I was waiting for my bus downtown and a man approached me. He explained that he had just come to the city on the Greyhound from Calgary and asked me for money.
I wanted to ask him if Calgary knew he was wearing a Winnipeg Jets t-shirt.
The winter ad on the bus shelter where I hop on the bus downtown featured that bright yellow public service ad encouraging us all to get tested and treated for free. Not only was it a sunshiny yellow to brighten my spirits when the skies were so dismally gray but it was educational, too. The next time I’m in a social setting where there’s an awkward silence I’ll pipe up with my new Cliff-Claven-esque tidbits such as it’s a little known fact that the highest rate of chlamydia in Winnipeggers is in 15-24 year olds, and you may have chlamydia and not know it. Also, there is not a “K” in chlamydia (which was news to me).
With the change of the season we have a change of bus shelter ad. Now there is an organ donor ad and it has a life-size photo of an organ recipient and a bit of information. The guy is looking at the camera and smiling a bit. It’s fine really, as far as bus shelter ads go. But when I wait for the bus downtown I’m pretty much always alert to the people around me, always on the lookout for a weirdo (thank you past experience). So I stand on the corner of Main Street and Something Avenue and face north to watch for my bus, and I get the feeling that someone is watching me, staring at me, smiling a little, not moving. I look around by rolling my eyes from side to side without moving my head (completely discreet-like) and see that someone is watching me – the organ recipient. Oh yeah, there he is, and he’s not real (I mean, he’s not really here in the flesh, but he is a real guy), and I’m just now noticing that someone has thrown a liquid at his face and it stuck to the glass covering the ad. Silly me, paranoid over nothing. Ha ha. Is that my bus coming next? No? No. Oookay, just waaaaiting at the bus stop, minding my own business.
Don’t look now but someone has been looking at me for at least 20 seconds, which is 18 seconds longer than needed if they’re not going to strike up a conversation with me. Maybe I should strike up a conversation with them. I could helpfully open the conversation with “Why don’t you take a picture? It’ll last longer.” That’s gold! I’m going to. Oh hang on, it’s just him again. Still staring at me and smiling serenely at me.
And now it’s creepy.
And I’m a jerk for thinking the well-meaning organ donor folks put out creepy ads, but there it is.