Spotted from our balcony:
Posts Tagged ‘ drunk ’
Spotted from our balcony:
Okay, so I just made up a word for the title. I think, dear reader, you will find it quite apt toward the end of this series as we get down and gritty with Kensington Market, the motherless whore of Babylon. Alright, maybe not that bad, but still pretty gritty, at least for Toronto.
Before I start, and in case you’re wondering, I keep making these in series simply because I end up with a molehilly mountain of photos that I can’t deliver all in one go (a further bunch sits unused in my “keepers” folder). I would not subject you to a twenty megabyte download, dear reader. That’s rude. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, let me just say I’m concerned about not abusing your hard-earned time. Especially not with lengthy and, ultimately, completely unnecessary spiels about how I wouldn’t abuse your time. I mean, wouldn’t I be wasting your time by alerting you, in a wastefully lengthy manner, to the fact that I’m trying not to waste your time? Aren’t I doing that right now through the use of excessively wordy questions? And any apology I could offer would now be adding insult to injury because I’m just stretching it out even more? And why am I still going on knowing all of this?
Recursive introspection, it’s not just for breakfast anymore. :D
But the trip to the market did have a bit of a serious note to it though. At least for a little while.
Of course, if you see something like this on the street, it is incumbent on you to stop and gape. So I did.
Dead? Mugged? No, just plain old alkeehol. One reclining woman and one reposed man doing his thing on the warm vent grate. The thing being him being passed out.
Momentarily, a somewhat dishevelled gentleman propped himself up against the wall I was against. He pulled his open coat behind his back with his right hand, his left making a boozily odd angle with the wall, and he leaned in slowly saying, “that’s my woman over there.” “Oh, yeah?”, I replied, partially expecting him to commence the pummeling he was holding at the ready back there for the offense I had just committed (I don’t think the details matter that much when you’re drunk).
Instead, he continued, “yeah, I can’t go over there cuz I’m drunk.” Well now there’s a pickle, isn’t it? What does one do with a statement like that? “Oh yeah?”, I replied.
“Yeah, I’m drunk, and that’s my woman. I can’t go over there right now. Oh shit, they’re not taking her?”
I guess he’d been expecting the emergency crew to gurney her up along with the snoozing dude and get her to a warm place, but she made that one classic mistake that all amateur streetfolk do: sitting up making slurringly idle chatter with the paramedics. Not really an emergency at that point, so no hospital bed.
“Well, at least she’s alright”, I tried to console him. “That’s my woman over there”, he insisted. “Right, I got that”, I nodded back.
The conversation didn’t pick up much after that. But, thankfully, the ambulance packed up and left, so the man was free to lumber back across the street to his woman where, I’m sure, he reminded her that she was his woman. Probably also informed her that he was drunk.
That was my cue and I double-timed it toward Chinatown (and Kensington Market).
Chinatown is also gritty. And I don’t mean the trash, that’s kinda normal. You have the trash, the grimy streets, the graffiti; even the most illustrious establishments are tagged up like it’s going outta style.
Oh but please don’t let me mislead you, dear reader, I think gritty’s great. I may not be able to read MC Snuhrb’s tag on yonder wall, but it certainly adds to the ambiance. The ramshackle nature of the whole area makes me think that it could all be torn down in a matter of hours and replaced with something of equally wonky construction. So much stuff … so precariously perched. Exciting!
But that’s Chinatown. Let’s see how all those European immigrants do it, shall we? On to the market!
It happened again! When I read the story, I knew something about it sounded really familiar.
And it was.
Basically, some old guy in Barrie decided to clean the busy street in front of his house using his snow blower. In the middle of the afternoon commute. Inebriated. Police had to arrest him for his own protection. Oh the podunkery.
Similar to the earlier incident in Keswick where a fellow was caught riding his mower all over the road, also pickled. Also hilarious.
Keswick is north-east of Toronto, Barrie north-west. Both are picturesque and both have that sex-with-the-cousin-behind-the-barn kinda feel to them.
I’ll grant that Barrie is a large city so that’s a broad generalization, and it’s increasingly common for people to commute to Toronto from there. Citytv’s Kevin Frankish makes the drive every day although with his crazy TV hours he probably doesn’t get to experience the nightmare that is the 400 commute. I mean, if the 401 is hell on four wheels then I figure the 400 has to be at least at the nightmarish level, no? The Toronto Star clocked the average speed on Toronto highways at 42 kilometres (26 miles) per hour. The speed limit is 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour.
If the road was running at 100% capacity — as envisioned back in the early fifties when everyone had one and a half grotesque kids (the half would have to be, wouldn’t they?), a sparkly new highway stretched out to the future just behind your back yard, and dad smoked a pipe — everyone should still be able to drive at the limit, albeit surrounded by their neighbours. However, because of the marvellous correlation to percentages, we can easily see that the highways of today are running at 158% capacity (every kilometre in speed lost is a percent in capacity gained). At 200%, the commute will cease to be.
That’s kind of the funny thing about all those people who complain about how unfair life is for them as drivers; they have a lot of compelling points, I won’t take that away from them, but who cares? It’s obviously untenable and not getting any better. Doesn’t matter what I say about it. Doesn’t matter what they say about it. You either start preparing for some Mad Max action or you take alternative measures. Now I, personally, prefer to walk. But if there’s going to be some awesome rolling carnage along the Don Valley Parkway, I’d be down with that too. As a spectator.
Oh, and speaking of really familiar (skilfully referring back to the top), do you remember the five-cent plastic bag fee that started back in June? Seems like a lot of people missed the news – I still hear it being called a tax. Nothing could be further from the truth, dear reader! It is a fee, put into place by the city, but collected – and used – by the retailers. Not a penny goes to the city; the shop owners are supposed to decide what to do with all those pretty shiny nickels.
This wasn’t as a result of an outcry from shopkeepers who were losing money on bags, it was put in by City Hall to try to cut down their overall use (and disposal). And that part has worked pretty well. But lots of people questioned why the city wasn’t collecting that money (or at least a part of it). They’re doing it in Washington DC, and it seems to be working well for them. Telling a businessman that he can put up a bunch of new swings around the corner with the money he’s collected is kind of like telling a monkey he could write Shakespeare with a banana. We all know exactly what that businessman is going to do with that banana. No, government must step in and snatch the banana from that spiteful monkey’s hands.
And to back up my assertions, I offer up the cases of Weizhen Tang and Stan Grmovsek. Tang is accused of running a ponzi scheme – take from a new “customer” and give part of that to existing ones, repeat – and Stan got mixed up with a bunch of no-good Bay Street types in an insider trading affair. They corrupted an innocent lawyer!
Who knows what the city could do with that money; new mass transit, better roads, alcohol treatment centres. They could even sponsor the Don Valley Parkway Drive-Till-You-Die competition – how many birds would that stone kill, huh?