Friday, July 13, 2012

I beg of you (and many others)

Adjusting to your environment

Montreal!! I love this place.  I have the good fortune of living in an area of the city where people are bilingual.  I have not encountered any major language problems.  If someone speaks to me in French,  I just looked dazed and confused (which I am!) and they start speaking English.
My wife, the little French lady, speaks Frenglish.  She can switch languages instantly.
My Frenglish is limited to "Bonjour, ya'll" but I am learning.  In fact, It is one of the reason we moved into this area.  I could learn French at my own pace.  It is also the center of the universe.  It is the only area I have ever seen that has a walk score of 100.
But if you don't feel like walking, the metro is across the street. Nice. But I am puzzled.

Why are there so many panhandlers in Montreal?  The city seems very tolerant of them. We are very tolerant of them. People sometimes get caught up in hard times.  We occasionally help them out.  In fact some of them are quite creative. (see below)

creative!  I gave him a dollar.

cute dog! I gave him a dollar.

creative! I gave this guy a dollar.  My wife gave him $5. (What!!)
My problem is: Sometimes the street people don't respect boundaries.
My wife (the little French lady) and I were eating on the patio (fenced) of  a small restaurant called "SacWich." We saw a couple panhandlers outside. We paid little attention to them.  We were about half way through our meal when one of these panhandlers walked up to us and rattled his cup to another customer while we had his stinking pants bottoms in our face.  Hmmm! That was annoying.  Is this allowed?  I  am a problem solver.

Later that day I had a minor problem with my MacBook and I started thinking that within a year I will probably need a new MacBook Pro. I will merge these two events and come up with a solution.

I will become a panhandler with a gimmick.  Every panhandler needs a gimmick.  I must make up a sign. Let's try this:

Fellow Quebecois!  I am a blogger. I am on a fixed income (retired).  My Macbook has died.  I need to blog.  Please give me as many loonies ($1) and toonies ($2) as you can spare.  These Macbooks aren't cheap.  I will not waste money on things such as food, coffee, beer. (I sure would love a Molson's right now.) 
Here's the deal.
Give me $20 and I will take your picture and it will appear on my blog. (tax deductible?)
$10 smaller picture, $5 even smaller picture, your name mentioned $2 (toonies) size 14 font, $1 (loonie) size 12 font.  

This should get the job done fairly quickly.
Now I must consider wardrobe.
I think I will go with a Hawaiian shirt, Docker slacks, Argyle socks, a pair of Rockport loafers, tortoise shell sunglasses that fit over my bifocals.  I will splash on some Paco Rabanne or Perry Ellis Reserve and hit the road.
Oh, one final touch.  I will bring along one volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica and I will google manually sans computer.  I will only be able to do A to Aq. I cannot bring all thirty volumes. This way they will see what a hardship my life has been since my computer went out of commission.

If this idea doesn't work, I have a back up plan.

PLAN B:I will start talking about the late 50's when I was growing up.  I will drone on about playing little league baseball, my high school English teacher, how smart I was in geography, and I will recite the capitals of every state PLUS all the provinces of Canada.  This will be a wonderful thing. They will be fascinated with my adventure filled life.

I think I will go down to the Library on our street and scout locations.  I will definitely get a more intellectual crowd there.  I see a new Macbook in my future very soon.