Tuesday, July 12, 2022


The pipe for watching rats in Spofford Alley was duly smoked. No rats were seen, but at the far end of Ross Alley a screaming white woman could be clearly heard. Who angrily wanted someone to get out of her life. To stop ruining things. Be gone! At first I presumed the voice to come from one of the buildings opposite. Then I realized it was a crazy person in Duncombe Court, about halfway down. Incensed at what some imaginary person was doing.

Don't catch their eyes, avoid getting their attention, just walk away quietly.

Two of the businesses on Jackson Street were still open. At the all-day dim sum place the staff was busy cleaning, the lights were brightly lit, and undoubtedly they were thrilled that the door was closed and the crazy white lady would not be able to come in if she ventured down that far. They deal with crazy white people all the time.

As does the owner of our favourite Chinatown bar, which is why we curtailed our pubcrawl. Too many kwailo inside the karaoke joint. Which is a guarantee of horrible music and extreme yuppie loudness and misbehaviour.
Both the bookseller and myself have gotten too old to deal with our fellow Caucasians acting up. Especially if they're tech-bros. 'Hey look guys, two old dudes who don't sing!'

With age comes wisdom. We know to not argue with firetrucks or garbage vehicles, both of which were in evidence abundantly. Those things can do whatever they want, including driving at high speed down one-way streets in the opposite direction.

We also know to avoid tech bros and other cocaine snorters.

As well as artistic types and their conversations.

And Bigfoot staggering across Broadway.

The current tobacco is matured red Virginia with the merest touch of condimentals. It is rich, but very subtle. Redolent of a previous era, when men were men and wore fedoras. That was of course the time when everyone huffed Camels and Luckies, except if they were at home in their Nob Hill aleyway apartment overlooking the Bay, reading the Saturday Review or The New Yorker with a cocktail on the side table, and Bing Crosby on the radio.
At home, a pipe. Like a responsible adult.
Out on the town: ciggies.

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