Monthly Archives: July 2018

Preventing Violence?

Another violent act.  The media are calling this one, “The Deadly Danforth Shooting.”

On Sunday July 22, around 10 p.m., Faisal Hussain shot 15 people near Danforth and Logan.  The area is also known as “Greektown.”  Two people died and the rest are in the hospital.

I would like to hear what my smug Canadian friends have to say.  In the past they have said, “We don’t have the mass shootings here because our gun laws are better than the laws in the United States.”

So, how come our superior gun laws did not prevent Faisal Hussain from getting a gun?  He had mental health issues.  What is he doing with a gun?  How come our superior gun laws have not stopped the spike in shootings?  (Isn’t it ironic that this shooting happened the first weekend the police had extra patrols to stop the surge of gun violence in Toronto?)

No matter how many laws you pass, you won’t stop crazy people from committing violent acts.  I am not implying that you do nothing, but there is only so much you can do.  If people want to get guns and do damage, then the law may slow them down.  It won’t stop them.

As I wrote this at the Northern District Library, I watched a man gnaw an empty coffee cup.  He did not eat the whole cup.  There was still a quarter of the cup left.  Perhaps he saved the rest of the cup for later.

Will this man, one day, go into a coffee shop and lose it because people are not eating their empty coffee cups?  Will he pick up a chair and start beating people, killing some and injuring others?  Then, will the government pass a law banning chairs in coffee shops to prevent such acts from taking place in the future?


Does It Matter?


The first week of August is getting closer.  Many years ago, a Ouija Board predicted that I would die the first week of August, 2018.  I am still borrowing library books, so part of me thinks it will not happen.

“What does it all matter?”  This question pops up when I think about my life and the possibility of dying soon.  I know my life matters to family and friends.  I know my life matters to the income-tax people.  But will my life matter when family and friends and the income-tax people are long gone?  Years from now, will it matter that I lived and died, and died with library books due?



I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  • – Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822)

Home Of The Burger Family



A and W restaurant at Grosvenor and Yonge in Toronto, Canada


When I was a child, the Toronto Dominion Bank had a slogan:  The bank where people make the difference.  I was the only one who thought this slogan was silly.  People would shrug their shoulders when I said so.  Would there be a bank if it was not for people?

Fast-food restaurant A & W has a slogan: Home of the Burger Family.   The original Burger Family was Baby Burger, Teen Burger, Mama Burger and Papa Burger.  A modern-day Burger family could also be Baby Burger, Teen Burger, Mama Burger and Mama Burger, or Baby Burger, Teen Burger, Papa Burger and Papa Burger.  

Whatever members form the Burger family, it’s a huge family to keep up the supply of hamburgers for customers to eat.  Either it’s a huge family, or the Burger family can infinitely clone itself.

What family would choose a place to live where it constantly gets eaten by carnivores?  I asked several people this question.  They shrugged their shoulders.

Beyond An Egg Roll

Stool Man is younger than I am.  (At my age, everyone is younger than I am.)  He’s in his thirties or early forties.  He is a shade or two darker than I am, but he is not a Negro.  He’s either from the Middle East, India or Pakistan.

I mentioned Stool Man’s racial description because today when I walked by him, he growled and snarled and spit and said, “Nigger!”

Nigger?  I have heard that word at least once or twice in my life.  I think it means “genius.”

Sometime between yesterday and today, Stool Man realized that I am smarter than an egg roll; that I am, in fact, a genius.

I don’t expect Stool Man to remember I am a genius since his mind frequently leaves his body to tour the Universe.

It does not matter what names Stool Man calls me.  It does not matter what names we call each other.  We are One, and far beyond anything we understand or call ourselves.

“Egg Roll!”

I encountered Stool Man about a month ago in the shower room of the YMCA.  “Stool Man” is the name I gave him based upon the encounter.  I don’t call him that to his face, but think it when I see him.

A month ago, I had finished using a stool in the shower.  I placed it back in the center of the shower room where it belongs.  I started walking away.  Stool Man, who was showering on the opposite side, went to the center and threw the stool along the floor narrowly missing me.  The stool crashed into the wall at the end of the shower room.

“Hey!  What are you doing?” I said.

“That’s where the stool belongs,” proclaimed Stool Man.

I should have realized that Stool Man was missing a fruitcake from his pantry, but I didn’t and argued with him.

“No, it doesn’t.  The stools belong in the center of the room.”

Stool Man’s eyes blazed with insanity.  He raised both arms straight up in the air.  Then leaving his right arm up, he brought down his left arm and pointed to the end of the room.

“It belongs there!” he said.

That is when I realized that Stool Man and I lived in different realities.  In my reality, my mind is close to my body.  In Stool Man’s reality, his mind is nowhere near his body.  Who knows where his mind is?  I turned and walked away kicking myself for not realizing sooner that Stool Man was a nutbar, and that I should have ignored his throwing the stool.

From that time onwards, Stool Man growls and snarls and spits when I pass him in the dressing room or shower.  Sometimes he calls me an asshole, and sometimes he uses an adjective that starts with an F in front of the word “asshole.”  He doesn’t always call me an asshole, but he always growls and snarls and spits like a wild animal.  Fortunately, he does not spit at me.  I avoid eye contact and walk by ignoring him as if he was not there.

Today when I walked by Stool Man, he growled, snarled and spit.  Then he shouted, “Egg roll!”

Egg roll?  Stool Man called me an egg roll!  The only other food names people have called me are meatball and banana.  This was the first time someone called me an egg roll.  And I believe it’s the first time in history that one human being called another human being an egg roll.  What an historical moment!  What an honor that I was part of it.

As for Stool Man?  I will continue to ignore him, but I am thinking about buying him a gift certificate to a Chinese restaurant.