Shuttle Rage

You know that slow burn of frustration that begins when you’ve been waiting patiently for the mystical 501 shuttle bus to appear out of the ether, and then it builds to a smouldering anger as you watch 8 Victoria Park buses pass you by (literally one behind the other) because they don’t get you where you need to go (unless you’re willing to do the transfer dance again) and when your bus finally shows up, it’s so crammed with angry, hot passengers (because of course there’s no air conditioning and the windows that are cracked open a millimetre are too hard to reach without stepping on someone’s lap) that you’re all feeding off each other’s energy, which comes to a head when one of the passengers starts getting up in the driver’s grille about the ridiculous wait times? I suggest getting off a stop or two early, rerouting your walk in the direction of the beach, and taking a moment or twenty-five to enjoy the sights and sounds of people making the most of a warm, sunny afternoon – whether they’re watching their kids play with reckless abandon, huffing and puffing along the boardwalk in an effort to multi-task exercise and meditation, or just doing some spring cleaning around the property, throwing envious glances at the little black cat curled up on the steps in a state of blissful unconsciousness, surrounded by blooming, beautifully scented plants – all while planning out the strongly worded letter and diagram you intend to send to the TTC about how to properly retrieve their heads from their asses and schedule the shuttles so the masses don’t revolt.  ;p

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Streetcar Olympics

You know when you’re on a packed streetcar and the probability of the people stuck in the stairs not understanding how they work skyrockets and you suddenly dread the ride ahead, but then, much to your amazement, the stair people – no doubt seasoned riders – manage to synchronize their up-off-the-stairs and back-down movements so well, that there’s nary a pause along the route to cause cars to blast their horns, or irritation to spread among the riders – a jaded group – who never miss an opportunity to snort in disgust or roll their eyes at the streetcar newbs who frequently get caught there (it’s practically Murphy’s Law). Well done, sir and madam! If Streetcar Synchronized Middle-Door Stair-Stepping were an Olympic event, you would have scored a gold medal, a place at the top of the stairs, and the admiration of streetcar riders all over Toronto. Thank you also for making it impossible for more people to cram on, even when space became available. Huzzah!

Observations

Today’s streetcar fun:
1) If your butt cheeks (minds out of gutters – they were clad in boxers) are the part of you that’s clasping the pole in the streetcar with an iron grip, your pants are too low. Never before have I witnessed such a ringing endorsement for wearing your pants at your waist, instead of down around your thighs. ;p
2) Mullet guy is offically beginning to look like the unibomber. His “party in the back” has integrated with what was formerly a handlebar moustache to create one nasty, unkempt face and head of hair. If it weren’t for the teal leather jacket (which gives me some hope), I’d be starting to warn people. ;p
3) Remember those white, slightly pointed, slightly platform shoes that Ducky wore in Pretty In Pink? They’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccckk – and not in a fun nostalgic way. Yet another example of eighties fashions coming back to haunt us when they really, really need to stay firmly planted in their rightful era. Kudos to the androgenous kid (I seriously have no idea what their gender was) who not only sported the shoes, but also had a bandana across their forehead, a Jon Cryer hat atop their head and the requisite pair of skinny jeans. If you’re gonna go Ducky, you might as well not half-ass it.
(Originally posted March 14, 2012 on Facebook)

Celebrity Squinting

There’s a game I sometimes play when I get on the streetcar and it involves figuring out what celebrity the streetcarites around me resemble. It’s kinda funny how many people could work as doppelgangers for the rich and famous, but then me not having my glasses on may have something to do with that. I thought that was the case this evening, on the long walk home (yup, that’s code for “got short-turned”), when I spotted a gal a block away who, from behind, was the same height (uber short) and same colouring as the character Jules from Flashpoint (DISCLAIMER: I am paid to watch this show – I would not choose to watch this of my own free will). Imagine my surprise when I got within a couple feet of her and her kid and realized that it was indeed Amy Jo Johnson (you may remember her from the show Felicity) . The stink-eye she was shooting me as I approached knocked some of the wind out of my self-congratulatory sails for my well-spotted quarry, but then I remembered I didn’t actually care it was her, it was that I guessed right. ;p
Originally posted March 13, 2012 on Facebook)

