Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Good riddance to downtown

So I move on Sunday (August 27th), and after four days of painting (mostly with some helpful friends) I'm exhausted. I don't think I ever want to see a paint brush again. To add insult to injury, I didn't even get the colour I asked for. My sister "M" would be happy with the bold choices, but the "Arizona Tan" I asked for turned out to be more like "Peruvian Tan". I think "Caramel" would have been a better name.

Oh well.

This post isn't about that.

See, at the moment I live in a hit-and-miss neighbourhood of Toronto: Carlton & Jarvis. For those unfamiliar with T.O., Jarvis is sort of the dividing line between the decent and the crap (Cabbagetown being the exception). To the west is the gaybourhood (safe) and Yonge Street (bright), but to the east (and all along Jarvis) is just about every social assistance project you've ever heard of. This tends to attract the "less motivated" members of society.

Since I walk down Jarvis to get to work, I see these guys and gals every day. I get asked for money every day. I get fed a story every day.

Am I the only one who has noticed that very few of these able-bodied bums (and that's what an able-bodied beggar is: a bum - I'm not talking about the crazies or the cripples here) don't ask for change anymore, but rather they approach you with a big yarn about how they need two bucks (two bucks! What the hell happeend to "change"?) to get back to Georgetown because they lost their wallet? I've been approached MANY times with this sort of story, which makes me wonder: are these guys being coached? I've been stopped by a normal-looking guy yelling across the street that he needs money to get back home to Castlemore (which I happen to know is the rich area of Brampton). WTF?

Anyhow, I was walking to work today, thinking about how I'm moving and how tired I am of seeing these bums with their bullshit stories and lazy attitudes, when I notice the young guy who had been walking in front of me stop at a bike that was parked in front of a coffee shop. He inspected the bottle that was secured to the frame, snatched it out of the holder, and kept walking. As he took a swig, I said: "Dude! Are you serious?" He looked over his shoulder at me saying, "Huh? What?" I asked, "Is that your bottle?" To which he kind of shrugged and kept walking (east). As I turned to walk into my building I made eye contact with him again, gave him a thumbs up and said, "Model citizen."

The guy was not destitute. His clothes weren't special, but they weren't tattered by any means. He looked young, healthy and able. He just didn't care. He thought nothing of snagging someone else's property. Regardless of its insignificance, it showed a complete and utter lack of respect for another person and their property. I was stunned and depressed.

Good riddance to downtown.


char said...

Don't be sad Phil! Maybe the owner of the bottle had a nice big COLD SORE to pass on!


Welcome to the neighbourhood!

PS said...

Yup, I was thinking the same thing.

We are soooo evil...

Michelle said...

I like , My sister "M" , - sounds James Bondish.

Carry on.