My Week 138: Nothing to See Here, Pantless People, Text Convos

This is going to be a quickie, because not only is it Mother’s Day, but we’re also celebrating a milestone birthday for my dad. Ken and I just got back from a mystery weekend that he’d arranged. “Oh boy!” I said. “A surprise, travelling somewhere, being around strangers, AND not being at home all weekend? Well, that’s just…um.” I may or may not have been sarcastic when I said it, but at any rate, I had a great time once I got there. It was a quaint little inn on the shores of Lake Erie. We got there on Friday night, and decided to sit at the bar for a drink. After a little while, Ken said, “Is that frog wearing pants?” I was a little befuddled by this sudden change in conversational direction, until I realized that behind me on the bar was a statue of a giant frog, wearing a fancy jacket and dress shoes, sporting a monocle, and yes—not wearing any pants. In fact, as I turned, his froggy-parts were directly parallel with my face.

“Hm,” I said. “He’d be right at home in downtown Toronto.”

I say this because in the last couple of weeks, what with the weather getting slightly warmer, there have been several instances of people wandering around pantless. There’s the guy who wears the pink mini-kilt with nothing underneath, who demands that people look at his ass. He can get a bit aggressive with the whole “Look at my ass NOW!” thing. The man who stands outside my office building and hands out the free Metro paper is terrified of him. I know this because a little while ago, I was on my way to work and realized the Metro man was standing behind a column on the other side of the street, kind of peeking out as he drank a cup of coffee. I didn’t know why at first, like maybe he was taking a coffee break or something and didn’t want anyone to know, but when I crossed the street, the kilt guy was running back and forth in front of my office screaming at people. I waited until he ran to the corner, then hightailed it into my building and told the security guard:

Me: There’s a guy outside wearing a pink mini-kilt and yelling at people to look at his bum.
Security Guard: Sigh. Is he back? I already told him once that he had to leave.
Me: Well, tell him again. He’s bothering the Metro man.

(I feel very protective of the Metro man because he reminds me of Hodor, in that he’s a giant and doesn’t say much, except he always smiles and very quietly wishes me a good day.)

And the other day, there was a woman in the lobby of my office building who was completely naked from the waist down, screaming F*ck you! at anyone who looked at her. I missed that one, thank goodness, but I heard about it from several co-workers. And of course, on Wednesday, there was the charming fellow in front of my building who was WEARING pants, but insisted on thrusting his groin at everyone who passed by. I really needed to pop back to my condo to get some paperwork, but I had to wait until he was gone.

Which brings me to my point. The week before, I had borrowed a trolley from work to help move boxes to my new condo. It was an ordinary trolley, with a base of thick grey plastic. It had four wheels and a metal handle. Again, a perfectly ordinary trolley. Both times, when I brought it home, and then when I returned it, people on the street looked at me like I was crazy. Heads turned, eyebrows raised, and I was given a wide berth, and I was like, “Seriously?! This is the weirdest thing you’ve seen today?! There’s a guy on the corner with a megaphone telling people they’re all going to die because they’re sinners, there’s a woman sitting in the middle of the sidewalk rocking back and forth and yelling “Spare change” over and over, and Groin Man is merrily thrusting away. But I’M THE WEIRDO?” But I realize my mistake now—if I’d just been pantless and yelling, “Stop looking at my f*cking cart!” at everyone who passed by, no one would have given me a second thought. I guess people are so used to ‘crazy’ that ‘normal’ just scares the pants off them.

Other weird things I did this week:

Monday: We have the most random text conversations:

M: At the gym now.
Me: I admire you for working out this late. I’m just drinking wine and running a bath. #ThugLife
L: Again, I’m just watching the OJ movie and hula hooping.
Me: OK, so I just pulled my shower curtain rod down and some of the rings fell into the toilet. This thug life is NOT what I was promised.
L: I don’t think thugs worry about shower rings. They are too busy popping caps in asses.
Me: But I had to put my hand in the toilet. That’s pretty gangster.
L: Again, I don’t think a gangster would do that. But well done you!
Me: Hand in toilet. That’s 50 Cent sh*t right there.
L: I bet 50 Cent has NEVER put his hand in a toilet.
Me: If this is thug life, I’m outtie.
M: Article: “Police remove ‘angry’ beaver that stopped traffic.”
Me: Nothing quite like an angry beaver.
L: That’s what she said…

