Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Barbecuing on the Roof

            When I got up at 5:00 on Sunday there was a strange evenly distributed golden glow on everything outside. The sun would not be up for half an hour but it must have been casting light from below the horizon to bounce off of the steel hued clouds directly overhead to create that diffused light that I was seeing.
            For lunch I made a sandwich with a slice of the turkey loaf I’d gotten the day before at the food bank, old cheddar, tomato, cucumber, dill pickle, mayonnaise and mustard. I’d heated the turkey loaf slice for a few minutes in the oven, but it tasted wrong, as if it was raw ground turkey, even though the list of ingredients clearly indicated that the meat was cooked. I ate the whole sandwich but I felt shitty afterwards as if I had a mild case of food poisoning. I didn’t really feel sick but I felt bad enough that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy my bike ride that afternoon. Plus it was a little cooler than it’s been lately, and though it wasn’t uncomfortable it wasn't warm enough to work up a good sweat, which I kind of enjoy.
            I rode to Victoria Park and Delwood, followed it southeast to Rosalind, took that northeast to Knightsbridge, east on that to Pharmacy and then made my return trip. There are more cyclists going eastbound on Sundays than on weekdays and some of them have faster bikes than I do, resulting in me getting passed more than when I’m riding at rush hour.
            When I got home I started grilling a pack of spicy Italian sausages and while they were in the oven I heard loud voices arguing outside my door. I went out and followed the shouting out to the deck where my next roof neighbour, Taro was yelling up at the window of my upstairs neighbour, Cesar and Cesar was threatening to call the police because Taro was barbecuing on the tiny roof area at the back of his apartment. What started the exchange was Cesar taking flash pictures of Taro from his window as he’s done on many occasions, much to Taro’s annoyance. Taro threw something at Cesar’s window, which he had apparently also done on Saturday in response to Cesar the mad apartment paparazzi. I stepped out to talk with Taro and he told me what was going on while at the same time throwing harsh words back up to Cesar, which he would respond to with threats of calling the police. I wondered out loud if it is against the law to barbecue on the roof. “People barbecue on their balconies” I stated and said that I’ve barbecued on our deck. Taro said that sometimes barbecuing on balconies is not okay depending on building rules. I could see sparks flying from Taro’s hibachi onto our roof, which I guess is tarred or with some kind of shingles on top of tar. Taro’s roof looks more like basic tar. I assume though that Cesar’s main objection is smoke coming in through his window. They renewed their shouting match and I walked back inside.
            As far as I can tell from a little research there are no city or provincial restrictions on barbecuing on rooftops. There might be something about making sure that the flames are three meters away from a flammable surface and since Taro’s roof is tar, it may be flammable. He should probably call 311 to be sure. I doubt if the cops want to deal with city bylaws or fire regulations, so if Cesar wants to call anyone he should probably call either the fire marshal or 311.
            I fried an egg, sunny side up and had it with toast, one of the sausages and a beer while watching two episodes of Dobie Gillis. 
            In the first story, Maynard gets a job as a salesman at a small store. The items the management want to unload are a lot of tacky statues of Confucius with clocks in the stomach. Dobie has saved some money for his father’s birthday but when he sees Maynard in trouble because he’s not making any sales he decides to spend the money to help him. He gets Zelda to come to the store as an old lady; Chatsworth to come as a gaucho and Dobie comes as a businessman. They all buy several of the statues at $1.50 each. The storeowners are so impressed that they move Maynard up to selling lawnmowers. Dobie gives his father a statue for his birthday. He hates it but decides to buy several as Christmas gifts for his customers. But when he calls up the store to ask for 24 of what Maynard is selling he gets 24 lawnmowers instead.
            In the second story Maynard finds a purse containing $510. Dobie convinces him to turn it in to the police but the cops tell him that after six months, if nobody claims the purse, the money is his. But the stupidly unlikely thing about the police station is that they have a jail right in the reception area and there are two guys in striped prison suits doing eight months for some crooked stuff who can hear and see everything that goes on at the police desk. They get out just when six months has passed without anyone claiming the purse, so one of them dresses as an old lady and claims it. He almost gets away with it but when he gives Dobie a kiss on the cheek he can tell he’s a man and so he grabs him.
            Maynard gets the money and throws a big party with square dancing. A Beatnik throwing a party with square dancing?

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