Streetcar Offensive

The streetcar driver was laying down a lot of angry horn tonight. Well, as angry as a streetcar horn can sound (ding-ding!). I’m not sure if he was having a bad night or if the drivers around us were the cause of his ire, but it felt like the horn was blasting and the bells were clanging a lot more than usual. My issue: do drivers actually take notice of the jingly horn when they’ve disobeyed the rules of sharing the road with a streetcar? Why aren’t the streetcars (well, all cars really) equipped with a horn that shouts, “Hey, a&%hole, you nearly mowed down 12 passengers!” or “What the eff was that?! Learn how to drive!” 1) That would be way more fun to listen to during rush hour and 2) I think you’d probably feel a little bad about however you offended the streetcar and would think twice about doing it again. ;p
(Originally posted February 21, 2012 on Facebook)

Be My Annoying Valentine

While I fully support couples holding hands while walking together on Valentine’s Day (as it’s conspicuously absent every other day), there is no need to spread out and span the entire width of the sidewalk, forcing the awkward issue of whether to split you two up temporarily Red-Rover style or to walk out into crazy traffic (’cause everyone’s in a panic to get to their Valentine’s dinner) to try and get around this once-a-year uber display of affection. So let’s make Valentine’s Day happy for us all: guys and gals, instead of clasping hands and moving as far away from each other as your arms will allow, how ’bout one of you wraps your arm around the other like you actually like each other, squeezing together (way more cozy and romantic), and leave the other half of the sidewalk alone! ;p Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

(Originally posted February 14, 2012 on Facebook)

Jazz Hands

You know when you’re on the streetcar and you spot that gal in her black coat and black boots – carefully dressed so as not to betray her true character – and she suddenly slings the most colourful, ultra-sparkly bag you’ve ever seen over her shoulder and you feel like you should honour her brilliant flash of personality by throwing out some jazz hands and shouting “Razzmatazz!”? Let’s just say cartoon me – the one who’s more than willing to do that kind of thing publicly – was all over that (I can’t be certain, but I think cartoon me may have also added in a bit of the grapevine to really jazz it up (which was no small feat given the zig and the zag of the streetcar)). ;p

(Originally posted February 8, 2012 on Facebook)

The Test

You know when you get on the streetcar, just stupidly tired, and the woman next to you starts doing a flirty, pre-officially-dating phone interview with the boyfriend-to-be and you suddenly feel a) is this for real? and b) really anxious on the dude’s behalf because she’s seriously going through a list of questions that he needs to nail before he gets the go-ahead, including: “I’m seriously like two handfuls, so how do you think you’ll be able to handle me?” And my personal favourite: “Why do you want ME? No, why do you want ME?” To which the dude clearly makes a reference to sex (kudos to him, I think, for being honest) and then she poses the toughest question of all: “But after you get a taste of the honey, what’s to keep you coming back?” Bravo, young lady. Bravo. Who knew the road to officialdom could be so businesslike and efficient.
(Originally posted February 7, 2012 on Facebook)

Wacky Tabacky

You know when you get on the streetcar and all you can smell is the person somewhere in your immediate vicinity who reeks so badly of weed, you’re almost certain you’re gonna get off twenty minutes later with a cheap high, so you switch, temporarily, to mouth-breathing (to avoid the stench more than anything), only to discover a little while later – after a test sniff – that you’re suddenly ravenous and some bastard somewhere on the streetcar is holding a box of fresh pizza that you’re considering following the scent to and stealing? Welcome to my Friday night ride home. *No bastards with pizza were harmed in the making of this vignette… so far as I know.*  ;p

 

(Originally posted January 20, 2012  on Facebook)

150 Proof Lurch

You know it’s gonna be an interesting streetcar ride when a tall, willowy, white-haired, fedora-clad lady of indeterminate age (maybe late sixties, early seventies, maybe not) gets on and slurs to the dude (wearing headphones) in the seat beside me, “would you mind if I took a lap on your seat?” and gives a very suggestive wink and chuckle before lurching toward me – her poor streetcar legs further impaired by the fact that her heart was pumping 150 proof alcohol instead of blood, if smell was anything to go by – mashing my foot in the process (made worse because she had to stop to consider what that squirming lump was under her foot). She was very apologetic, in that special way only a drunk can be, trying to include me in her profound happiness and whispering her apology conspiratorally in my right ear. While I was by no means put out by the situation, I’m fairly certain my left-foot toes would’ve liked to trade places with my right ear, which I’m pretty sure was drunk. ;p
(Originally posted March 6th on Facebook)