I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

So. Here’s my yesterday evening. It was horrible. (BTW, after writing this I realize this post is very long, but it’s totally worth it. I’m at my comedic best here folks).

I get home from work and I’ve just changed into my comfy Simpson’s themed sleep pants which I stole from my boyfriend, when my phone rings. Since nobody ever phones me, I am surprised, but I go to answer it. It turns out it is awesome friend, calling me because she has locked her ass out of her apartment, and I am her designated spare-key holder.

Now, normally I would have made her haul herself to come get her own damn keys, but it turns out that today of alllll days, she has her younger brother in tow and cannot leave him, nor do they have subway fare for the poor chap so he cannot accompany her in her trek to my apartment. Which means of course, I have to go to her.

This isn’t what I signed up for when I accepted the position of designated spare-key holder. It was my belief in fact that I was accepting nothing, since I didn’t think she’d really ever forget her key. I just did it to appease her really. I mean, nobody actually turns down the spare-key holder position. It’s ceremonial, right? Like the Governor General (whoops! Talea, politics are for another time and place!).

So, as it turns out, I could have taken the subway, or I could have taken the Queen streetcar, and transferred to the Bathurst streetcar. I weighed my options, and chose the streetcars. This was a BAD idea.

First off, I made the decision since I could see the ol’ Queenie coming down the street to pick me up. Sweet! BUT, as it turned out, it was a short-turn streetcar, going only as far as one block from where I was currently standing. Alright, no big deal. Doo dee doo, I’ll wait for the next one. Which came like, 10 minutes later, but hey, it’s nice and warm out, I’ll enjoy it.

So I toodle along on my Queen streetcar and get off at Bathurst Street. Upon obnoxiously walking into the traffic to look down the street and see if the Bathurst streetcar is coming, I can’t see any indication that it is. Alright then, I’ll just take a meander up to the next stop north. Doo dee doo, walking walking. Reach the next stop. Turn around. No streetcar. Well, no harm, though it is getting a bit hot and humid out. Walk, walk, walk. Next stop. No streetcar. Sigh. Trudge, trudge, trudge. Next stop, no streetcar, next stop, no streetcar. I’m getting uncomfortably hot and sweaty. It’s pissing me off. Stupid friend and her stupid keys.

I get to College Street. There’s a bunch of people standing there, and I miss the light, so I check again. No streetcar. Getting ridiculous. Angry sigh. I hike up my proverbial petticoats and march onward. Please note (for all you non-Torontonians) that when going north in this city, you are going uphill. All the damned way. Please also note that it was 73 degrees Celcius outside. I shit you not. You didn’t hear about that? I’m surprised it didn’t make the news, being that it’s outside of human abilities to walk for extended periods of time, uphill, to deliver piddly keys to forgetful friends. Alas. Take my word for it, it was 73 degrees.

I was getting cranky. It was so f(*^ng noisy out. Honking, sirens, streetcar brakes (going the opposite direction of course), random cell phone conversations, overly loud MP3 players, children screaming, planes overhead. It was getting to me. I keep walking. And walking. And sweating. And grumbling. And walking and sweating. The grumbling becomes swearing. And still I sweat!

A streetcar is coming….finally. I am one block away from the damned station, where I told awesome friend I would meet her. Well, fuck that. After all this, I’m not going to be that loser who gets on the streetcar and rides it for one stop like a fatass. So, I keep going. Only to realize I had been confused. I was not one block from the station. I WAS LIKE, SEVEN UPHILL BLOCKS FROM THE STATION. Fuck! Trudge, trudge, trudge. I get there. I hand off keys. I exchange frustrated words with friend and friends brother.

Friend exclaims her surprise, since streetcars ALWAYS run on Bathurst. No. They don’t, I inform her. This is not the first time I’ve had trouble catching one. Anyways, I’m going now to wait for one to show up to take me home. She asks why I can’t just take the subway home. Well, cuz since my boyfriend found out that I was going to Bathurst, he needs me to pick stuff up back down near Queen Street.

