Friday, December 31, 2004

Right makes Right.

I was cruisin' with my finest beeatch the other afternoon in Bam-Bam (The Smart), and while we were stopped at the lights on Front at Church, this ratty mini-van beside us, and one carlength ahead, pops his vehicle in reverse and backs up even with us.

Down goes our window, as we're used to the celebrity our Smart attracts, and get ready to answer any questions they may have about safety, or speed, or roominess--the usual.

A- "Is that a Benz?"
B- "Yes it is!"
A- (to the back seat)"See! Fuck you! I told you that it was Benz!"
Clearly he and his kids had disagreed about the lineage of The Smart.

Without any gratitude, the mini-van rolled forward one car length and waited for the green.
The driver did have what appeared to be a modestly smug, self-righteous look on his face. Though objects in mirror could be smugger than they appear.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Worst. TB. Ever.

One of my dearest old chums and I decided to do some Christmas shopping together.

I was early, rummaging around the documentary DVDs at Sunrise, when my cell phone rang. It was him. He was late. His College Streetcar was not moving.
What was going on?
He didn't know; the streetcar in front of him was standing still as well.
Was there an accident?
Didn't seem to be.

I waited.

Forty-five minutes later, he turns up with this big grin, bursting at the seams to tell me just what had taken so long.
Apparently, just after we spoke, everyone from Streetcar 1 filed off and piled on to his streetcar (#2). They were followed by a public health worker dolled out in some protective clothing and a face mask.

A- "Alright. Who was on the first streetcar there, raise your hands."
A general show of hands.
A- "Alright. And who was on this streetcar, raise your hands."
Another general show of hands.
A- "Okay. Anyone who wants to be tested, follow me."

His cavalier attitude did not go very well with his protective clothing.
People began to ask, quite loudly, just what the hell they might be tested for.
A- "Now, now, now--I can't tell you anything but that people on the first streetcar may have been exposed to a communicable disease. If you want a test, come with me. Going once. Going twice." (a casual look around) "Gone!"
And just like Kaiser Soseh, the public health worker was gone.
His ominous message connected with a few people, who began to file off the streetcar, and on to the Toronto Health Winnebago for their tests.

After a few minutes, Streetcar 1 patients began to climb back on to Streetcar 2, as Streetcar 1 was being thoroughly examined by several members of the public health squad. My buddy noticed someone he knew, and wanted to get to the bottom of what had happened.
C- "What the hell was going on in your streetcar?"
D- "There was this homeless dude at the back, and he was coughing and coughing, in mean, hacking all over the place. Then he finally gets enough breath to say, 'This is the worst TB I've ever had!!'"

Lovely. What a perfect statement.
My life experience only allows me to make such sweeping condemnations as:
This is the worst hamburger I've ever had!
This is the worst Pauly Shore movie my roommate owns!
This is the worst wurst at Kitchener-Waterloo's Oktoberfest EVER!

Nothing there, aside from the Pauly Shore movies, would strike a chord of fear in anyone. Not like the qualitative statement our dear, under-the-weather homeless gent is able to make regarding his "TB".

Apparently, after the subjective assessment of his own condition, a worried fellow-communter ran up to the driver, reported that someone at the back had TB, which set off a chain-reaction. Driver to control: TB present.
Control to Public Health: TB present. Public Health to Control: TB is bad. Control to Driver: TB is bad. Driver to himself: coffee break!

The cherry on top of all this hub-bub is that, in the stampede from Streetcar 1 to Streetcar 2, the suspected TB case buggered off! This is the best time to get the hell out of Dodge!

It is nice to see how much fellow Torontonians care about each other.
If I ever come down with some dangerous infection, I hope that my fellow citizens allow me to run off to a corner and die in peace. I also hope that my eulogy takes a page from the Public Health's crowd control manual:

He may have led a noble life, and could be fondly remembered by his friends and family. Going once. Going twice. . .

