A small list of things that strangers have told me in Toronto:
I stood astride my bike at a red light, panting from exertion with my tongue lolling out.
"Nice tongue," said a young woman next to me. "It's only about twenty centimeters long." When I thanked her, she said, "It's not a compliment."
Gotcha. And Toronto women in the 90's wondered why they were taken for being dull, uptight nags.
something you'll never forget
I was hustling to work in the mid 90's with a free computer-related magazine in one hand. A derelict saw the magazine and hollered, "Laptops? I'll drop something in your lap that you'll never forget."
I though that the line was a bit clever, actually.
my dog would like to meet you
It was a full moon, and I kinda saw it coming. I was heading for home on a trip where I'd already noticed one befuddled woman standing at the corner of Yonge and College wearing only a single sock. Then a woman on my side of the street saw me coming, and I somehow knew that we'd made a "crazy connection". Sure enough, she stooped to pick up her lap dog, hoisted it up, and told me (and me only, ignoring the other passers-by), "My dog would like to meet you."
the real anal type!
It was early 2011, and I'd only been back in the city for a couple of months after years in Japan. I was wearing a tie and a sweater, and walking on King Street West (okay, I was asking for this). A bicycle courier, pedalling on the sidewalk, looked at me and said, "Oh, the real anal type."
Part of the price of turning forty I guess.
the real Orthodox
I was cycling past the close-circuit gambling site at Queen and Kingston when I had to stop for a light. A heavyset and badly dressed woman strode up to me and announced, "I am an Eastern Orthodox motherfucking Christian." I had no idea what to say to that.
get out of my store!
At some point in the early aughties, I went with my friend Charlie into one of the pawn shops on Queen Street east at around Jarvis.
The guy behind the counter looked at me strangely as I approached, but I told him, "Hi! I'd like to buy a slide projector."
He glowered at me and asked a few strange questions about how I intended to use the projector.
When I gave my answers—and for the life of me I had no idea what was going on—he suddenly erupted into anger, and demanded that I leave his run-down cluttered hole of a store.
So I did. About ten years later it occurred to me to wonder if he thought I was a cop, and that his crap-hole shop was full of stolen 'received goods'.
don't take that photo!
During a blackout I tried to take a photo of two fellows selling ice cream to the passers by in front of a gas station. I thought that the two were being clever in making the most of some ice cream that would soon spoil. I guess they were planning on pocketing the proceeds.