The Rat Man Walks Malls

The Rat Man

There’s an unemployed guy on Queen St (On one corner of Nathan Phillip’s Square) who has a sign out indicating that he wouldn’t mind donations. His catch is that he usually has several rats sitting on his arm. I don’t know if he’s homeless or not, but it’s obvious he’s not in good shape. The rats seem to be his only friends.

A month ago I went out at lunch and took 2 rolls of film around the downtown area. One of the better photos was of him and his rats.

I saw him today, looking more haggard than usual. It’s amazing how you can worry about a total stranger.

I brought him a mini photo album with the picture of him and his friends in the front page.

He looked like he was going to cry.

I hope he does okay. If he cared for himself as much as he cared for the rats, maybe he would be doing better? I’ll never have the heart to ask.

Classification of Mall Walkers

I was walking around in the mall (The Eaton Centre), looking for a card store. It was fairly busy at lunch, and I have to admit to being a little frustrated with some of the people that I saw. I always marvel at Chinatown in Toronto. The streets are packed, but there is a definite traffic flow happening while you walk past the many colourful (and sometimes smelly) booths.

And yet, in an enclosed space with more room to move, people somehow manage to jam up the path.

Let us examine some of these people…

Stop ‘n Go – These are the people who HAVE to stop at every window, no matter what is in it. They usually stick to the side of the path, out of the way of everyone else, and peer into windows. Most of the time these folks never go into any stores. They are just content to window shop. Out of a possible ten for being annoying, these folks are usually a two or three. They would be a one if only they didn’t hamper the path of some others who might seek the path’s edge for refuge

Squadron Quartets – This group is usually comprised of women. They tend to move in packs of four arranged in twos (two abreast in front, two abreast behind). They move relatively quickly, and are quite efficient in transit. It is only when they hit the shops that things slow down, but by then they are out of the path, so it’s not a big problem. One or two out of ten for this group. In their overzealousness to chat and move, they can sometimes bump into you. Of course, this isn’t always so bad, either.

Roman Soldiers – These are usually groups of guys or high school students that walk in a straight line adjacent to one another. They walk, usually six to eight abreast, and pay no attention to the fact that they are completely inconveniencing everyone in their path. Ten out of ten for these asshats. Nothing beats a column of idiots making their way along the path at a slower rate of speed than normal folk.

The Space Cadets – These people usually travel alone, and are deep in thought. Most likely shopping for birthday presents or a gift for a significant other at the last minute, these mind blankers will kind of meander about almost aimlessly. They look this way and that, not really sure what they are doing. These folks are an eight out of ten for being annoying. Their pace and random directionality will stymie the weaver.

The Weavers – They dodge in and out of traffic as they make their way to their destination. They usually have a clear idea as to where they are going, and will move with great speed to get there. I fit into this group. Regardless of traffic direction, they are the fastest mall travelers. However, they earn a four out of ten for all the times they smash into other weavers.

Juggernauts – This group is comprised of folks who weight more than your average person. It’s usually the muscular ones that are the biggest problem, as they tend to strut quickly through the mall, showing off as much as possible. These folks tend to just plough through everyone, believing that it is in the constitution for them to do so. Six to eight out of ten for these folks. They bowl many a person over in their quest to impress.

The Dime Stoppers – These folks will be walking along at a normal rate, and then suddenly stop in front of you. They tend to get flustered and expect you to apologize for bumping into them, seemingly referencing vehicular traffic law. These morons will become irate, and explaining their own stupidity to them is a waste of time. Nine out of ten.

The Dime Turners – Slightly worse than the dime stoppers, these folks will not only stop, but usually turn and walk in the opposite direction without warning. They smash into you and become angry that you weren’t paying attention to them. The anger is also heightened by the fact that the food or drink that you happened to be carrying is now all over their clothes due to their own stupidity. Nine to ten out of ten for being annoying.

If you feel as if I have missed any, feel free to fill in the gaps in the comments!

Have a happy weekend!


Hai-Kuul – April 22, 2005

Beer (Requested by Zanzibar Island Native)
A wonderful drink
Thirst quenching and refreshing
Creates dumbasses

Nascar (Requested by Zanzibar Island Native)
Powerful engines
Some lightning-fast reflexes
Don’t forget the hicks

Cellphone (Requested by Zanzibar Island Native)
Quite a handy piece
Of modern technology
With stupid ringtones

Zanzibar Island Native insisted that he wasn’t a redneck. However, that just means I will write a redneck haiku in his honour.

Rednecks (Not requested by Zanzibar Island Native)
They live in the sticks
Hidden away from the world
Playing their banjos

Slot Machine (Requested by Free Falling)
Put in a quarter
Pull the handle, watch it go
Say ‘bye’ to your cash

Gamble (Requested by Free Falling)
You bet some money
To try to make more money
You will never win

HangMe (Requested by Free Falling)
A Free Falling game
Just like hangman but better
There are no prizes.

