English: Ryan Hobson joins Michael Ignatieff f...

English: Ryan Hobson joins Michael Ignatieff for food bank photo op. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the park, I sat between Little Jake and Joy. I asked Joy, “How are you feeling today? Sick? Sore? Tired?”

“All of the above. Jake is coming over tonight.”

“How do you feel about that?”

“Okay, I guess. He came over Monday. He’s quit drinking. He’s in a wheel chair.”

“Did you beat  the shit out of him?”

“No, maybe that will come tonight.”

“He phoned this morning, on Jacques’ phone. He asked to come over. I said, ‘I’m cooking chicken, will that be alright?’ What a stupid cow. I shouldn’t be feeding him after what he did to me.”

“I hope it goes okay.”

“I hope so too. This morning I got on the bus, put in my ticket, walked to the back and sat down. The driver yelled, ‘Hey lady!’ I didn’t know who he was talking to. ‘You, lady with the blue back pack, would you come to the front please?’ I look to see what color my back pack is — blue. So I walk to the front. He asked, ‘What’s in the bottle that you’re drinking?’ I said, ‘It’s bubble tea with ginger ale. You know, bubble tea? Usually it’s made with tea and sparkling water, but I use ginger ale.’ He said, ‘Okay, you can sit down.’

Little Jake said, “Didn’t he ask to smell it? The cops always ask to smell my bottle.”

“No, bus drivers don’t do that. They wouldn’t want their nose anywhere near my bottle.”

Jake said, “I’ll have to remember that one.”

Mariah  said, “I went to the Food Bank today. I could only get a few things. They allowed me three cans: one of vegetables, one stew and one tuna. They also gave me a tiny plastic container of margarine and a few other items.”

“What kind of stew did you get? Is it the one that tastes like dog food — Gravy Train?”

“Yeah, that’s the one.”

“Which Food Bank did you go to, Gatineau or Marier Street?

“I never go to Gatineau. It means I’d have to get there three hours before they open, even then there’s  a line up. By the time I get in, there’s hardly anything left.”

“Didn’t you get any meat or eggs?”

“When I had kids, they used to give me meat and eggs, but not as a single.”

Matches asked, “Mariah, would you help me to get my groceries some day.”

“I can’t do it Friday, but maybe Saturday.”

“Saturday is fine. The doctor has me on a special diet.”

“Dennis, ” said Matches, “you know me?”

‘Yes, I know you.”

“I know when it’s coming and I know when it’s going — right?”

“That’s right Matches, you’re The Man.”

  1. jagworks says:

    One of the easiest ways to help and feel involved, even when isolated as we are here. Thanks for this. Jullian


  2. toad (chris jensen) says:

    What no park today, or am I missing something?

    I don’t us the food banks I find almost everything I need. What find at the food banks with the staff and management It’s like they bought the food them selves when it donated at most food banks.


    • dcardiff says:

      From what I heard today, they seem almost pointless. To wait in line three hours for a handful of cans, they’d do better panhandling.



  3. Do you have a better idea than pan-handling? do they ever try to sell art or…I know this sounds stupid. I just feel like pan-handling must be denigrating at some point.


  4. Bus driver needs a slap;)


  5. Food banks: yuck. Not worth it.


  6. gingamusings says:

    You are and inspiration. Stories like these need to be told more often.

    Thank you.


  7. I live an a small town on the Southern Oregon coast (Gold Beach) so you are giving me a view into a world I know nothing about. Thank you for bringing out these reports! Cheers! Tomas


    • dcardiff says:

      I grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the middle of the Canadian prairie. I didn’t see obvious panhandling or homelessness until I visited, Toronto, Vancouver and New York.

      I’m sure there was a lot going on in my home town that I wasn’t aware of.



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