Tuesday:

It was my dad’s actual birthday on Tuesday, and I wanted to call him and wish him Happy Birthday, but it was busy at work and I was worried I’d get sidetracked. So I wrote “Call Dad” on the palm of my hand (yes, it’s my own personal Palm Pilot), so I’d remember. I called him around 9 am, sang him the birthday song, then a little while later I went to the bathroom to wash my hands, and I realized that I’d used a permanent marker, and it was NOT coming off. So not only did I look like a neglectful daughter who couldn’t remember to call her own dear dad unless she wrote it on her hand, I spent the rest of the day having people say, “Did you call your Dad yet?”

Thursday:

I ate a piece of chocolate that fell on the floor. In my defense, no one was looking, and I blew the germs off it.

Sunday:

K just gave me a Mother’s Day card with a gift certificate to the liquor store in it. Yeah, I raised that girl right.

 

My Week 108: Indecent Exposure, I Hate You Facebook

Thursday: I get flashed by a street person

Isn’t that a great hook for this entry? You’d almost think that was the worst thing that happened to me on Thursday, but wait, no it wasn’t. The week was already having issues—the night before, I’d gone to the liquor store after work and bought wine for the rest of the team, which was exhausting (I must be exhausted right now, because I spelled “liquor” wrong three times according to the squiggly red line, and if anyone knows how to spell liquor, it’s ME). I bought the wine, and the guy at the cash register offered to “make the bags fancy” for me (no, that’s got nothing to do with being flashed, although it DOES sound like something a flasher would say). He folded them origami-style then stapled them so the tops looked like little fans—this took a while, much to the dismay of the people behind me in line who were looking very impatient and also thirsty. I took all four bottles to work, and sneakily placed them onto people’s desks for a nice surprise in the morning. Then, on my way back to my condo, I realized that I’d forgotten one person, an important person, and the only option was to go back to the liquor store, but if you understand anxiety at all, you’ll know I couldn’t go back to the SAME liquor store and be like “Hi, I need you to make this one more bag fancy while everyone waits and now you’re probably worried that I have some kind of fancy bag fetish that you are enabling (wow, that sounds even more flasher-y) and I should just go to the other liquor store, etc.” Which is what I did. But then I was worried that the fifth bag would look shabby, and I was trying to remember how the guy folded it and whatnot, and how I could buy a stapler, or at least do something pretty with scotch tape and cotton balls. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know I’m somewhat a disaster at anything requiring a lot of manual dexterity, and if I could have just shoved the wine into a gift bag with some crinkly tissue paper, which is what I do at Christmas, everything would have been fine. Except that the wine was already IN the bag, and I had no tissue paper. So I said to the guy at the checkout, “Any chance you can make a fancy top for this bag?” I wasn’t holding out much hope because, and I don’t want to sound like I’m stereotyping here, but the guy at the OTHER store was Asian, and origami is Asian, and the guy at this store was a middle-aged white guy who looked like he also just shoved gifts into bags with crumply tissue paper (THAT’S the stereotype, by the way—NOT the Asians and origami thing, which is just a coincidence). Sure enough, he said, “No, I’m no good at that kind of thing (stereotype proven), but Nancy can do it for you.” He pointed at the other cashier, and she said, “Sure, hon, I can make your bag fancy.” It was great, because she made it just like the other guy, and now all the bags looked the same, and no one would feel left out because their bag had snowflakes made out of Q-tips taped to the top instead of an origami fan. But then I had to go all the way back to the office to put the last bag in place. By the time I got back to my condo, I was ready to collapse, let me tell you. Even though my building, the two liquor stores, and my office are all within the same one block radius, it was still an arduous journey.

The next morning, everyone was extremely pleased to find a bottle of wine miraculously appear on their desks, and I don’t want to brag, but that makes me a kind of saviour if I remember the Bible correctly. But then the merriment stopped, because this was the day that we were rolling out the pilot project we’d been working on for two years. And it rolled out, all right. Then it immediately rolled back in. We were devastated, having been promised by our secondary vendor that “It’s going to be great. Greater than great. It’s going to be so great you won’t even believe how great it is.” Apparently, this company was owned by Donald Trump, so in retrospect, that fact that it crashed and burned should not have been a surprise. At least it didn’t grab anyone’s private bits on the way down.

