It Happened to Me

A Perfect Little Tuesday

Yesterday in Toronto, it was a sunny day with summer-like temperatures in the high 20’s (that’s low-to-mid 80’s for those of you who think in degrees Fahrenheit). People hit my neighbourhood — Queen Street West, the bar/boutique/broadcasting part of town — in droves, wearing short sleeves, shorts and tank tops. Every sidewalk cafe and bar patio was packed well into the evening, and any band who had a gig last night played to a full house.

That morning, I’d received an e-mail from an old supervisor of mine who needed a programmer to do some short-term but lucrative contract work. I had a great meeting with him that afternoon to discuss the project, and pending approval from his client, I could be starting in a couple of days. Apparently the pharmaceutical companies have just discovered computers and the Internet, and they have scads of cash to spend on software and Internet projects. I’m more than happy to help lighten the burden of having all that moolah.

After a quick “victory dinner”, I hit the streets with my accordion and got some busking in. With the throngs on Queen Street, I made that evening’s drinking money, handed out my phone number to various people who want me to show up at their parties, got a free pint of Guinness and worked on my rendition of the White Stripes’ Fell In Love with a Girl.

Then, a trip to the gym. I never thought I’d see the day when I was a regular in a weight room. I have to agree with Arnie: the best part isthe pohmp“.

While at the gym, Will and I were talking about making alcohol versions of bubble tea.

“The problem is that bubble tea takes so long to drink,” he said. “It’s too big a drink for there to be a practical way to sell an alcoholic version.”

“I’ve got it — how ’bout putting it in a martini glass and make bubbletinis? With the tapioca balls at the bottom, instead of olives or pearl onions?”

I think we’ve struck gold here, folks.

That was followed by a run home for a quick shower, followed by a little more busking outside the Horseshoe Tavern to join my friends Will and Tina, where someone invited me to make an appearance at her show, and then inside to see Tuuli, the all-girl power-punk-pop band who are oh-so-cute and have-oh-so-catchy tunes. They sounded put on a great show before a full house. I’m definitely buying their CD when it comes out next week. Now if I can only convince them to wrestle with me in a kiddie pool full of creamed corn, I can die a very happy and sticky man. How ’bout it, ladies?

After the Tuuli show, I collected the “sweaty hugs” that the band promised to the audience (and to offer my accordion backup services). Then we were off to the Bovine Sex Club to hang out and play pool (very poorly, I might add). Will had his usual — a glass of warm water. It takes balls to order that at a place that’s liberally decorated with empty Jagermeister bottles.

“I don’t drink,” he said, “and cold water is bad for you.”

Some guy saw the accordion on my back and invited me to do the between-set music at his stand-up comedy revue at the Poor Alex Theatre.

“I saw you and thought to myself ‘if he’s got an accordion at the Bovine, he must be into comedy,” he said.

After last call, we walked through the still-warm night to Happy Seven for some late-night Chinese food and conversation. We came up with a great name for Will’s band — Cockpunch — and Tina went on about how easily amused she was and shocking it was that she had hardly anything to drink that night.

“She’s off the booze and high on life,” I said, making hand motions suggesting the layout of a newspaper headline.

“Write that about me and you’re dead,” she retorted.

After that, I gave them a quick tour of Casa di AccordionGuy, after which they headed home.

I looked at the clock. 4:30 a.m. Considering I was up at 8:30 that morning, I figured it was a good time to turn in.

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