Archive for September 19th, 2010

My last post, I Don’t Take Pennies got me thinking about other ‘street urchins’ I have come across.  Not all of the following are necessarily homeless, but they qualify.  After page three of my first draft I realized that this topic was too long for one post so I’ve broken it up into three segments, (so far).  Hope you enjoy.

The corner of Van Horn & Victoria in Montreal Quebec is a cultural melting pot, often times the older Jews and Italians can be seen standing on the corner solving the worlds problems, One block is home to many Jews, another is the Vietnamese, The Greek’s live up the street, the blacks down on the other side.  There are the Indians, (from India, not native Americans)…in short, the rainbow of skin tones is always in full bloom. There are no less than four bus stops, a metro station, a school, a strip mall, magic shop, bakeries, drugstores banks, dollar stores and restaurants of all ethnic styles.  It really is a wonderful thing.  Of course with that comes the cast of characters’:

The Walrus:  My brother gave him this name.  He is a very large, very dirty, Walrusy type of fellow.  He does have a tooth, it is round and pointed and sticks out of the center of his mouth.  He was often found just standing at the corner, just standing.  For all I know he is still there, odds are however he is no longer alive. Much to my horror I walked into the Jewish Bakery and there he was behind the counter.  The woman in front of me asked him for a challah, (type of bread) and she wanted it sliced.  He reached down picked up a twist tie and put it in his mouth like it was a toothpick. He reached up with his grubby hand and took down a wonderful looking fresh Challah loaf and placed it into the slicer.  He never thought to put on gloves so I was already shuddering.  He then slid the bread off the slicer and into the plastic bag.  He then took the twist tie out of his mouth and used it to seal the bag.  As he turned around the lady left, I left and so did the two people behind me.

Benny Hill:  Benny Hill looked exactly like Benny hill and he would walk up and down the street I never heard him say a word, I never even saw him stop.  He would walk all hunched over wearing the same tan button down shirt and brown pants.  What made Benny interesting was his shadow. An elderly lady, presumably his mother would always follow him from a respectable distance.  They never spoke when I saw them, never even acknowledged one another and it took some time for me to realize that they were connected, but where ever Benny went, mom was sure to follow.  It did happen one day that I passed Benny on the street and mom was nowhere to be seen.  I waited but she never appeared.  I continued to see Benny but I never did see his mother again.  I’m thinking she must have been watching from above.

Spare Change: This lady was on a mission, she knew exactly what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to ask. “Excuse me, can I have two dollars and thirty seven cents?”  The next time would be different, “Excuse me, can I have 41 cents?” Once she stopped me on the cross walk…’Excuse me, can I have seven dollars and twelve cents?”


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