Anyhow, we were feeling pretty gloomy, but it was the middle of the work day, so no one could drink their wine. Instead, we decided to go to the diner up the street for lunch, where we could get some “comfort food”. I ordered the most Canadian comfort food of them all, poutine, and my two co-workers ordered nachos, all day breakfast (which is the best thing ever invented), grilled cheese, and so on. When my poutine came, I was shocked—it was more poutine than any reasonable human person could, or should, ever eat. I said to the waiter, “You guys might want to rethink your portion sizes—I would have paid 8.99 for less than half of this, and I couldn’t have even eaten half. There are poor, homeless people right outside your door, and I feel terrible just throwing away this much food.” Yes, I actually said that to him, which will turn out to be both prescient and ironic shortly. Well, you can’t take poutine with you because it gets too soggy and won’t reheat well, so I left it behind. We were heading back to the office, and I was still kind of railing about the waste and poor people having to eat out of dumpsters, when we passed the alley between the diner and the next building.

“All of the hungry people on the street here, and I just—ahhhhhhgggg!!!!” I shrieked.

“What?! What’s wrong??!!” my co-workers responded, but all I could do was point into the alley and yell “Penis! Penis!!” which of course made them look too at the homeless guy whose pants were around his thighs, struggling to pull them up. We walked away quickly, eyes averted. “I only got a crotch shot,” said one, “but it was bad enough.”

“I got the whole thing,” I said. “As if today wasn’t already awful. It’s like the perfect metaphor for my relationship with the universe right now.”

When I told my parents about the incident, my mom gasped. “Did you call the police?”

“No,” I said. “It’s not like he was waving it around on purpose or anything. It was no big deal. Literally.”

And that’s the long and short of the flasher story, the story of my fancy bags and his not-so-fancy ones.

trenchcoat-flasher

Tuesday: I hate you, Facebook

The other day, it occurred to me that if I was applying for a job and a potential employer looked at my Facebook page, there might be a problem. Not because I post racist memes or porn or anything—in fact, if you look at my page, it’s mostly funny stuff as well as animal videos. But I DO make my blog public on my Facebook site, and I’ve been doing that for years, and while my blog is pretty PG 13, there is the rather liberal use of the F word among other epithets, as well as some pretty irreverent humour. So what would be easier? Changing the status of every single individual post from the last almost three years, or changing my Facebook name to something not immediately identifiable as me? Ah, silly, stupid me.

I had just been reading the most ridiculous page that Facebook was asking me to “like”, about something called “Intermittent Fasting” which is when, every once in a while, you don’t eat for a few days. According to the page, it’s supposed to be “good for your body and soul”. There was even a calendar with a countdown to the word “Fasting” complete with an excited little exclamation mark and a happy face. Are you f*cking kidding me? What kind of first world crap is this? You know, people all over the world participate in “Intermittent Fasting” but they call it “Not having enough food to eat sometimes.” And I don’t think it makes either their bodies OR their souls feel any better to know that people in North America do it BY CHOICE. FOR FUN.

Anyway, I was all distracted by this, and toying around with changing my name EXACTLY so that I could write about this in a swear-y, irreverent way without potential employers being like “We don’t want her—she’s against Intermittent Fasting and likes too many kittens”. So I decided to try a variation of my name and it sounded OK, then Facebook was like “Review your changes”, so I clicked on the button. When the screen came up, I realized that I’d spelled my own name wrong. This happens to me quite frequently because my full name is really long and has a lot of consonants and vowels in it. No worries—I’d just go back and edit it…

And then I was like “What? WHAT?! F-CK YOU FACEBOOK!” because Facebook was like “You can’t change it back, sucker—you have to wait 60 days, because we’re just random like that.” I cursed the internet so hard that I think I might have been responsible for the DDOS on Friday. But then it occurred to me that now, the only people who can find me are people who actually know me, or dyslexics. Thanks, Facebook. But you still suck.

 

My Week 94: Sexy Roof Time

Wednesday: Rooftop Shenanigans

Last year, the lovely roof garden I had been hoping to see bloom that spring had been torn out and was slowly replaced by a roofing crew whose antics were quite befuddling. There was a porta-potty which may or may not have been a time machine, judging from the way workers would enter it, stay in it indefinitely, then emerge looking thinner and much more sprightly. There was the foreman, whose area of expertise seemed to be showing the other guys how to lie on the ground and use their thumbs to gauge distance. And there was that one missing tile they all seemed to obsess about…. At any rate, the roof was finally completed in the late fall. All that had been done was to lay concrete tile down in two colours—light gray and dark gray—so that the dark gray looked like a kind of track. No flower boxes, no trees, just a fairly barren, sterile space. Pretty disappointing.

