The Garden City Refugee

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On the Road – White Squirrels, Dog Guardians, Mexican Avocados and More

March 17, 2023

Highlights and lowlights from yesterday’s visit to the universe’s center:

1. Joining me waiting in the shelter for the GO bus at Fairview Mall was a young mother and her daughter. The mother pointed up to the moon and the daughter said, “Hi, Mr. Moon.” How dare she assume the moon’s gender? Then the mother checked the time and said, “Oh yay, we’re going to miss our train” before dropping an F-bomb. How considerate to use that kind of language right in front of your daughter.

2. As this was going on, a woman with a ring through her eyebrows boarded a 312 St. Catharines bus.

3. The GO bus driver was the same one I had in both directions in my last trip to the universe’s center. And perhaps not surprisingly, I had her again on the return trip from Burlington.

4. At the light at the end of the off-ramp of the Fairview Street exit in Burlington was a scruffy dude holding a sign “HOMELESS ANYTHING HELPS EVEN A SMILE.”

5. Convenient buttons for those who want to open or close the crew . . .

6. Can you imagine how often something like this would be “misused” on Winnipeg Transit?

7. Slowly, but surely, the DWAM is becoming a thing of the past. But sadly, there still are some around. Such as the dude in my car who risked being infected with dangerous airborne viruses when he kept taking down his mask to sip on his Tim Hortons coffee. Then there was an older woman who boarded at Oakville. Wearing not just one mask, but two, she stood the entire way to Union with her face pressed close to the door so as to minimize the possibility of inhaling any airborne viruses other passengers may transmit in her direction. Kind of like being in the no-peeing section of the swimming pool. I wonder what the over-under is on how many poison injections she has taken. Whatever the case, I hope she’s made out her will.

8. Seated across from me was a woman who was busy with not just one phone, but two. Perhaps one for each alias, I wondered. One good friend and loyal reader may appreciate that reference. Yet amazingly, there were actually two others in my car who did not spend the entire ride glued to their phones.

9. Walking into the washroom in the York Concourse just as I was leaving was a DWAT (Dipshit With A Turban). He’s got both his hair and face covered. Can’t be too careful with those nasty viruses floating around.

10. I nearly threw up when I spotted someone in the York Concourse who looked like the mother of WEF evangelist Chrystia Freeland. Later in the day, however, I would spot other look-alikes, including someone who could have passed as the brother of former Atlanta Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk and another one who could have passed for being the brother of former CPC MP and Ontario Party leader Derek Sloan.

11. A vending machine at Union selling mask filters. As they say, a fool and his money are soon parted.

12. The streetcar is a perfect place to stretch out and catch a few winks . . .


13. At one stop along the waterfront, an Oriental woman put on a mask before getting off.

14. A woman boarding the streetcar on Spadina told the driver, “I forgot my Presto card at work.” Sure you did.

15. On the streetcar was a notice next to the Presto machine stating that not tapping could result in a fine of $425. In Winnipeg, fare evasion is almost expected and puts you among the majority.

16. Why is the TTC still making automated announcements strongly recommending masks? So many of us have awakened to the harsh reality that this whole war was nothing but a fraud. And those dimwits who still have their heads in the sand hardly need convincing.

17. Spotted along Queen Street was not just a Value Village, but a Value Village Boutique. Same great value, but in a smaller store, they say. Whatever.

18. One storefront was displaying a sign “Ice Cream Solves Everything.” Based on the number of heavyweights out there, many agree.

19. The words of J. Flux emblazoned on a bike rack . . .

20. Someone thinks Acab is a bonehead . . .

21. This brownie must have fallen below the customer’s expectations . . .

22. While we invent the future, governments are desperately trying to reinvent the past . . .

23. Does Paul E. Garfinkel have boobs?

24. Those here on permanent resident status obviously aren’t welcome . . .

25. I noted this statue of a white squirrel with interest. Loyal readers may recall that I spotted a white squirrel in Loring Park during my last visit to Minneapolis in July 2014, less than a month before my defection from the SPRM.

26. Free clothing . . .

27. “Dog owners” has apparently become politically incorrect. So now it’s “dog guardians” . . .

