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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Study: Heavy marijuana use can reduce your knowledge of eastern-European geography

Walking the pooch tonight prior to the Canada-Slovakia Olympic semi-final men’s hockey game, I was trailing a neighbour (one of those who you recognize but don't know too well) as he was on the sidewalk and was also taking a stroll in my mixed euro-centric neighbourhood. He’s a grizzly old man I’ve shared conversation with many times before, and tonight he was decked out in a very odd-looking hockey shirt and toque, probably making his way out on a wintry night for a little takeout and what not.

Anyhow, the ‘hood is peppered with the university housing crowd, being close to the University of Toronto, which often offers an interesting community and contrast to these populous mid-century European settlers. But tonight the melting pot was stirred a little briskly as he passed by a student house that was obviously running a bender-factory inside, with a few diplomatic representatives manning the porch.

Here is my first-hand recollection of the dialogue from ten meters back of the old man:

Guy on porch, spotting the hockey shirt on the old man, and smoking a cigar-sized ‘phatty’: “Dude – what the fuck!”

Other guy on porch (looking like he’s splitting the same atoms): ”Dude – What?” (excessive pointing at old man)

Third guy on porch (joining the Mensa convention): “Dude! Dude is wearing a Slovenian fucking hockey shirt dude!” (Small note: In certain cultures, “Dude” can be used twice in the same sentence and address two different people).

First guy, now walking down his front path towards the man as he passes: “Dude what are you wearing that shit for around here buddy!” (in a taunting way into the ear of the grizzly old guy, who isn’t flinching. Seriously - a plane could have landed beside him and he wouldn’t have looked different).

Mensa member to his Mensa co-member: ”Dude, you mean Slovakian, right?”

Spliff-sporter: “We’re playing Slovakia tonight, not Slovenia dude.”

Other guy: “Whatever, that’s unreal. How does he walk around like that?”

Mensa member: “Slovenia sucks! Go Canada!” (Yelling into the thin air that I assume also supports his skull from the inside).

Other guy: “Dude – Slovakia!”

New guy joining the porch and running down the walk: “Slovenia and Slovakia, fuck ‘em, Canada’s fucking winning dude!” (yelling down the street at the old man, throws beer bottle which smashes on the well-travelled road, one they likely drive on).

Me (old, a middle-aged greybeard, catching them very off-guard in monotone, now six inches from their faces as they are looking down the street at him and not seeing me): “He’s bigger than all three of you. Stop bothering your neighbours.”

(Them realizing I’m an old, big enough guy to tell them to shut up - me for the first time realizing the same).

Mensa member: “Dude, we weren’t going to hurt him…”

Me: “Pretty sure everyone knows that, tough guy.” (By the way, I’m with my dog and four beers in, so I have an armed sense of confidence here).

(Silenced kids walk back to their porch).

Here’s the final tally as I see it:

Young kids put in their place: 3

Middle-aged guy feeling really old tonight for telling kids (and I mean twenty year olds, not actual ‘kids’) what to do: 1

Really old Slovakian dude who had probably finished a pint of vodka and was headed out to a local to watch his team play in the Olympics, and has no idea any of this took place: 1.


Anonymous said...

The wonders of living in a student neighbourhood.. I understand all too well.

rusty rings said...

not sure why the 3 leaf relief is getting the blame for the aggressive mentality which is quite obviously caused by a life time exposure to hockey.

i mean how many smart hockey players do you know?

i know none