Then, this spring, I came home one afternoon, and there were bright orange pylons dividing the roof into quadrants, and even more bizarre, there were plastic deck chairs lined up in certain areas. It reminded me of a really cheap cruise ship deck. Over the next few days, I would wake up and the deck chairs would be in new patterns thanks to the wind, but they would be back in position later in the day, so I assumed that SOMEONE was deliberating positioning them, but for what, who knew? An obstacle course, maybe? By late spring, there was one lonely plastic flower urn at each end. At this point, I was dying to know what the plan was for the pylons, deck chairs, and plants. Rooftop steeplechase? (By the way, this photo was taken with my cellphone–the roof is actually closer than it looks).

roof

Then the weather suddenly got warmer and people began to appear randomly on the roof. At first, it was a single person taking pictures of the skyline, or a mother letting her child run around the pylons a bit, or two elderly women walking the track. But once May came around and the weather became more summer-like, it was young couples sunbathing. Or doing OTHER things, if you catch my meaning. And don’t forget that my condo directly overlooks said roof, and that I have floor to ceiling windows, so if people are getting affectionate with each other and stealing shy kisses, I have a front row seat, not that I particularly want one. In fact, I’d rather not be in the actual theatre.

The final straw came this past Wednesday, when I got home from work. There was a young couple on the neighbouring roof in their bathing suits, drinking something they’d brought with them in a large pitcher. I sat down at my kitchen table to do some work and realized after a few minutes that things were getting pretty heated. I don’t want to sound like a porn writer here, but he had her up against the wall with his hands in her bikini top, and…well, I’m sure you can picture the rest. I thought about banging on the window, but it’s thick shatterproof glass and I doubted they could hear me. In fact, I was worried that if they saw me doing that, they might think I was cheering them on, which would be even more disturbing. They finally broke their clinch, and he paraded around while she went back to her plastic lounge chair. But I got to thinking—what if they really had no idea that anyone could see them? From the outside of my building, all you can see is the reflection of the city against the glass. And who would possibly imagine that you could be seen 25 stories up on a roof? That poor girl might be appalled if she knew she’d had an (albeit unwilling) audience. I decided that the next day, I would go to the building next door and speak to the concierge.

After work the next day, I went to the lobby of the building. The concierge’s name was Gerard which would have been more awesome if he was a butler instead of a concierge. Gerard Butler—you get it, right? Anyhow…

Me: Hi. Um, your building just had a roof renovation, didn’t it?
Gerard: Yes, it did.
Me: So, I live next door and my unit overlooks your roof. I just wanted to let you know that there are people having “sexy time” up there. I don’t think they realize that they can be seen.
Gerard: What?!
Me: Yes. This is the third time. It’s—well, it’s very distracting. I have floor to ceiling windows and it’s hard to avoid seeing it.
Gerard: Good lord! Can you describe them?
Me: Describe them? Well, it’s been different couples each time, but last night it was a male and female, young, wearing bathing suits. She was blonde, um, he was—well, he seemed to be quite well-endowed, if that’s any help. I just thought maybe you could put up a sign in the elevators or something.  My building does that about not throwing cigarette butts off the balconies.
Gerard: OK. I’ll let the management company know.
Me: Thanks. I’m sure they didn’t realize that everyone from the 23rd floor up could see them.
Gerard: And probably the Holiday Inn across the street too.
Me: Oh yeah! You guys could be the next new tourist attraction.
Gerard: Uh, no. We’ll take care of it.

He took my name and contact information (just my first name…also maybe one of the digits in my phone number was wrong—I don’t want to be known as the prude who shut down “the Romper Roof”). Later that evening, I saw a security guard up there patrolling, so here’s hoping that the shenanigans will cease. I can only imagine how they’ll phrase the elevator sign. Also, I just googled Images for “No Sex on the Roof” and a picture of Donald Trump giving a thumbs up was one of the hits. This could be his new campaign slogan: “I am the Roof Sex candidate. I will make Roof Sex great again. A lot.”