The Garden City Refugee

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On the Road – Beauty Queens, Numb Nuts, Elvis Sightings and More

December 15, 2022

Highlights and lowlights from yesterday’s bus/train trek to and from the universe’s center:

1. Free gas on Geneva Street for those willing to get up at the crack of dawn . . .

2. Passing through the parking lot at Zehr’s on the way to the bus stop, I noticed a cyclist had locked his bike to a pole between two handicapped parking spots rather than avail himself either of the nearby racks, thus putting his bike in peril of being hit and damaged by an unsuspecting driver.

3. The board at Fairview Mall displaying the upcoming arrival times for city buses apparently went incognito . . .

4. I found it interesting that the GO bus I boarded was nearly packed. It is good to know that the service is being used.

5. Among the many passengers on board was someone working on cash flow projections in Microsoft Project on her large Android tablet. Across the aisle was a wannabe beauty queen with a nose ring who spent nearly the entire ride to Burlington looking at herself in the mirror while applying makeup, eyeliner and some white cream all over her upper lip. Following all this, she doused herself with several squirts of smelly perfume.

6. In response to what I’m sure were many customer complaints, Metrolinx has now changed the landing page for their onboard WiFi from the Red Star’s website to the GO Transit blog. I’m hoping that the next change is not to make the sign-in process so complicated.

7. GO and Burlington Transit buses featured the politically incorrect message MERRY CHRISTMAS. What is this world coming to?

8. Even I was surprised by the amount of salt they dumped on the platform at Burlington. OK, there was a little bit of snow on the ground, but still . . .


9. Good to know that this passenger is happy with her lunch bag . . .

10. I noted with interest that the number of DWAMs on both the bus and train is steadily declining. But there are still a few around. Such as the woman who got on at Oakville, then took off her mask after taking a seat. Apparently, in her mind, our car was virus-free. But she made sure to put her mask back on before disembarking at Union. Because there are all kinds of viruses around Union Station. It was the opposite with one woman who got on at Long Branch without a mask, then put one on before taking a seat.

11. Christmas carolers in the Bay Concourse raising money for the United Way . . .

12. Seated nearby in the subway was a guy clutching a brown bag from LCBO while reading The Girl on the Train and silently mouthing the words to himself.

13. Across the aisle from me was a DMD. Double Masked Dipshit.

14. Dear TTC: This is what I have to say to your “If we follow all the rules and adopt new habits we will all get through this safely” message in the Sheppard-Yonge station:

14a. “Following the rules” is what got millions of people killed in concentration camps during the previous world war. And it’s what’s getting so many killed in the current world war.

15. On the #4 line, one woman shot through the doors as they were closing and barely made it in. “Good thing I lost weight,” she said as she flopped down on a seat and caught her breath.

16. Not that I needed it, but there was an automated shoe shine machine in the washroom at Bayview Village. A mall that has a concierge, not a customer service desk. I can’t imagine walking into Fairview Mall and asking for the concierge. St. Catharines isn’t exactly a “concierge” kind of city. And I’m proud of that.

17. TTC still has regular messages advising people to be on the lookout for anything suspicious. “If you see something, say something.” Yeah, I saw something. I saw a dipshit wearing a mask. Shame on me for not reporting it.

18. Seated next to me in the subway on my return trip were a couple of salty looking dudes. The guy on the other side of the aisle was using his Presto card to scratch off pieces of the scratch-and-lose crossword game he spent half his life’s savings on, then as he was scratching his back with a pen he dug out of his jacket, he looked up at his buddy and said, “Hey, numb nuts, give me the money in your pocket.” Meanwhile, “Numb Nuts” was talking about a place on Parliament Street where he gets cheap smokes. But he won’t smoke those cigarettes that come in a plastic bag. That comes from the tobacco they sweep off the floor, he said. He’s even found band-aids and pieces of plastic in those bags. Later, when a woman walked past, he asked her, “Do you roast chestnuts over an open flame?” He went on to bemoan the service he’s received at some outreach facility where he’s been a regular. “Crooked employees who don’t know how to deal with people with disease and mental health,” he said.

19. Skating on the pond at Nathan Phillips Square:

20. Before disembarking at Long Branch, some dude from Brampton did an about-face and cast one of those “if looks could kill” glares at me.

20a. Don’t ask me how I figured he was from Brampton.

21. I noticed a billboard from Sheridan College with the slogan, “Better is critical thinking.” This from another of those “woke” institutions where anyone who doesn’t comply with groupthink is cast as one of der Untermensch.

22. But objects made in Canada are apparently fair game . . .

23. The train broke down at the Bronte station, leaving passengers like me to wait for the next one. Though I’ve been on buses that have broken down before, it marked the first time in my travels here that a train has broken down.

24. Dear Metrolinx: Thank you for the many announcements about the expected arrival times for upcoming trains at the Burlington GO station. But the many of us standing outside in line waiting for the Niagara-bound bus that was more than 20 minutes late in getting to the station would have appreciated a similar announcement.

25. It is seemingly not a proper trip these days without getting some sort of break on the fare and this one was no exception. When the aforementioned bus finally did show up, the driver said that because the Presto machine wasn’t working, this trip was free. My saving was $5.93, bringing the total of my recent freebies to over $25. You can take the ex-Winnipegger out of Winnipeg, but you can’t take Winnipeg out of the ex-Winnipegger.

26. In the front seat on the upper level of the GO bus was some weirdo who was wildly gesticulating with his arms and mouthing all sorts of gibberish nonstop while growing increasingly red in the face and writing AKA BLUE on the front of his white T-shirt with a black permanent marker. “I got a feeling that when Covid was over, people lost their job . . . I’m bigger than Elvis . . . I’m Elvis . . . I’m like only 20 years in this before I made it.” I don’t think I was the only one who was quite relieved to see “Elvis” disembark at Stoney Creek and head off back toward the QEW.

27. Boarding at Stoney Creek was someone who had his bike upside down with the front wheel removed, which the driver helped him load into the luggage compartment.

28. Been there . . .

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