Asking for directions

Last night, I was walking home from my friend Kevin’s house after a nice dinner. Kevin lives in a neighbourhood adjacent to Accordion City’s High Park, a semi-suburban area that’s a ten- or fifteen-minute subway ride away from the downtown core.

The rain was coming down so hard that I didn’t notice the car creeping along the road beside me. Its occupants rolled the passenger-side window down, revealing two women wearing sweatshirts and baseball caps (and the baseball caps were on backwards, no less). They had this look that said “potential Jerry Springer audience members”. Hell, maybe even “potential Jerry Springer guests“.

“Hey,” the driver said in a stage-whisper-like voice. It sounded as if she had laryngitis. Her friend in the passenger seat opted to stay mute. “Do you know where the nearest strip bar is? The nearest female strip bar?”

“You’re in the wrong neighbourhood. The nearest one is probably House of Lancaster [warning: link not safe for work!], on Bloor, just east of Landsdowne. It’s a five minute drive.”

(I surprised myself with how quickly I could rattle off that answer. Really, I’m not much of a strip club goer. It’s rather like being a starving famine victim, going to a theatre where they hold cake tantalizingly close to your face, and then they kick you out at the end of the night without giving you a bite to eat.)

“How ’bout just plain old bars?” she rasped.

“There’s at least four right by the end of this street, when you hit Bloor,” I answered.

“Too hoity-toity,” she said. Hardly true. The bars on the street were neighbourhood pubs that showed the hockey game on TV, not yuppie wine bars full of Armani suits.

I’m being asked for directions to bars by Eminem’s mom, I thought.

“Go to Bloor around Landsdowne,” I said, trying to be helpful, “the bars there are down, if you know what I’m sayin’.”

“Thanks,” she croaked. She put her Chevette in gear and sped off towards a less Pottery Barn, more 8 Mile neighbourhood.

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