Archive for November 4, 2013




4 November 2013

Chuck Senior, with his dog Sandy, were at their usual corner.

“How was your weekend, Chuck?

“It was good and it was terrible. I was lucky enough to go to two Senators’ games, but we lost them both. It was pure incompetence, plain and simple. They wouldn’t shoot the puck. That Spezza shouldn’t be Captain, he doesn’t have the balls for it. He scored one goal, from two feet away, into an open net. If he’d missed that one they would have thrown him off the team. The fans would probably have run him out of town.”

“How has Sandy been doing?” I bent down to where she was wrapped in her blanket. She licked my nose.

“She’s doing alright, still recovering from her last operation. She can run, but usually she just lifts her rear leg and gets around on her other three.”

“What kind of operation did she have?”

“It was a genetic thing. Her patella was displaced. It’s sometimes called a ‘trick knee’ or patellar luxation. Pomeranians, dachshunds and other miniature breeds get this a lot . I’ve spent over two thousand dollars on her this year. That’s why I’m out here. That and to pay my heat and hydro. She’s all I got. I don’t smoke, drink, take drugs. It’s just me and her. I’d be awfully lonely without her.

“She also had problems with her teeth.  That’s genetic too. The anaesthetic cost a hundred dollars and that was administered by an assistant. That’s robbery if you ask me. The first time they took out four and cleaned the rest.  The next time they took out thirteen.”

I asked, “Have you thought about health insurance for her?”

“I’ve thought about it. The way insurance companies make money is if you never make a claim. For something genetic like this they wouldn’t cover her.”

“How old is she?”

“Seven. If I’m lucky I’ll have her for another seven to nine years. I don’t expect to be around much longer than that.”

A police van stopped at the corner.

“He’s probably going to ask me to move along.”

An officer got out of the van and walked down the street. He didn’t look at Chuck.

I asked, “Do they usually give you a hard time?”

“There are good ones and bad ones. I never cause any trouble. I don’t ask for money. Usually, they leave me alone.

“There’s this one cop, Rogan, he’s a bad one.  A friend of mine, Henri, used to pan in the next block. He’s dead now. Rogan  came up  and clubbed him. No warning, no nothing;  just clubbed him as he sat on the sidewalk.

“There was another panhandler, who’d made a bit of money, walked into a restaurant and ordered a meal. Rogan came in, dumped his meal into the trash and said, ‘You don’t belong here. Go down to the Mission and eat with the rest of the scum.’

“There were two other guys, he saw in a bar, having a couple of beers. He dumped their drinks, hauled them outside and beat the shit out of them.”

I said, “I have t go to work now, Chuck. Take care.”