Archive for March 7, 2020

They Call Me Red

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5 September 2013

This morning,  as I exited the bus, I was greeted by Metro and Two-four,  “Good morning Dennis!”

Two-four handed me a free newspaper, Metro gave me a Quaker Harvest Crunch granola bar as an advertising promotion. Metro said, “I keep telling him not to run out into the traffic, but does he listen to me? No.”

Two-four said, “Hey, I’ve been doing this all my life. I know better than to get hit by a car.”

Half a block down was a police cruiser. One cop was driving, the other was squatting on the sidewalk talking to him.

In Joy’s usual spot was Francois. “Hi Dennis, have you heard from Joy. She didn’t come down this morning. I talked to her yesterday. She seemed down.”

“She has pneumonia. I tried to convince her to visit her social worker to get her health card. I don’t know how that worked out.  Jake left her with a lot of bills that she doesn’t know how to deal with.”

“Yeah, I heard that too.  See the cop car down there? They told me to move along. I said, ‘Give me ’till nine-thirty.’ The cop said, ‘You got ’til ten, then I’ll be back with a ticket.’ He continued,  “I just came from the court. I won,  they gave me ninety-five dollars in court costs.”

“What were you charged with?”

“Panhandling. The ticket was for a hundred and ninety-five. Those charges are always thrown out.”

I said, “That sounds like a good way to make money.”

“After three tickets they can put you in jail. I think it’s only for a few days.”

I said, “Shakes mentioned being in for a week on a charge of panhandling. They threaten Little Jake, but they never take him in.  They stay away from him.  He’s probably more trouble than he’s worth.

“I don’t see you at the park. Do you go there at all?”

“Oh Yeah, I go there lots, but I don’t like drinking. If a guy has a couple of beers I don’t mind, but after that, they turn into assholes. I’d just as soon stay away from them at that point.

“Do you want a granola bar. I don’t want them.” He nodded to a pile of about a dozen bars beside him. “Take them all if you want.”

I said, “I’ll trade you. Here’s a card from Tim Horton’s. You can buy yourself breakfast. I’ll take the granola bars.”

“Sounds good,” said Francois. “I’m just heading off to take a piss.”

~~~

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