happen to dumb people.
But to the capri-wearing gents and frustrated green thumbs I announce: Spring has sprung!
How do I know?
"Did he see butterflies fluttering, frogs jumping, worms squirming, or ferns. . .ferning!?!" the ladies at the Bridge Club ask.
My dear friend The Armchair Garbageman would no doubt kindly suggest that, this Friday, the sight of common folks hitting the streets at 2pm to clean up garbage for twenty minutes is a sure sign that spring is upon us.
All are adequate, but rather pedestrian and "commercial", examples of spring; mine is much sexier!
The Snowflake Maker has shaved his beard.
(the tale of how I met The Snowflake Maker begs to be highlighted in an entry of its own, but suffice it to say, he holds a very special spot in my heart)
And since my spotting of the freshly shorn Snowflake Maker is what I consider a bona fide, bankable sign that spring is here to stay, I would kindly ask that you, the reader, assume even more responsibility for your city, and do as my dearest friend The Snowflake Maker does: randomly Windex the street.
On my way to work I spotted my friend nervously petting one of his many LCBO bags. The bag was large and round, and he was stroking it tenderly, as only an actor on Canadian television drama playing "pregnant" does.
The smile on his face, and his lingering hand, was somewhat suggestive of a pedophilic urge; however, it may be unfair to suggest that if he was pregnant his stroking was pedophilic, as there has been little progress on who is ultimately correct in the "Right to Life/Right to Choice" disagreement.
No matter the mania, he looked like he was having a hell of a morning.
And so was I.
I'm always delighted to see him.
I was also delighted when he pulled a large yellow hard hat out of his bulging bag, followed by a brand spanking new bottle of Windex!! Experience has taught me that in situations where this individual is concerned, the addition of two seemingly ordinary items can create magic.
Windex bottle in hand, he approached the curb like he was trying to sneak up on it. Studying his street canvas with the shrewd eye of an artist, he pointed his bottle and squirt squirted a spot on the ground. He continued on further down the street, eyes still fixed on the parking lane of Broadview, then squirt squirted again!
My heart cried, "Marvelous!".
What discerned the filthy spots from the clean was based on criteria known to him alone; in my opinion, I would eat dinner off of a slaughterhouse floor before I'd dine on the asphalt of Broadview. It could RAIN Windex and I'd still tippy-toe on some parts! But he had guidelines, and he was passionately sticking to them.
Right in the middle of his superclean, a van tried to pull away from it's parking spot; unfortunately it happened to be sandwiched between two very dirty bits of real estate.
The Snowflake Man squirt squirted at the nose of the van, then scrambled to the rear and squirt squirted a bit there. Back and forth he scurried, and the van rolled to and fro, the driver desperate to escape. It was like a game of monkey in the middle if you replaced the ball for Ammonia.
I was in heaven.
It was my own private Wimbleton!
The van finally escaped and sped away. The Snowflake Man wandered off in the opposite direction, squirt squirting as he walked, until he faded into the horizon.
The first thing that sprang to my mind was the City of Kitchener's slogan, emblazoned on each litter can:
Keep Kitchener Clean as a Kitchen!
Keep Toronto Clean as a Bathroom!
to honour the effort that is already underway in our fine city's streets.
And I happen to have friends in high places that know about garbage in this city.