Sunday, April 6, 2014

I'll Have Half a Dozen Donuts and a Huge Personal Crisis To Go

Needless to say, I’m happy that I escaped the garbage debacle with the only problem being that I am a few inches shorter, and, of course I had to sign a paper saying that I would not disclose the identity of our garbage man, or the location of our town dump. And I’m not allowed to get within two city blocks of a garbage bag for three years. 

Sheese. These garbage people can get really touchy. Unfortunately, the garbage is piling up in the house. 

So, one day I figured the best way to forget all of this was to go out for a nice fat sugar-bomb, otherwise known as a donut.

For those of you south of the border (or in some other part of the world), Canada's donut shops, in terms of distribution, are like Krispy Kreme on steroids. There is a donut shop on virtually every block in the busy sections of town. I remember counting three on one block right near where I used to work. But I digress...

Two days ago, I was at a donut shop near my house here in Mooburg when I discovered the mysterious side-leaning tables. Each table-and-chair unit in this shop hangs on a single post, which is bolted into the floor. Most of them are perfectly straight up, but the two I was looking at were off by about ten percent from perpendicular -- enough to give the people sitting there a noticeably slanted table.

As I munched my pastry (I was sitting across the aisle), I wondered "Why just these two tables"?

Then I thought: "Maybe it's because there's a trash bin between them." (It was that garbage obsession, coming back to bug me again.)

On top of the trash bin, there was a planter with some plastic plants. The strange thing about the bin was that it wasn't a bin at all. It had just a door, about three feet high. No swivelly cat-flap thingy where you can put your trash.

They probably put the "trash bin" in first, and had to angle the tables to avoid the bin. Stick with me. I'm going somewhere with this.

But why didn't they put the tables in before the trash bin? Or at least fix them once they noticed their mistake?

Or would they? Maybe it was meant to be like this. Then a thought hit me.

And then I really started to get scared.

Maybe they were hoping that somebody would just happen by, somebody with not a hell of a lot of stuff to do. One poor sod out of a million who would look up, and see that something was horribly, dangerously out of kilter.

You know the drill. The princess is out in the dark woods and she throws her golden ball up in the air and it falls into this deep dark pool, and this vile, warty, pustulant frog surfaces and says:

"I'll dive down and get it, but first you have to promise to be my friend and let me take you to the Senior Prom in my four-on-the-floor Candy Red Convertible with independent rear suspension."

In short, this was one of those thresholds of life. One of those wormholes in time that grabs your life by the short and curlies and changes it forever. Or one of those mysterious black holes that suck you into the far reaches of the universe. It could be Beelzebub himself. Just ten feet away from my coffee and Apple Cheese Danish.

Then again, maybe it was just a trash bin.

The problem was, I had to know. Just like in that Clint Eastwood movie. Was there one more bullet in that gun? Well was there, punk?

The other problem was, some beefy guy walked in and sat down right next to Beelzebub, throwing his jacket over the trash bin.

I looked at him. He glowered at me. I made sidewise glances with my eyes, nodding my head to the side, trying like hell to get him and his jacket to move to another table so I could open the trash bin door, see what the heck was inside, and find some semblance of inner peace.

He followed my glances, which unfortunately happened to be in the direction of the men's room door.

Probably the fact that both of us were sitting in a donut shop should have given me a clue. To this day -- and I will take this conviction to the Supreme Court and back -- I am whole-heartedly convinced that there should be a law requiring big beefy guys to wear signs on their jackets indicating the fact that they are off-duty policemen.

I am writing this bit from an eight-by-four cell inside the Metcalf Street Police Station. The cot isn't too hard. The food is tolerable. The stainless steel toilet was a definite let-down. My lawyer says that, seeing this was a first offence, I might get off with two or three months. Six, tops.

When I’m released, I'm going out for a burrito.