*Remember, you can submit a topic to inspire your very own Haiku Poem by clicking here. You can read about Hai-Kuul here.

You’ll Go Places, Meet People, and Get Plugged!

The Places You’ll Go, the People You’ll Meet…

I went swimming yesterday. I got to the recreation centre a little bit late, so I could only stay in the pool for about 10 minutes. I worked as hard as I could (as I suck at swimming), and then went home to help Mrs. J clean up.

I decided that I would go for a walk after she went to bed, and so I did. It was a nice long walk, about an hour and a half or so. I also decided to stop at IGA on the way home (as it is open 24 Hours) and pick up some groceries that we needed.

So there I was, roughly twenty minutes after midnight, walking home (which was about a half hour away) with a full backpack of stuff, and my legs were really tired because of the workout I had at the pool.

Did I mention I went for a long walk? I decided to cab it home. It would only be a couple of bucks, and I deserved it. I saw a taxi drop off a guy nearby, so I scooted over and hailed him.

The driver was an older Chinese man. Full of life. He was hilarious, and this is the dialogue that made my day (to get the idea of what he sounds like, think of Mr. Yan from Wok With Yan)…

Mister Cab Driver: Wow! Where did you come from?
Jorge: Right here. Fastest pickup ever for you.
MCD: No kidding. Where to?
Jorge: [Tells cab driver where he needs to go.]
MCD: Okeydokey. So, you coming from a girlfriend’s place?
Jorge: No. I’m going home to my wife. I guess you could also call her my girlfriend.
MCD: Oh! That’s a good perspective to have! But you are so young. You’re married already?
Jorge: I’m 30.
MCD: 30? Pah! That’s still young!
Jorge: That’s ok. It is right.
MCD: You sound sure of yourself. That’s a good thing.
Jorge: Yeah. It’ll probably clear up tomorrow. Where are you from?
MCD: Hong Kong. What about you?
Jorge: I was born here.
MCD: What about your parents?
Jorge: India. Goa, specifically.
MCD: Ah. Mixed heritage. Man, this weather has been crazy.
MCD: Hope so. So, what did you study in University?
Jorge: Psychology.
MCD: Oh! I’d better be careful what I say!
Jorge: No, I already have a pretty good idea that you’re crazy already. Takes one to know one.
[They both laugh]
MCD: I bet you took philosophy too, right?
Jorge: Yeah. I enjoy learning.
MCD: You are just an interesting guy, eh? Tell me, what religion are you?
Jorge: Well, I was raised Catholic.
MCD: Uh oh. Did you study other religions?
Jorge: Yes. It was a requirement in high school, but I also did lots of reading afterward because I find it fascinating.
MCD: I have studied the major religions and I have come to the conclusion that Buddhism is best for me.
Jorge: Really? I like some of the ideas of Buddhism.
MCD: Then you are even smarter then I thought you were before. But, tell me, as a Catholic, doesn’t it bother you how much hypocrisy there is in the Church?
[They arrive at the destination – Mister Cab Driver stops the meter and shuts off his CB.]
Jorge: I don’t go to church.
MCD: But you said you were raised Catholic. Christian.
Jorge: I was, but I am more of a spiritual person than a religious one.
MCD: Hmmm. That sounds more like Buddhist wisdom.
Jorge: Maybe part of it is influenced by that.
MCD: So what do you believe?
Jorge: Well, I believe that we are all unified by something. Some call it Chi or Ki. You can’t see it, but it’s there.
MCD: Are you tolerant of other viewpoints?
Jorge: Of course. Who knows what is really out there. Belief is power. And so it should be respected. Just because someone has a different view than you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect it.
MCD: One might call that hedging their bets.
Jorge: That’s just an added bonus.
MCD: Buddhism places the onus on us. Cause and effect. Compassion. We are the ones responsible for change in ourselves.
Jorge: That makes sense.
MCD: Indeed it does. A lot of religions don’t seem to have room for compassion. And if they do, it is hypocrisy at best.
Jorge: To be fair, even Buddhism has its share of hypocrites. I think it’s about the individual. Those with strong belief in their own preference will usually be good examples of the positive aspects of what they represent. Of course there are those who are overzealous.
MCD: Yes. There is. It is a fine line between a good follower of something and an extremist.
Jorge: Lots of crazy things have been done in the name of God.
MCD: People who believe in a god are not following the law of cause and effect.
Jorge: It’s because for most people faith negates both.
MCD: The best example is the crusades. Too many people fighting. Lots of land changing hands. No real gods involved. Just greed.
Religion makes people do funny things. But then people also do funny things to religion.
MCD: Well, I think you should read more on Buddhism. Only recently some great books have come out that make it a lot easier to understand, and are a lot more thorough.
Jorge: Actually, I’d be interested in reading. We should never stop learning.
MCD: That is the greatest crime! The author’s name is Yin-Shun.
Jorge: Yin-Shun?
MCD: Yes. Yin-Shun. The book is called The Way to Buddahood. It is very excellent. Written by one of the top guys in Buddhism. You would enjoy it.
You know, you won’t be converting me to Buddhism.
MCD: I don’t want to convert you. I just want you to read it because it is good. You can make up your own mind. You’re a smart guy.
Now I have even more respect for you!
[They continue to talk about religion and spirituality for another ten minutes or so. Mister Cab Driver is very passionate about his views, but he is also very appreciative of the views of others. Appreciative and respectful.]

