Typical. Forgot all about afrofest when I stopped at Hoserfest - actually a patio in Kensington Market where drinkers were singing Jimmy Buffett's enduring anthem to Wasting Away In Margaritaville that contains a warning to followers of this summer's footwear fad.
"Blew out my flip-flop. Stepped on a pop top." In the song when it happens, he just cruises on back home to pour the booze in the blender. Only work- shirking hosers can sing Margaritaville with conviction. Kind of ironic: there they are, wearing boots to do nothing but drink beer and sing, while 9-to-5ers are flapping off to the job in beach sandals.
The only place to wear those things we used to call thongs until the word was sullied by bum floss is to the pool. Night pool. Outdoor swimming pools open till midnight minus a quarter-hour is the one good thing I can see about our bout of man-made swelter. I don't even mind the kids when, as they are at night pool, they're unaccompanied by pesky parents.
Night pool is beautiful. It's like being in a painting, with that big square turquoise oasis lit up in the hazy dark.
People look different in water than they do on land. Someone swims up who, at a glance, resembles Olivia Chow. Then I look again and she looks too young to be the veteran people's representative. She looks like a little girl. But indeed it is Chow, there in the pool with her public.
She credits Jack Layton with coaching her fine swimming technique. A lot of politicians talk the talk. Both Olivia and Ottawa Jack swim the length and ride the bike.
The second night, I ride all the way to the pool wearing only my bathing suit, as do the fashionable girls from Kensington Market. My antique suit is very revealing. You can see my knees - but it's too hot for modesty.
All swimming looks like drowning to me. So I love to watch.
Why do we have to depend on helpful consumers to produce a killing level of heated smog before we can have night pool? It's obvious night pool is what people want. Why not night libraries? Right, no money. Just where does the city budget go?
The Police Museum is air-conditioned and merits a visit. No fewer than 72 big-name companies (Brinks, McDonald's, Imperial Oil) are listed as sponsors of the Police Museum and Discovery Centre located in police headquarters on College.
There's a big horse like the kind they have in tack shops. "Mounted officers can safely direct and control an unruly mob." In early years, much police time was spent on repressing immoderate riding, driving and "scorching" - the catchy name for racing by bicyclists.
Inspector Vernon Page was the amateur cartoonist who invented Elmer the Safety Elephant, whose flag flew over the crosswalk in front of my school until our crossing guard was run down by a car.
This museum is meant to remind the public what police are for: "delivering a baby in the middle of traffic, comforting a lost child, providing caring support after a traumatic experience, assisting with funeral arrangements, in short, doing what a caring and capable friend would do to help someone in distress." So police are just like friends, except friends don't get paid anything, often have a sense of humour and seldom wear guns.
I don't believe Pepsi spent too much on its display of drugs, which includes beige bits labelled "marijuana, homegrown" and "manicured," a new term to me. There's hash, blond, black and oil, a hot knife, MDA (the Love Drug) and a card that says, "These drugs are not real," which, could be taken philosophically or literally. Either way, they got taken on the weed.
The 1929 holding cell is a bit chilling, and not as in "I be chillin'." Prison Talk, a video of prisoners comparing jail to being locked in a bathroom for years, delivers its deterrent message.
The gift shop sells T-shirts and stuff that says "Police" on it, but there's also a product line with butterflies and flowers and a little "tps" for those who are coy about advertising their support for the Toronto police services.
My unpaid friends were figuring out how to get the cops to show up, say to a crime against a bike or cyclist. Say you've found a grow op!