03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004
Before I headed out of the house today I made a choice to wear my worn brown leather jacket and not my massive bubble jacket. It's a little cold this morning (it's actually 3:00 p.m., but I call it the morning because it's before NightClass!) as I am walking to St. Clair West station. I look over at this gaudy new convenience store "Big Bee" and think to myself, "man, wouldn't it be great if convenience stores sold alcohol?"
I go to class. The first class is frustrating and a little dull, the scond class is riveting as usual. Because of the weather, the prof lets us go a little early - just after 9:00 p.m. (he usually goes til 9:30 or so). I am thinking to myself, "Great, I'll make it to the LCBO before it closes at 10:00 and buy my beer for the weekend and have one tonight."
At St. Clair West I get out and go through the interior garden section of the Loblaw's towards the LCBO. I see these two sketchy guys directly in front of the LCBO's glass doors talking to each other. They look about 25 years old, but it's hard to tell. One's wearing a green jacket and the other guy's wearing a bright red jacket. They both look pretty trashed. The red jacket guy hands the green jacket guy money and says "I can't go in, they've already seen me." So I walk past them into the store over to the beer fridge. This yuppie couple comes in behind me, they're trying to pick a wine. I'm choosing out my beers when the green jacket guy comes over and asks me a question. I ask him to repeat. He's asking where something called Chelly's or Callie's is and I don't know. I pick my six tall boys and before I've gotten to the front counter I hear this:
"Get out of here."
"I was served 40 minutes ago."
"We saw you with him. Get out. Leave. You're banned from here."
There are two LCBO employees with their arms folded across their chest seeing to the green jacket man's departure. Well, they ring up my purchase and there's a 30 year old guy behind the counter and this small girl who's about my age. She says to her co-worker,
"He thought he'd get the girl alone - he came way too close to me."
I consider putting the beers in my backpack. But I don't want to bother with the hassle of stuffing them in my bag that's already got all these books in it. So I just carry out the bag.
In the Loblaw's section, there's the green jacket guy just walking slowly, talking to himself. I walk behind him a few paces, then I realize that there's no one else around but him and me. If he starts acting erratic, it would be unpleasent. So I decide to pass him - get away from him as fast as possible. I pass in front and start fastwalking and I notice he picks up his pace a little. A guy starts coming down the escalator perpendicular to me with a shopping cart and I speed up to put the man between me and green-jacket. But green jacket speeds up and clears him. I exit the building and decide to head over to the crowd waiting for the bus as quick as I can. Before I can get to the crowd I hear, "Hey," see the green-jacket guy in the corner of my eye and when I turn to face him, he's ripped the beer bag from my hand! I'm looking at him, clutching the ripped off plastic bag handle and I say, "C'mon. What the fuck?"
"I'm doing you a favour. I'm saving your liver."
"I'm saving you. I'm saving your liver."
I size him up and for a split second consider what a fight with this guy would involve if he did attack me. Then I spot his buddy, red-jacket is standing four feet over, looking at me. And he's fidgeting with something. It's just a glove.
Green Jacket shouts, "I'm saving your liver. I'm saving your liver," as he starts backing away. Red Jacket tells him "Shut up, let's go. Just go!" The two guys start dashing across the street.
I turn back in towards the LCBO. Walking, then running. The man and the girl who did my purchase are right behind the counter I run in, breathing heavily,
"Guess what just happened, I just got ripped off by those two fellas* who were just in here!"
I explained how the green jacket guy just ripped the bag straight out of my hand and noticed then, that I still had the ripped off plastic bag handle in my hand. They were shocked to hear that the guy just ripped it out of my hands, the girl said she'd never heard of anything like that. They debated about whether or not to call the police. They didn't. The staff agreed that those two fellas would never be allowed back at that location in any condition. I showed the girl my receipt and the LCBO gave me all the beer that had been nabbed from me! The girl asked to keep my receipt as evidence when the store security people come in for the weekend. As I left I realized that it was like 9:55 and if this had happened just a little later, I might never have been able to tell the staff.
So basically, I got my beer back and I didn't get harmed at all. It's a pretty good story. And I'm glad that I live in a neighbourhood in a city where this sort of thing is unusual. And I'm glad the LCBO exists. You think if I'd bought those beers at the Big Bee and went in they would've taken me seriously, let alone totally replace my beer without any hassle? I couldn't help but think that if I had been wearing my "tough" jacket, that sort of conceals my slimness, this might not have happened. It made me think about why young guys who are 'good kids' who live in bad neighbourhoods are apt to dress thugged-out. But I learned three "street smarts rules"
1) If you are behind a a crazy or sketchy person, stay behind. As soon as you pass them, they have the watching you advantage.
2) Keep your alcohol in your backpack.
3) If you are carrying a bag and you're walking parallel to a wall and you think someone is scheming on your shit, put the bag in the hand closest to the wall.
4) What I already knew - the most important rule - don't fuck with stupid, desperate sketchy people.
