Things you see on the TTC

October 25, 2011

Yonge line, heading south from St. Clair. I get on and notice a free seat but decide I’ll stand instead when I notice why it’s free. A slightly rough looking man with unkempt,  greyish hair and dressed in soiled denim is occupying the next seat. He isn’t particularly filthy but a certain degree of twitchiness gives him a definite air of danger.

That is, if you define “danger” as the possibility that somebody on the subway might actually speak to you. He possesses those overly alert, slightly manic mannerisms which are clear indicators of a Talker. Sort of like how you know from twenty paces that a dog is going jump up on you and lick your face.

The alarm bells he’s set off in my head are clearly silent for the well-dressed, middle-aged woman carrying a plastic shopping bag who plonks down beside him. She’s either far braver than I or hasn’t assessed the situation to the same degree. Due to the her slightly oblivious, preoccupied expression, I suspect the latter.

He immediately begins talking to her. Judging from the look that’s crept into the corner of her eyes, I’m glad to be wearing my iPod and unable to make out exactly what he’s saying. After I notice her loud, nervous laughter, I remove one ear-bud to evesdrop.

He says, “You only have one bag today.”

“Yes. Just the one,” she says and laughs nervously again. Her body language is now beginning to migrate from politely accommodating to closed-off.

“Where do you shop? You shop at the mall,” he asks and answers.

“Sometimes, yes,” she confirms unnecessarily.

“I know you. I seen you there. You’re always running around with three bags. I watch you all the time. Three bags.”

Looking confused and a little more worried, she says, “Oh. I go to the camera store sometimes,” offering him more information than I would have.

“I’m a janitor there. I see everyone. I watch you lots. I seen you always have lots of bags.”

It’s clear by looking at her that she’s quickly come to understand the magnitude of the error she made by sitting beside the scruffy man. The look of worry has spread from her eyes to flood her whole face. This is too uncomfortable for me so I stick the ear-bud back in and focus on my book.

When we arrive at Bloor Station the woman sheds her increasingly unhappy expression and brightly says, “This is my stop. Bye-bye!”

Her bubble is immediately burst when the man says, “Bloor? I’m getting off here too. Now I’m stalking you. Hahaha.” The woman doesn’t respond in any way other than looking exponentially more worried so he quickly adds, “Don’t take that literally.”

The woman nervously laughs one more time, but there is real terror in her eyes as they part ways.

Café Du Lac, a taste of Quebec

October 21, 2011

Café du Lac

It was our third anniversary the other night so we decided to go somewhere a little special, a little fancy. Since there aren’t too many restaurants on the Shore that provide “special”—much less “fancy”—we finally got out to the relatively fancy Quebecois eatery, Café Du Lac, which Mandi has been curious about for some time.

Our experience was special right off the bat.

When we arrived a smidge after 5:30, the doors were still locked and we met another couple who were also waiting for the place to open. Also waiting on the doorstep was a twitching and writhing pigeon with its head and wings twisted at unnatural angles. Its feathers were filthy and ruffled and its beak opened and closed in palsied silence. I thought it might have had distemper—or whatever disease avian scavengers are susceptible to—or maybe had its neck broken by flying into the building. It was hard to tell, but it was certainly dying.

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Canzine’s Coming!

October 13, 2011

Click for info!

Canzine 2011 in Toronto (click banner for more info) is coming up and seemed like a good excuse to print up some new zines. Or zines full of stuff that’s appeared on this blog over six years or so for free. Well, now you can pay for it! Whee!

Mr. Dapper’s Original Illuminatory Journal of Secret Curiosities Zine Compendium – Vol. 1-5

Zine compilation of the best bits from 2004-2011 of Jakob Rehlinger’s (Moonwood/Babel) Mr. Dapper’s Splendid Online Diary blog.Wry observations, true stories of urban weirdos, harrowing tales of retail hell, even more harrowing tales of crazy magazine bosses, drunk escapades, romance, nervous breakdowns, epiphanies, weight loss tips! Each issue approx 24 pages.

5 issues $5 CAD (+$2 shipping)

The Bizarre Romance of Parkinson Jack and Clintina Supanova

Ever wondered what would happen if you actually answered one of those dodgy emails that end up in your spam filter? What begins as a cheeky response to a typical email scam evolves into a truly bizarre epistolary narrative. Taken verbatim directly from the original emails. 20 pages.

$3 CAD (shipping incl.)

The Empire Sucks Back

Jakob’s controversial views on exactly what makes The Empire Strikes Back a bad movie are expounded in this 16-page essay. Since there is no “try”, it’s up to you to decide if he does or does not make a strong argument. Afraid? You will be… you will be…



33 short stories—140 character and up—by Jakob Rehlinger. Some originally published on Twitter plus some slightly (but only just) longer works. Darkly humorous, cynically hopeful. 20 pages.

$3 CAD (shipping incl.)


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