Ever since moving to Calgary, where pedestrians are more obedient than seeing-eye dogs, I have established some pretty high expectations from my two-legged friends. No one jaywalks, dashes out from between cars, or even risks crossing the street once the little red hand starts flashing; which is what makes my most recent experience all the more unique.
Trying to take advantage of an advance green, I was forced to stop mid-left turn to accommodate one of Calgary's many hobos as he ambled across the street, against the light, ultimately killing my advantage. I had my window open, and apparently this particular hobo had good ears, because when I thanked him (rather pointedly) he turned his hundred-yard stare in my direction, gave a meek smile, and threw me a wave. As far as I was concerned, this did not makes us "square"; he still owed me an advance. Little did I suspect, we would be fast friends in 2 minutes.
While waiting for a pal to return from the bank, cozied up in a parking spot not far from where I had suffered the loss of my advance green, I saw my new hobo buddy ambling, pretty much at the same rate of speed as before, but this time eating a green pepper whole. Where he got an entire green pepper in 2 minutes is beyond me; however, with his obvious fondness of green things, it should come as no surprise that as soon as he saw my lovely green truck Betty, he made a change in course, and started sauntering in my direction.
This could result in one of two things, as near as I could tell: he had heard my rebuke, and decided to waltz over and give me a knuckle sandwich; or, he just really likes green things, and would try to eat my fender. Neither excited me terribly.
My hobo buddy strolled up to my open window, stuck his filthy mitt in my face, and said:
H- "Put'er here, guy!"
No word of a lie, I've seen abattoirs with hands I would rather touch--in fact, I've seen abattoirs whose hands I would rather lick than shake this dude's paw--but ever the diplomat, I politely obliged. I'm nothing if not polite.
H- (one healthy bite out of the pepper--seeds and all)"That is one hot truck, man."
H- "What is she? A '67?"
B- "Nope. A '68--close, but no pepper. Ha ha ha!"
H- "Say, can I have 35 cents?"
H- "Okay." (another healthy bite of pepper) "Have a good day, eh?"
B- "You too. See ya later!"
I tried to drive the rest of the day using only one hand, not wanting to touch anything with the soiled right hand. This meant that when Nickleback came on the radio, I had to grin and bear it.