And on the busride home, I was like, maaan, I'm gonna BLOG about this.
* - I actually said fellas.
Hey, everypeoples! Bet you all thought I was dead. You'd be wrong, but fully justified in the guessing. I thought Facebook notes could substitute blogging. How wrong and foolish I was. So wrong and foolish.
Anyways, I just bought my dad's old laptop computer! Now all I need is a cell phone and I'll be a fully functioning figure of the digital age! Pretty nifty, no?
Anyhow, to celebrate this new acquisition, I started my own blog; not to replace The Ape, rest assured, but as a side project I've been considering for some time now: a fully-fledged online dream journal. I figure that I generally have pretty cool dreams, but working them into everyday conversation is often torturous at best, so why not just write 'em down and send them out into the aether for people to pick and choose from at leisure. Anyways, s'at lintoncandream.blogspot.com.
And I promise to write more "Grade-Ape " material in the near future, too.
Renny is back on the comics and what does he think?
Dropsie Avenue: The Neighbourhood by Will Eisner is a real winner. Eisner mixes a Disneying sentimentality with some very harsh and awful realities. It's a surprisingly good combination.
Good As Lily by Derek Jerk Kim not as good as Same Difference. It has a cool concept, but there are a couple major holes in the 'built world' and so the story is pretty unsatisfying. The dialogue is not up to Kim standards, either. He didn't draw the comic either and the guy who did is sort of doing a Kim style but faster and sloppier. If you get to the back of the comic, you see that he made it for Minx, which seems to be a series by DC for 14 year old girls. Which then explains the general tone and style of the comic previously, except for one really off-colour joke about pus-filled sores from an STD. But if someone else wants to read this comic, it is a quick read and I'd like to talk to someone about how this comic could have been fixed. Because I very strongly get the sense that it could be, but I'm not sure exactly how. It would have to involve something done in the actual devices of the story. He's got to be more specific with his 'magic' - I think that's the first step.
The Spiegelman comics about the Twin Towers. Worth reading. Interesting. Not fantastic. But it is a new way of looking at 9/11 - he was pretty close to it. The other thing too, is that he was one of the few voices dissenting during that period when it was not okay.
Right now I'm reading the 5 year collection of American Elf, Kochalka's daily journal comics. At first I could not stand it and I wanted to strangle this man! A massive compendium of burping, pissing, farting, fucking, saying something cute to your wife, saying something cute to your cat. The man is in his 30's and he is constantly celebratory of how immature he is. Literally, pouting until he gets McDonald's. But the strips, they grow on you. Somehow. He's got a very distinct sparse style that allows him to be very novel at times. The strips are more interesting when something happens in his life, like a trip overseas than when he is back at home waiting for his wife to get home and talking to his cat (literally! There are several comics like this!) So it sort of makes you wish he'd apply himself in some slightly different direction. The problem is when people start copying Kochalka. Seriously, I once bought a comic by some chubby guy who was ripping Kochalka off (which he acknowledged) and didn't have the same stylistic grace and so it was just poor.
I picked up the book because Jeff Rowland and Scott McCloud said this guy was the best and I respect their opinions. Right now I'm still torn as to whether the strips are any good, but I do keep getting drawn back in.
I've got an exam on Wednesday for my class in social geography. We only have to study four chapters. On the topic of relative versus absolute poverty, my prof said this, roughly,
"If I cannot afford $1,200 for an ice cream, does that mean I am in poverty? If I cannot afford to go to little cafe in Manhattan and pay $1,200 for just ice cream and they put some little fruits around the edge of the dish, does that mean I am poor? Compared to Jennifer Lopez, who can just say "sure" and pay $1,200 just like that, just for ice cream, maybe, I am poor. But not really, I am not really in absolute poverty."
He talked about some other stuff and came back to the ice cream example twice more in the lecture.
Londontown is an interesting place. The bus drivers are nicer than in Toronto but the routes are, shall we say, badly organized. Because the bus service gets our money anyway (it's forcibly extracted via tuition) they have no incentive to help us. There's nothing more dispiriting than being late for class because buses zoom by because they're full. Actually that's not true at all there's quite a bit that's more dispiriting. This for one. Or this. And, uh, pretty much most of what you'll read on Google News. And even in my own life probably exams are the big one.
But there is good news (and not just, like, 10 mentions of Donoghue in the past week).
I just get a new bed:
It was funny when they came to put it in and take away my old mattress the guy became very apologic and was like: "We're actually not allowed to take that away because technically what you're been sleeping on is not a mattress but junk." So I guess now that's avalible for visiters.
Also Hillary Clinton has a funny video [really!] about the Iowa caucus. It's even got a pretty diverse (for Iowa) with some black people, Latinos and a young gay couple. It also illustrates to me the profoundly stupid way the Iowa caucuses are set up and, more broadly, the profoundly stupid idea of letting them pick the President.
But while Clinton's video was funny, I think this has to take the cake as my new favourite political ad: