Thursday, 7 June 2018

Rose Marie

            On Friday in the late morning I rode down to King Shoe Repair to pick up my sandal. I tried it on and it seemed to be fine. I asked the pretty young owner with the very long black hair tied at the back about the history of the shop because I’d remembered it as having been just a shoe repair shop while now she seems to be buried in clothing. I think that a lot of the dresses hanging there are actually not repaired garments but rather frocks that she’s made herself from scratch, perhaps targeting more the south Asian community of her own background. She told me that the business has been there for thirty years but she brought in the fashion aspect when she took over from her dad.
            I rode over to Freedom Mobile to pay for my June phone service. The customer ahead of me was the gravel-voiced wheelchair-bound chain smoker named Chico whom I always see when I go to the food bank. I learned from his discussion with the clerk about his account that his first name is actually “Chris”. I said hi to him and he started chatting about the Stanley Cup playoffs, which is of little interest to me and ice hockey seems like such a strange thing to be happening in this weather.
            Now that I had my phone functioning I called up The Bank of Montreal to get someone to guide me through sending an email transfer to pay my rent. It looks like I did it before a few years ago to send some funds to my daughter, so now that my memory’s refreshed I’m pretty sure I won’t need any help next time.
            I decided not to take a long late afternoon bike ride because I had writing to catch up on but I did need to get some money and go to the supermarket. I thought that a short ride to Bathurst and Bloor and then south would be a good experiment in riding my bike while wearing sandals. In terms of airflow and being cooler it was certainly nice to be riding in Jesus boots. It was awkward pedalling with them though because the bottoms of the sandals are wider than any shoes or boots that I wear and so my feet were tilted to compensate. Maybe it’s just something to get used to but I don’t think I’ll use the sandals for my long bike rides, such as when I travel out to the beginning of Scarborough.
            I ended up absent-mindedly bypassing the bank just west of Bathurst, so I just continued on to Spadina and then went south. At the corner of Dundas and Spadina was a poor old Chinese man sitting on a folding stool behind a folding table that held nothing but spinach. At his feet was an old watering can to keep his spinach fresh.
I rode to the BMO on Queen, west of Spadina. As I walked into the bank an older couple were leaving. The man spoke to the woman in a Liverpudlian accent with a voice very similar to that of Ringo Starr, “Do you wanna go to Loblaws?” She answered in a different regional British accent, “Let us be gone!”
            When I got to the supermarket I badly had to pee. I went to the express counter to ask for the key but the cashier told me that the washroom is only locked when it’s occupied now. I went to the back and saw that they no longer have their washroom in the warehouse section and that it’s just on the supermarket side of the plastic strip curtained doorway that leads to the back. The only problem was that the washroom was out of service, so I had no choice but to hold it. After I started shopping the urge to urinate wasn’t all that overwhelming.
            I bought green and purple grapes, a sirloin tip roast, yogourt, dishwashing liquid and twelve litres of the cheapest vinegar they had. Four litre jugs for $1.99 each is really not a bad price at all. They were too heavy for one bag though, so I divided them between my backpack and two cloth bags, which I balanced on either handlebar of my bike.
            When I got home I took the last of my kitty litter out from under the bathroom sink because I wanted to pour the contents of the white plastic bucket that for many years I’d used for carrying home and storing my cat litter, into the one-third full 1.5 litre litter container that I’d found a few years before. That pretty much filled the smaller container and I took that out on the deck to see if my next-roof neighbour, Taro was in front of his place. He was, and I asked him if he’d like to have some kitty litter. He seemed to appreciate it.
            Taro complained to me again about my upstairs neighbour, Caesar, who’s been looking out his back window at Taro and even taking pictures of him with a flash. Taro told me that at one point when he caught him spying Taro threw something at his window and Caesar threatened to call the police. As far as I can tell from a bit of research, Taro can’t legally stop Caesar from taking his picture when he’s outside of his place as long as Caesar is not on the property that he’s photographing, unless he tries to publish the photos. I suggested that Caesar is mentally ill and that Taro should just let his behaviour roll off.
            I cleaned the white bucket, put my amethyst rock in and covered it with vinegar. I took about seven litres.
            I roasted the sirloin tip that night and had a couple of slices while watching two episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
            In the first one Dobie has finally found the perfect girl in Melissa Frome, who adores him but he’s worried that something’s going to go wrong because things are too good. He tells her, “If I lost you I'd be a ragged, useless, dirty wreck". Maynard arrives and asks, “You rang?” Later there is a man from the bank inspecting the Gillis Grocery Store because Herbert has applied for a loan. Dobie comes home but Herbert kicks him out. A young woman walks in wearing riding pants and carrying a riding crop. The banker introduces her as his daughter, Mignonne. Herbert asks her if he can get her anything and she says she wants the boy that was just thrown out. She demands an introduction. She explains that he’s unformed, flexible, pliable, the kind I can mould and shape to fit my own tastes. Give me the namby-pambies every time. Herbert protests the way she’s talking about Dobie but she taps his chest and reminds him that he's applying for a loan from her father. "I'm giving a party Saturday night. Your son will be my date.” Dobie refuses to be sold but agrees to go and see Mignonne. When he goes she tells him he is clay and she is the sculptor. Dobie tells her there is another girl. Mignonne asks if Melissa will “forge a solid rock of achievement out of the gooey clay of your mediocrity?” She picks up her riding crop and taps Dobie on the chest with it while she reminds him how desperately his father needs the bank loan. Dobie gives in but he can’t bring himself to break it off with Melissa and so he decides to make it so she’ll break it off by becoming an asshole. He shows up for a date with her dressed like Marlon Brando from The Wild Ones and is mean to both Melissa and Maynard and they both leave. Everybody hates him now. When Mignonne finds out about it she’s very proud of him. She declares that he’s going to be the man she’s always wanted. She says she will tell her father to grant Herbert the loan right away but Dobie tells her no and then he tells her off. She storms away but her father has been hiding and listening. He was so impressed with Dobie’s ability to talk back to Mignonne that he asks Dobie to teach him how to do it. Herbert ends up getting the loan after all.
            The waitress in the malt shop in this one episode, Mrs. Tarantino, was played by Rose Marie, who later co-starred on the Dick Van Dyke Show.
            In the second story Dobie decides that he and Maynard are going to get their own apartment. The parents give in and it’s a disaster but they figure out a way to get them to come home.
            Later I got a phone call from my landlord and his wife. The email transfer that I’d done earlier had been to her email address but she told me that she’d been deleting junk emails that day and hadn’t recognized mine and so she’d accidentally deleted my rent payment. I told her that I’d have to call my bank and ask how I should proceed, though she seemed to think I should just cancel the payment and resend the email transfer. It’s unfamiliar territory for me so I’d rather talk to my bank first. I commented that she was the one that had suggested an email transfer and that I had agreed, so I wondered why on the first day of the month hadn’t been looking for an email from someone named “Christian”? She just said, “If I have an accident I have an accident but now I’ll recognize your email!”

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