It was a great chat. I wonder if I will ever chat with him again? I hope so. I don’t particularly care for people who try to push their religions on others. But I do respect those who believe in something and are proud to share their views without being abrasive or annoying.


You folks have to go to these four blogs…

Jay She is a brilliant writer. Her pages always make me laugh. She has wit and character to spare. Check her stuff out.
– He is a good friend of mine from high school. You will see his name in here quite a bit because we have shared many adventures. His writing is excellent too! Click on his name!
I met Reay when Mrs. J and I moved into our current place. He, too, enjoys writing. He has some excellent stories that I have had the privilege of reading. Go check out his site!
A friend from work (who is at a new place now). She always has interesting stuff on her blog. Go see!

Hai-Kuul – April 21, 2005

Teaching (Requested by Amazing Amanda)
Standing up in front
Scrawling notes on the chalkboard
Waiting for lunch break

I Wish They Had Picked the Black Pope (Requested by Allison)
I really don’t think
That John Paul would have approved
Of this new young pope

Wonder Woman (Requested by Allison)
She wears almost nil
And runs around fighting crime
Creating wet dreams

Cats Rule, Dogs Suck Ass (Requested by Allison)
Cats never obey
Dogs will smell people’s crotches
Who do you think wins?

Blisters (Requested by Theresa Warrior Princess)
My shoes are too tight
They rub against both my heels
Here comes the bubble!

Rainbow Oil Puddles (Requested by Theresa Warrior Princess)
Stuff leaks out of cars
It all drips onto the street
And the sun hits it

Pasta (Requested by Theresa Warrior Princess)
Marco Polo went
And stole a Chinese secret
What a thieving prick

Pink (Requested by Theresa Warrior Princess)
There is a colour
Nestled between red and white
That’s fit for sissies

Mini Buddhas For Sale (Requested by Theresa Warrior Princess)
Attention people
Here you can buy salvation!
Buddha on a stick!

Screams (Requested by Theresa Warrior Princess)
When you’re in trouble
Just open your mouth real wide
And yell really loud!

Hai-Kuul (Requested by Brian R)
Take five syllables
Tack on seven syllables
Add five syllables

Fig-tionary (Requested by Brian R)
An awesome resource
That provides people’s typos
With de-fig-nitions

*Remember, you can submit a topic to inspire your very own Haiku Poem by clicking here. You can read about Hai-Kuul here.

Fig-tionary – April 21, 2005

Brian has requested a definition for a word, but we must first go back to the root of that word…

soudn (Provided by Jorge)

  1. Function: noun – A particularly harsh, full auditory impression. A broken sound – Usage: When fine china falls off the table it makes a horrible soudn.

resoudning (Requested by Brian R)

  1. Function: adjective – Characterized by resonant soudn – Usage: What a resoudning racket that fine china made when it hit the floor!

*Remember, you can submit a request for a crazy definition for a typo by clicking here. You can read about the Fig-tionary here.

Hai-Kuul – April 20, 2005

Blogo (Requested by mapleleafkideh)
There is a strange game
Played by MSN Bloggers
I don’t quite get it

Obsession (Requested by bbyGrrl)
A dangerous thing
Wanting something so badly
It’s beyond reason

Stalking (Requested by bbyGrrl)
Following Someone
Changing celery’s structure
Climbing to giants

Wanting (Requested by bbyGrrl)
See that object there?
I must have it for myself
I’ll pay any price

Wishing (Requested by bbyGrrl)
Wishing upon stars
Doesn’t really do that much
For a bad headache

Overweight Antelopes (Requested by Jay)
Lounging in the grass
Chewing on Vegetation
Not giving a damn

Pineapple Tidbits (Requested by Jay)
Handy for cooking
These beauties come in syrup
Not quite natural

The Number Nine (Requested by Jay)
Nestled betwixt eight
And ten. Stealing the spotlight
Nine is a damned tart

Inverted Eyelashes That Poke You In the Cornea (Requested by Jay)
Just walking along
Suddenly a flash of pain
Stupid Eyelashes!

*Remember, you can submit a topic to inspire your very own Haiku Poem by clicking here. You can read about Hai-Kuul here.

Fig-tionary – April 20, 2005

sok (Requested by Tien)

  1. Function: noun – A sharp resounding noise (as of a hard impact to the face). Comic book sound effect – Usage: Sok! Tien punched Jorge in the face!

*Remember, you can submit a request for a crazy definition for a typo by clicking here. You can read about the Fig-tionary here.