Saturday, December 18, 2004

One tough BITCH.

I had a ward named Ali.
She was a loving and intelligent Jack Russell terrier that loved, as the package had forewarned me, "Love my Liver Bits" from a pet boutique on the Danforth.
Sadly, I had to surrender her to the Toronto Humane Society because life as my dog, though luxurious in treats, is want for adequate together time.
But before we went our separate ways, Ali, my fiance, and I had an exchange with an old woman who no doubt drown her children in the bath basin; in their stead, she now rolls a Pekinese with a goiter around in a child's pram, while a much perkier version of the same races about leashless.
The goiter dog is pathetic. It's goiter rivals the dog's snout in length, and it's owner's demeanor in awfulness. Funnily enough, the dog is the same colour as iodine. The Pekinese on the loose is entirely useless, ripe with an eager curiosity Ali, on this particular night, attempted to cure her of.

Ali was attacked by a Pit Bull during her time on the street, which has left an indelible mark on her. She loathes other dogs (apart from my parent's toy poodle, a dandy named Kelsey, whom she adores--though he could never love her back, for his heart belongs to a lifelike monkey puppet he enjoys sinful entry with in our laundry room in Lucan). You can imagine where I'm going with a story who's principle players are a dog that hates other dogs, a dog which is not on a leash, and an old lady you already know me to hate.

So Ali is biting this freewheelin' Pekinese on the face, and my fiance is telling the old hag "My dog is not friendly!" (no kidding) Ali is literally, as Erika describes it, chopping on the Pekinese's face; the Pekinese is pulling one of those, "Sorry? Come again? Jeez, that hurts!". The old lady shows surprising pluck, and says "Your dog is a bitch!"

To which I exclaim:

B- "Excuse me? Did you just call my dog a name?"
A- "Well, she's a female, isn't she?"
B- "Oh! Come! On! We're not swearing behind mom's back right now! A female dog's a "bitch", a "bastard" is the son of an unwed mother, and "fuck" is seal in French; but trust me: rarely do I use them in their intended context! You called her a name! That's ridiculous!! That's pathetic!"

She began to walk away, muttering to herself, sickly dog before her, wounded dog behind.

B- "Come on now! Shame! On! You! How old are you--calling a dog names!! You should be ashamed of yourself! Shame! Shame! I hope everyone in the neighbourhood heard how shameful you behaved! Calling a poor, defenseless dog names!"
E- "It's illegal to have your dog off of a leash! (to Ali) Good for you! You bit that dog very well! Good girl!"

I continued to question the old lady's nobility, language skills, and general character loudly until my lungs were empty. It felt so good to feel so right! I mean, who calls someone else's pet a name simply out of malice?

I don't go over to my brother and sister-in-law's house and say, "You stupid fucking goldfish. Swimming in your own piss like a bunch of fucking idiots!" I don't.

And if I did, and I was caught maligning the fish for no reason, I certainly wouldn't say, "What? They're not 'Ryukin Goldfish'? I thought they were."

Out Smart-ed!

I am now part of the elite "Smart Nation".

I may travel safely at highway speeds, can fit two fifty litre kegs and two twelve pack suitcases of Steam Whistle Pilsner in the rear area, and love to drive it.

I feel extremely safe cocooned amidst four airbags and an F-1 racing-type tubular steel body.

Having said that, I will no doubt say it again and again and again over the course of my relationship with Bam-Bam, my beloved Smart Cabriolet.
I will, however, caution folks who are skeptical of Bam-Bam's ability to protect me (either by way of his several special braking systems and tubular steel, or by rolling over those who mock and defy us like a turbo-charged dwarf elephant). The last man who defamed Bam-Bam designed his own moronic fate.

Near the Summerhill LCBO Bam-Bam and I were placidly waiting for the light to change. A voice from above us spat ill-informed remark after ill-informed remark until I finally had to put the roof down, look way up, and answer his malevolent stupidity with a firm rebuke.

