Saturday, 3 December 2016

#AMTHINKING: LOST SOULS ON THE STREETCAR

Happenings on a short ride home between University and Parliament:

Cheerful black woman gets on and shouts Seat! Someone dutifully gets up and offers her a seat. Next request: Mr Driver, I’m totally lost. You tell me when Jarvis comes up, Mr. Driver. He doesn’t but an electronic voice and several passengers do.

Angry woman gets on announcing I’m a Lesbian. There is no marriage. Leave my body alone!

TTC checker gets on and demands proof of fare from her. I’m a Lesbian, she tells him. There is no marriage, understand? There is no marriage!!

He moves on to the next passenger, an old man wearing red Santa Claus gloves. He raises a jittery hand and points to heaven.

The checker moves on to the cheerful black woman. I’m totally lost, she tells him. 

I take pity on him and show him my transfer. He nods. I guess he’s used to this scene. One out of four passengers co-operating is probably the norm.


Which reminds me of an item in the local news. A woman of Asian origin was harassed at the bank by a fellow customer who railed at her and called her a chink. She complained that no one, including the staff at the bank, came to her help. I don’t think it was a matter of standing up to a bigot. It was a matter of standing up to a disturbed man. I myself wouldn’t confront him. Sorry. Not even the TTC checker has the guts to do that.

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