hidden hit counter Late Harvest: Make My Day. No, Really.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Make My Day. No, Really.

I've now established a reliable route from home here that usually takes less than 40 relaxing minutes on the streetcar.

Today, I caught all my transfers. When I transferred onto the King car, the streetcar was pretty full at the front, of couse, with empty seats at the back. I 'scused my way to the back of the streetcar and sat down. I got to enjoy the empty seat beside me for five or six stops and then, in front of Roy Thomson Hall, the streetcar stopped and commotion erupted. A transit guy stood at the stop, surrounded by a teeming mass of eight year olds.

He looked like a purple mountain rising out of a roiling sea of children. His face looked like it was buried in a cloud The kids started to get on the streetcar. Everyone
who had planned to get off at the next stop to board the subway quickly made the decision to flee before the children got on. The car emptied. I would have done the same but the walk was too far. All I thought of was the smell, filth and noise that come with hordes of kids. And me with an empty seat next to me.

The car
filled up with miniature people, their heads bobbing as they spilled down the aisle, the familiar noxzema-like smell of elementary schools everywhere wafting onto the streetcar.

I dutifully put my laptop in my lap and gazed forlornly out the window. It would only be 5 stops or so to my destination, so I steeled myself to ignore the inevitable rush of noise and set my attention to the outside world.

But a little girl, thankfully clean, sat down next to me.

"What's your name?" she said.

"Jared," I said.


A small hocke
y brat sat in front of me. He was the kind of kid who probably beat up other kids and he reminded me of the kids who picked on me in grade two. When the kids sat down he wouldn't let another girl sit down next to him so the teacher sat with him. He was scowling.

But it didn't matter. The little girl who said hello had somewhat charmed me out of my crusty shell. "Are you on a field trip?" I asked.

"Yeah. We went in there and saw LOTS of MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS."

"What grade a
re you in?" I asked.

"Two."

"So how old are you?"

The brat in front turned around. "I'm EIGHT!"

The girl said "I'm seven, turning eight this year."

Another little girl from behind us stuck her head between me and my seatmate. "I'm seven but I turn eight this year too."

"Where are you going?" the little girl asked me. I gave up. I laughed. I just couldn't fight it any more.

"To my o
ffice," I said.

"You have an OFFICE?" she asked. She leaned forward to look me in the eye and see if I was lieing.

"Yes!" I responded, which is not entirely true. It's Shelley's condo.

One of the teachers interjected, speaking to the kids. "The office! That's not as much fun as a field trip, is it!"

They all ignored the teacher and continued to stare at me. "Do you have kids
of your own?" my seatmate asked.

"No," I said.

"Why NOT?"

"I'm not old enough!"

"How old ARE you?"

"I'm twenty-nine."

"That's old enough to have kids."

"Well I guess I'
m not ready."

She nodded sagely then stared into space. The hockey brat, who had behaved very well since the teacher sat down, called the girl's name. He made a series of gestures with his arms, ending with that face where you put your thumbs and forefingers in a ring around your eyes.

"Huh?" she said, looking at him.

He did it again. He knew what he was up to. He was doing it because she didn't know what it meant. Neither did I. But he knew. It was obviously something that would get him in trouble, because he was keeping a close eye on the teacher, who had since fixed her attention elsewhere.

"I don't get it," said the girl next to me, looking resigned and vaguely annoyed with his tactic.

"Me either," I said, commiserating. "This is my stop!"

Those kids made my day.

3 Comments:

Blogger shellz said...

Does that mean you are a hockey brat too? I thought it was a 4 eyes thing. Was the little girl wearing glasses??

9:26 AM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Smakie said...

Cute :)

I tried sending you an evite but your terminal address got bounced back...hmm, for Delia & Tak's bday this Saturday (May 6th) kekee...

s.

8:38 AM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger May said...

I can totally relate to the kid brat making the funny faces. Great story!

10:01 PM, May 04, 2006  

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