Archive for April 17, 2015




17 April 2015

“Chuck, I see the rain has held off.”

“I took Goldie out last night, I didn’t smell any rain in the air. There were a few clouds, but I knew today would be clear.

“Earlier, a woman was waiting for the walk light. a bicycle came around the corner and ran over her toe. The woman screamed. The bike rider shouted, ‘You shouldn’t be standing so close to the corner.’ They think they own the streets.

“I’ve got a joke for you, somebody just told it to me, “There were three people in a British train compartment, a Canadian soldier, a British soldier and a woman with a dog. The dog kept yapping and making a general nuisance of itself. The Canadian said to the woman, ‘Lady, if you don’t control that dog, I’d going to throw it out the window.’ The dog kept barking, the woman did nothing to try to settle it down. The soldier grabbed the dog and threw it out the window. The Brit said, ‘You damned Canucks are always screwing things up. You threw the wrong bitch out the window.’

“The government announced that they were increasing the Public Housing allowance by twenty-five cents per month. The housing complex gets twenty cents, the government charges three cents tax, I’m left with two cents.

“I can remember back when things were really desperate for me. I owed money on income tax and I just couldn’t pay it. This was back in the days when you could actually talk to a government employee. Anyway, I went to Revenue Canada, waited in line for my turn, then told the guy, ‘I owe a certain amount on my income tax and I can’t pay it. I’m never going to be able to pay it. I don’t earn enough to pay it. He made some arrangements and I was able to spread it over the year. Now, I’m making more money, but I’m charged less income tax. The rich get richer the poor get poorer.

“This is going a way back, Zsa Zsa Gabor, remember her? She was at a party in the penthouse of  some movie actor or producer. There are a lot of desperately poor people on the streets of Rio.  Anyway, these rich people thought it would be fun to throw food off the balcony. Then they started throwing hundred-dollar bills. In the rioting and confusion down below some people were trampled and killed.

I said, “I notice that a lot of people are wearing Senators jerseys. Is there a hockey game tonight?”

“Yeah, it’s in Montreal. I hope when that god damned Subban comes on the ice and circles around before the game that someone reaches out with a stick and smashes him. Did you see that on TV.  ‘There was a threat made before, by Subban (76) to Stone (61), there were two attempts — on faceoffs — to slash him, one connected and then he two-handed him in the wrist in front of the net.’ Now the guy has a fractured wrist and may not be able to finish the playoffs. Subban got the maximum penalty and was ejected from the game, but he should have got a lot more, he should have been suspended for the season.

I said, “I’m surprised that you aren’t wearing your Senators cap and jersey.”

“I wasn’t very well-organized last night. Ordinarily I would have had them packed in my bag so I could change when I got here.”

I asked, “Do you find that when you wear your Senators colors that you get more donations?”

“I don’t know. That’s not the reason I wear them. I have a Support Our Troops cap, because I have a lot of respect for those guys, but I would never wear it for panhandling.”

“Take care, Chuck, I’ll see you Monday.”

At noon I met Magdalene. “Dennis, I’m so glad to see you. It must be three months since I saw you last. How have you been?”

“I’ve been fine. I’m looking for Joy and Jacques. Ghyslain, mentioned that they might be near the Bank, but I couldn’t see anybody there.”

Magdalene said, “I haven’t seen many people. My friend Ryan is across the street. Have you met him?”

“Yes, I think I met him with you last year. Have you heard any news about any of our friends?”

“I guess you heard about the death of my husband, Ambrose. I can’t talk about it. Every time I do I start crying. I really loved him.”

I asked, “How have you been?”

“Oh, you know, I do what I have to do to stay alive.”

Further down the sidewalk I stopped to talk with Leah. “Where are you from?” I asked.

“I was born in Coral Harbour (a small Inuit community that is located on Southampton Island, Kivalliq Region, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut). Then we moved to Winnipeg. That’s a tough city. Then we came here.”

I said, “You mentioned ‘we’. Do you have family here?”

“Just my father. I’ve made some friends. It’s really important to have friends. There’s a big black guy with a dog, near the market he’s a rapist. I’m just trying to keep out of his way.

“I was panning across the street, when this guy came along and said it was his spot. How can it be his spot. It’s a city sidewalk.”

I said, “That was Ghyslain, he’s been around for a long time. He’s originally from Rimouski. Joy had that spot for about fifteen years. Some people get protective. Little Jake pans on the bridge and as far as he’s concerned, it’s his bridge. That’s caused a few fights.”

“I just started doing this. Some friends showed me what to do.”

“I have to go, but take care, Leah. Maybe I’ll see you again.”