Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Commuter Sights

It must be a form of judgement when I'm suspicious of someone that I see riding a bike and holding another one. My first reaction is that the person is stealing one of the bikes.

Reminds me of a joke my father once told us. Every day an old man would cross an international bridge pushing a wheelbarrow full of straw. When he would get to customs, the officers there would dig through the straw looking for contraband. Every time they would find nothing in the straw. This went on for quite some time until one of the customs agents who had developed a rapport with the old man aked him why he would push a wheelbarrow full of straw across the bridge every day. "Because I'm smuggling wheelbarrows!"

It makes my daughter roll her eyes (I read in Sunday's paper that a city in Wisconsin has drafted a bylaw forbidding eye-rolling)when I imagine something about someone that I've never met and know nothing about. In the photograph, the old gent, Ambrose, is on his way home after going to one of the pawnshops on Stony Plain Road and buying his nephew a mountain bike. It has taken him a year of collecting bottles but he finally has managed to raise $85.00 and get his nephew James a bike for his graduation from highschool.

The disheveled old man, Mortimer, with a bandaid holding up one arm of his horn-rimmed glasses is on his way home from his menial job at the "Royal Fork" (my friend calls it the "Royal F_ck") emptying out the buckets of grease from the deep fryers. His boss Mr.Wang, in a moment of uncharacteristic charity has given Mortimer the bike that has been left in the stock room by a long since fired employee. Mortimer is sure he can sell it at the First Baptist Church rummage sale coming up on the August long weekend and he is excited that the pastor has agreed to use some of the money raised at the sale to buy one of those "Hurricane-Force" leaf blowers that would help Mortimer keep the grounds of the church over on 163 Street clear of all the leaves that inevitably blow onto the church yard from the poplar trees surrounding Westlawn Memorial Gardens across the street.

I don't know anything about this fellow except that he helped me by pointing out that I had dropped a package of gum onto the sidewalk while waiting for the light to change at 156 Street. He mumbled something else when the light turned green and I think he was simply encouraging me to take the lead as he would slow me down because of the extra bike he was carting along.

Just goes to show you that that old adage "You can't judge a book by its cover" is true - things aren't always as they seem.

1 comment:

  1. Recently, I had to cut the lock of an ECOS bike and bring it back to campus after someone had broken their key in it, and ended up pulling a maneuver like you have pictured here (and it's more difficult than it looks). This story ends with me being surrounded by 3 campus 5-O squad cars and a whole lot of explaining.