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I Have Heard the Crazy Lady Screaming

June 25, 2010


Toronto is a big, weird city, full of big, weird people having loud, weird conversations in public.


It can be funny, it can be scary, but it is endlessly entertaining to overhear these tidbits. I’ve heard hilarious and horrific snippets — and a few that make me shudder with all-too-clear mental images.


Here’s a relevant sample of overheard conversations and public Toronto rantings:


* Queen and Spadina, at the height of the Squeegee Kid scourge, when kids would beg for change and try to swipe car windows with squeegees and dirty pails of water. A Squeegee girl was sitting on the sidewalk, eating a sandwich when a dog came and sat in front of her, staring intently and drooling. The girl scolded him: “No begging!”

* One proud mom on the subway to another: “My kids haven’t seen me hit anybody since that time in court.”

* Crazy Dundas/Bathurst shelter lady, right in suited-man’s face: “Jesus Christ, Motherfucker! I wish I was a fuckin white man!”

* Spoiled Toronto teen, trying (and failing) to understand that a friend was grounded for letting several boys take turns spinning around in his parents’ dryer: “How can they tell HIM that his friends can’t come over? Who do they think they are?”

* Little Portugal. Trashy mom sharing her days’ events with her kids, trailing behind her: “So I says to the bitch — ” pulling her skirt up at the back, she lifted one butt cheek and farted. The kids found this so funny, she obliged them by repeating it several times.

* Mezzanine nutbar, Lillian H. Smith Library: “Just because your mother talks to aliens, doesn’t MAKE her an alien.”

* Coxwell/Gerrard Coffee Time. A guy walking out of the shop was wearing a T-shirt so covered with stains, still-damp drips with bits of food stuck to them, I couldn’t quite make out the motto on his shirt. As he got closer, I could finally make it out: “I’m a Keeper.”

* Halloween night, Riverdale. One skanky teen trick-or-treater to another: “I have to get home by eight, because my babysitter has to leave.”

* Two stereotypical office girls downtown, discussing a coworker: “I don’t know why she has to take time off now. I mean, she didn’t need time off after she got attacked last year.”

* Two little boys on streetcar. Boy One: “What does your father do?” Boy Two: “He’s an asshole.”

* Young man on Coxwell bus, after running into friend from high school: “All three of your sister’s kids have the same father? Wow. Good for her!”

* Me, to my supervisor: “My cat has been missing for three days; I’m out of sorts.” My supervisor: “If I have a blank look on my face, it’s not because I’m not listening. It’s because I don’t care.”

* Guy trying to strike up a conversation with me, by talking to my dog: “What’s Mommy’s name? What’s Mommy’s name?” Me: “I don’t know; he was adopted.”

* My favourite Toronto graffiti is a tall City sign in a west-end park: “No skateboarding, no baseball, no football, no soccer, no rollerblades, no rollerskates, no kite-flying, no ball games, no loitering, no bicycles, no alcohol, no picnicking, no barbeques.” Someone had scrawled across the bottom: “It’s the little things.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 7, 2011 11:13 pm

    i make graffiti stickers whit this pretty ladie!

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