28. Scenes along Queen Street West . . .



29. I’m gathering mail theft is a bit of a problem in the area . . .

30. In case you hear someone yelling “UPWARDS,” there’s a possible explanation . . .

31. For those in the market for a trap . . .

32. Something most of the world has done for the last three years . . .

33. The “laundry mat” being closed at 5 pm causes me no “inconveniece” . . .

34. I’ll try to keep that in mind . . .

35. Give a “duk” . . .


36. If you’re feeling tired, lie down and rest your head for a while . . .

37. I’m sure their “values” customers are very disappointed . . .

38. This isn’t aging well . . .

39. Just off Queen Street was a construction worker wearing a pink shirt, a rainbow flag on his hard hat and sporting enough makeup to dam the mighty Niagara River. This was one of those rare times I’m glad I didn’t get a picture.

40. Street people . . .


41. Close by for your “covenience” . . .

42. Words of wisdom . . .

43. Serving me at A & W in Eaton Center was an Oriental girl with IRISH on her name tag. Perhaps in honor of St. Patrick’s Day?

44. Spotted in the food court at Eaton Center was a teenager wearing a pink T-shirt and draped in a rainbow flag. How very welcoming and inclusive of him. Or her. I have to admit it was hard to tell.

45. Some of the more memorable entries on this wall:

  • I want to meet Jim Morrison!
  • Live in a different country!
  • Write a movie
  • Learn to dance flamenco well
  • Build a fairy house
  • Go bungee jumping
  • Befriend an elephant
  • I want to compete in the Olympics
  • Drive on the Autobahn
  • Own a farm with big garden & alpacas
  • Motorbike the Gobi Desert
  • Pay my funeral in full
  • See Hong Kong come back to life
  • Win the World Cup
  • Read the Elena Ferrante series!

46. Serving me at the Subway in Brookfield Place was someone with a thick Ukrainian or Russian accent and a surly attitude.

47. In the washroom at Brookfield Place, I listened as some guy wondered aloud, “What the (expletive) am I going to eat today? I’m kickboxing, so I’ve got to keep it light.”

48. When making a purchase at a store, the clerk punched up the amount on a keypad and pushed it toward me. He seemed mortally offended when I instead handed him cash.

49. I found these ads for Mexican avocados at Union, well, odd . . .

50. Seated across from me in the York Concourse at Union was an odd-looking fellow offering his son a choice between pizza and an order of mac & cheese. The kid’s choice of pizza was the right one. The mac & cheese smelled awful and looked like something that was pre-digested. His wife then dug into the mac & cheese while he tackled the pulled pork in a box. Bon apetit!

51. Just like in my last visit to the universe’s center, more nauseating ads like this were on display. Another reason why there are no words to adequately express my immense disgust at Obersturmführer Ford.

52. Across the aisle from me on the Lakeshore West train that took me back to Burlington were a couple of Falls-bound 20-somethings who spent the entire ride taking turns loudly jabbering away in some Middle Eastern language. One of them later opened up her HP laptop, which was the same model as the one I have. But somehow, I doubt she blew away Windows and installed Linux Mint on it as I did.

53. Now available at Burlington GO is covered bike parking.

54. Waiting in line in front of me at Burlington was a father with his two young sons. One of them said he wasn’t lazy, he was just in energy-saving mode.

55. I found it odd that a couple, each with two suitcases, loaded their luggage into the rear compartment, then promptly got off a couple of blocks down the road at the lightly used Fairview Street and Maple Avenue stop. For such a short ride, one would think it would have been easier to just keep their luggage with them, or better yet, take Burlington Transit instead of a packed double-decker GO bus more intended for Niagara-bound passengers.

56. Kudos to the driver for waiting to see if there was anyone on an inbound HSR Rymal bus who was looking to connect to the GO bus at the Confederation stop before taking off. Once again, this is not the Old Country, where Winnipeg Transit drivers would have taken great delight in flooring it just as would-be passengers ran off the Rymal bus and got to the door.

57. Once again, some idiot at Grimsby asked the driver of a bus with a big lighted NIAGARA FALLS sign out front if she was going to Burlington. It seemingly happens on every trip. I can’t imagine how sick and tired drivers must get of such stupid questions.

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