A short one for those who miss these crazy streets/streetcars of Toronto.
So this one time, last Monday night, I was taking the streetcar to meet my friend at the modest hour of 10pm, when I witness a little ruckus being had at the front of the vehicle.
It appears a certain young man has decided to skip over the whole payment portion of this program, and walk right on by the driver. It became apparent, rather quickly, that he was intoxicated to the point of dumbness. And I kind of really mean like “unable to speak” because he wasn’t making sense with words and such.
As the driver attempted to get the man to pay, said man was repeating such things as “I’ll get you back next time man.” “Thanks man.” “I don’t have change man.” “Don’t worry about it…man…” The driver offered options such as:
Get off the streetcar.
There’s a bank, get money.
Ask the next streetcar driver for a free ride. (He would probably have given him a free ride if the guy had asked, saying he was “drunk and very sorry but had no change”, but since he just chose to breeze on by the driver, with an entitled air about him: No dice was offered.)
It’s only 3$. (Man: “Anyone have 3$ for me?” Everyone in the streetcar: *glare*)
It continued on for a while until we had been stopped at a particular intersection for 4 green lights and everyone else in the streetcar was getting IM-patient.
I eventually just went ahead and reached into my purse for money I was going to use on streetcar anyway (but I got a free ride thanks to my aunt lending me her pass) and walked on up to the front to pay the guy’s fare.
There was literally NO WAY of reasoning with this guy in his sorry state, short of physically throwing him off the streetcar/calling the cops. I am not good at waiting. I have 3$. There, settled…
Comments of appreciation, as well as, “You shouldn’t have done that.” (people were looking for some blood, that Monday night, apparently) and “You just saved a life, tonight.” were thrown my way as I regained my seat. A tap on the shoulder from the girl behind me and a smile and nod confirmed further appreciation and on our way we were!!!
Then “You just saved someone’s life.” again.
Me: “How so?”
Guy at the front who had been arguing, on the side of the streetcar driver, with the drunken mess: “Cause he would have gotten killed (implying: by him).”
Streetcar driver: “Wow, now. None of that kind of talk.”
The guy at the front with the strong opinion, continues to tell the guy off for being a jerk etc. cause “He would have given you a free ride if you had just asked.” and on and on it went with the drunk guy interjecting once in a while, increasing in aggressiveness and every once in a while turning to the poor girl he sat next to and trying to talk to her, leaning a little too close. Note that he had had a wide variety of empty seats to choose from upon entering the streetcar and had chosen to sit next to this poor girl at the front, effectively trapping her. I kept my eye on the situation but until then, he was busier slurring to the driver than bothering the girl… until…
Eventually I couldn’t stand it any more; the poor girl had nowhere to go and he was leaning real close.
I got up again and went up to her just as he started putting his arm around her. I tapped her on the shoulder and proceeded to practise my craft. Sing? No. Act!!
Me: “Oh my god hey!! How are you?”
Girl: (relief in her face) “Hey!!!!”
Me: “I haven’t seen you in so long! Come and sit with me. Let’s chat!!”
Girl: “Ok great!”
We go back to my seat. She had been talking to her boyfriend on the phone and proceeds to reassure him she’s ok.
Drunk guy slumps down in his seat at the front…annnnd then eventually gets up and comes to sit right in front of us. Oh good God.
He proceeds to try to communicate something about being…drunk…No shit, eh? Further slurs and sad faces, leads me to want to ask if he knew what stop to get off at but I’m stopped by:
Driver: “Hey! Come back to the front and stop bothering those ladies.”
Guy… As usual..does not.
ANNNNND why if it isn’t my stop?
The girl decides to get off with me, thank me profusely and once I confirm she’s ok, we proceed to walk our separate ways. A glance back into the streetcar confirms that our man-du-jour is back at the front of the streetcar and there are raised voices/flailing limbs. *sigh*.
Wherever he is now, I just hope he’s sober. Seeing as it’s Wednesday morning. :S
In any case, I offer a little sympathy for the poor bugger who was clearly having a rough Monday.
The rest of my night was not as dramatic and definitely more pleasant. Rooftops, laughter and curry meals from Macs for the win!
Monday night shenanigans, I tell you!