Despite the love, hate, or ambivalence you may feel for the TTC, you have to admit that it manages a pretty big spread over a pretty wide area. Occasionally, the quality of service is going to slip. Sometimes, though, eager young TTC staff take their duties seriously and perform them with a smile and a tip of the hat. It’s a nice change from the cocky smirk and sputum in the eye one usually gets.
For example, my morning commute on the 504 King West was handled by a dapper fellow donning the full Transit Commission regalia. His headwear was not unlike a full police constable hat (did you know they made these?), his uniform was Picardesquely neat and authoritative, and the mirror shades and Gestapo gloves he gesticulated wildly with were the final word on professionalism.
Here’s a wholly inadequate picture that I took:
If you look real close, you can make out the edges of the hat.
Like I said, wholly inadequate. But that doesn’t matter because I didn’t want to single out one specific driver, though you’ll always be in my heart, streetcar number 4187 operator.
What the situation reminded me of were some of the old photos from the Toronto Archives I’d been browsing recently while stealthily dodging work; pseudo-nostalgic images of a gentler time in the TTC’s history when men were men and ulcers were the size of a baby’s head.
Here are some of the tippity-tops from my short list:
On the way home to murder the cheating wife at a Wellesley bus stop, 1957:
Distracted-lesbian guided tour at King subway station, 1957:
Tommy Holmes, TTC conductor and chronic masturbator, 1930s:
Little Oliver Twist with his mum and their parole officer, 1926:
Here I am plunking down $2.75 a trip and the streetcar doesn’t even mow down pedestrians with a cow-catcher anymore. The TTC used to be the better way, now it’s just the adequate way. At least the operator of the 4187 car is making an effort to rekindle the glory days.
Them’s the times, I guess.