A- (calling from the seat of his large flatbed towtruck)"I wouldn't want to get in an accident with that!! No sir!"
B- "Do you know what safety systems I have to protect me?"
A- "I hope it's a coffin, because you're going to need it if you get hit in that."
B- "Have you ever seen race cars get in accidents? You know that little steel cage that the drivers step out of and wave to the crowd? That's basically what this car is."
A- "I still wouldn't want to get in an accident with that. I need to be nice and high; that's where I'm safe."

It was at this point the light turned green, and I began to roll away. I was just going to call back something to the effect that he would likely never get into an accident driving a Smart, seeing as he would likely never drive a Smart, therefore removing most of the risk of getting into an accident with one. . .when he got in an accident.
Seeing me move made him assume that he could move, which he did--right into the back of the car in front of him. Being so high off the road, I suppose he didn't see the four door sedan his huge towtruck kissed gently.
I didn't have time to chime out "I wouldn't want to get in an accident because I wasn't paying attention, Monkey-Fucker!", which was too bad. It just goes to show that, in a city like Toronto, poetic justice is always stalking you, waiting to punctuate your each and every move with a humbling irony. I love it!

Where I'm from, humbling irony was only ever presented for the amusement of lowing cattle in an ajacent field, making it much easier for one's character to weather.

This man's great misfortune is that he may tow his mistake back to his place of work for his co-workers to enjoy (all at his expense). Talk about hoisting one's own petard! Indeed!

Mr. Blackwell's 'Learning Annex' Graduate

I recently was confronted in an Port Credit LCBO by a woman who sported eyes which looked like two pissholes made in the snow by someone with a bladder infection. I was sampling of our fine Pilsner, decked out to the nines in one of my favorite Western shirts: black, with red desert roses across the shoulders, and fine pearlette dome buttons.

Her eyes were not the only giveaways that she was completely deranged. Her dog, for example, was a very petite mutt, yet she carried a poop scoop the size of a Javex jug. It made me wish for the dog to shit in order to satisfy a morbid curiosity welling up inside. To justify the size of the scoop, the mutt would clearly have to pass a turd the size and shape of a pop can. To do this, it would surely dislocate its hips.
She also, very early in our relationship, told me that:

A- "Honey, that shirt is not workin' for you! It's not! You look like some fuckin' Mar-bor-low Man, or somthin'! Take it off and throw (snap fingers) it (snap fingers) out (snap fingers)!!"
B- "Gosh. I really, really like it, though."
A- "Then you got no taste!"

Then she bolted away, sample in tow, only to single out some poor thirty-something suburbanite in line at the cash and say:

A- "Murray!! You fucking cocksucker! You're dead when we get outside! No one fucks with me like that!!"

The man later made an appeal to leave by the rear door, which fell on deaf ears. Obviously only he had taken the threat seriously. It may have been that she pointed at him with a poop scoop that made the rest of us doubt her conviction.

As she left, clutching a can of Maxiumum Ice, she showed me a pen and said:

A- "Par-lee-ment of Canada! This was Paul Martin's pen, and he gave it to me!"

Again, she lacked credibility in my eyes.

More clever than I thought, she went home (I'm only guessing) and changed clothing. Her new fashion choice far-and-away outdid her earlier drabs--a brilliant red dress of polyester, with a plunging neckline which began at her shoulders and ended, mercifully, just prior to her vagina. She had accessorised with a fat red stretchy belt. It wasn't very becoming; but that's coming from a man who himself has been accused of lacking in fashion sense.
Her strategy was to pretend that we were meeting for the first time. To say 'strategy' is giving her the benefit of guile, which could be flattering this specimen. She very well may have been meeting me for the first time, again.
I gave her a sample, and this time, whether it was the result of the red dress I don't know, she was the absolute picture of feminine grace. Save for the dress.

She left again, this time armed with a can of Yankee Jim.

Who would have thunk that a Port Credit Friday night would have so much character?