I go out to the platform. I wait. And I wait. And I melt, and I wait. That’s it. I snap, I’ve had it. I cross the street, and flag a cab. I sweetly poke my head in and ask if he takes credit or debit cards. He says Yes!! Hallelujah! This is a small miracle, as cabbies NEVER do. I break my policy of not paying for cabs, and hop in. Finally. Finally I am in motion and I am out of the damned heat and humidity.

We pull away from the curb, about to embark on my quick, expedient adventure back down to Queen. He pulls open a compartment, to get the swipey machine ready, and out with it comes a note. I think I see what it says, but I deny it. It can’t be true, it can’t. He turns to me and confirms it. The note says, “Machine Broken. Cannot use.”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I want to cry. I want to ask him if he’ll drive me there out of the goodness of his heart. But then I remember he’s a cabbie, he has no goodness in his heart. But what stops me is not wanting to be that person in the story who was stupid enough to ask for a free ride. I begrudgingly get out of the cab and slam the door shut. I hail the next cab (like, 10 minutes later…..where the hell are all the cabs). He does not want to accept my plastic money. FINE, fuck you too.

Ah! What’s that? A streetcar pulling into the station?! I am in disbelief. I run across the street and pull out my metropass to swipe, so that I won’t have to waste my money on cab fare after all. I swipe, it beeps, I proceed to walk through the turnstile. Instead, I walk INTO the turnstile. The thing is still beeping at me. Curses! It hasn’t been long enough since I already swiped it at this station. It doesn’t want to let me in. It thinks I’ve committed the sin of ‘passing back’ my metropass. Bugger bugger bugger. I stand in line to actually show the guy my pass.

I’m through! I’m on the platform, I’m running to my red chariot. I’M ON THE BLOODY STREETCAR!!!!! Things are looking up. Then, I realize I have about 20 minutes to get to the store that boyfriend needs me to go to. This was unplanned, since I didn’t expect this trip to take a bloody hour and a half. I start to sweat now for nervous reasons. I might make it if we leave soon enough.

Thankfully, we do. The streetcar finally makes its way to the road and edges out into traffic. You think this is the end of my story, don’t you? You’re wrong.

As we’re pulling out onto Bathurst, the streetcar jerks to a halt quite violently. It turns out, WE’VE HIT THE FUCKING TRUCK IN FRONT OF US. Oh, holy Jesus. This is it. This is enough. I’m done with this. Shockingly, everything is okay, and we’re on our way quite quickly.

This is the end of my 73 degree Celcius, trying to be a good friend while railing against the myth of the Bathurst streetcar. Clearly, it doesn’t exist. Very often at least. And I know, you’re wondering, “Did she make it to the store on time?” Yes friends, yes I did.

And I bought the dog food.

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Comments on: "The Bathurst streetcar is an urban myth" (2)

  1. Ha! Oh man, the Bathurst streetcar is really hit or miss. It’s either there every few minutes or it’s just not there at all. I have experienced this since I was about 14 and it’s still true.

    And so far, in my experience, taking a free ride from a cabbie never ends well.

  2. Okay, this is ‘Awesome Friend’ here. First off, I just want to clear my name by saying that I had *offered* to meet Talea at the station by her place, as it’s only a 10 minute trip. Said little brother is a month shy of 17 years old; spending 20 minutes lingering outside Bathurst station would likely NOT have resulted in his kidnapping/molestation/abduction or anything else besides boredom. Especially after I lent him my metropass for the day and said “Go! Discover Toronto!” – he decided to go to Queen St., but mixing up east and west, he ended up at Queen and Jarvis. He now knows that all prostitutes are not, in fact, created equal – some are far sketchier than others.

    Also, I live three doors away from Bathurst. I can see the station and all its approaching/departing streetcars in all their glory. In the morning, at my intersection, I take the Wellesley bus because I hate Yonge station. But if I miss it – oh shit, I missed the Bathurst streetcar too! But that’s okay, because OH LOOK! THERE’S ANOTHER ONE RIGHT BEHIND IT.
    The streetcars exist. They just don’t like you. They are annex snobs. Just like me.

    I lub you!

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