My Week 134: Toronto the Weird

Saturday: Old Man Kicking Pigeons

I was looking for something to write about and checked my phone, where I keep notes. The only thing I’d put in there recently was “Old Man Kicking Pigeons”. I saw this at Dundas Square, a place in central downtown Toronto where strange things happen on a daily basis. The man was about 6 feet tall, wearing a dress shirt, dress pants, and leather shoes. He had white hair and a neatly trimmed white beard. And he was stomping around, Frankenstein-style, with his arms out in front of him, trying to kick the pigeons that were landing on the sidewalk to peck at crumbs and then running out onto the road to flail at them. Now, you might be all like “That’s horrible!”, but don’t worry because downtown pigeons are clever as f*ck, and instinctively can dodge cars, pedestrians, raccoons, and crazy old dudes. But this wasn’t even the weirdest thing that I saw there that day. There was also a woman dressed as Alice In Wonderland, but she had a rabbit face and ears and was standing on a large box. There was a man with a cat that does tricks like dancing on its back legs or jumping onto his shoulders, which, I suppose is pretty tricksy for a cat, considering Raven just gives me the death stare when I say, “Come here”. There are fire-eaters, proselytizers, steel drum musicians, sidewalk chalk artists, and someone wandering around wearing a poo emoji hat for who knows what reason. It’s like the worst circus in the world, but it’s free (unless you volunteer to pay for the ‘free’ Bible/Koran or give someone money for miming how to get out of a box), but everyone wants to see it. There are actually “sightseeing bus tours” in Toronto, these double decker jobs that stop at Dundas Square and everyone piles out and takes selfies with Alice and the guy with the “The Apocalypse is Nigh” sign (he actually has a very nice smile, which he doesn’t get to use much due to the end of the world coming and whatnot). And all I can think is how cool this must seem to all the tourists. But to me, the coolest thing is that it’s the only intersection with diagonal as well as straight pedestrian crossings, so suddenly the light will change and people are traversing the road in this incredibly orderly pattern, kind of like that city scene in The Matrix, only instead of the lady in red, there’s a homeless guy with his pants down around his knees and Neo is selling knock-off handbags while Mr. Smith is kicking pigeons. Toronto—it’s weird and wonderful, but mostly weird.

 

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4 thoughts on “My Week 134: Toronto the Weird

  1. That’s an amazing work environment.

    We don’t have things that bad at work, but people can act surprisingly childish. I always wonder whether they really realize that this isn’t an assigned class – this is the way they manage to afford food.

    Your bunch sounds like people who either believe – OR KNOW – that a microscropic amount of additional work is never going to benefit them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dundas Square sounds like an amazing circus, even for one that’s free.
    The convention center where you’re working, on the other hand–now that sounds like the world’s worst circus.
    I was briefly shocked until I remembered that I used to work with someone whose email signature included the line “If I wanted to help people I wouldn’t have become a librarian.”
    Call me naive but every job I can think of–including librarian–involves helping people in some way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Any of the librarians I’ve ever known have always been extraordinarily helpful. In fact, Ken and I were married by the chief librarian at the university we both attended (he was also an ordained minister!).

      Liked by 1 person

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