The Internet Slacker

The Ten Things I Hate About Toronto

    I almost love Toronto. With its proud CN Tower, vibrant shopping, and a zoo full of drugged gorillas, Toronto is one of the best cities in the world. But I don’t fully love Toronto.
    There are ten things I absolutely friggin’ detest about this city, and I’d like to share them with you now in this wonderful article. My therapist says writing is a much more acceptable way of expressing my inner rage, instead of my usual practice of shoplifting women’s lingerie from the Eaton’s Centre, changing into a sexy little lace teddy, and heading down to the food court to order a “Frogurt”.
    Yes, it’s true nobody likes me when “Shelly” takes over, and I don’t blame them. So to avoid another public psychotic episode involving pantyhose and enraged security guards (I’m up to hundred and thirty seven so far; I’d be famous right now if Guinness World Records encouraged traumatic psychotic transvestism), let’s get right to the pulsating core that makes up my HATE

1) Homeless People Asking For Change.

Spare Change Haiku: “I have no spare change. Please do not touch me, strange man. I have no spare change.”

Okay, okay, calm down. I do not hate homeless people; I hate the fact that people are homeless mostly due to an ignorant, greedy government. I don’t hate the person but the situation.

    Look, I’m not a cold bastard, I do give money to people who genuinely seem to need it. But most of the homeless in Toronto appear to be capable of, well, making more of themselves. Sure, there’s a lot of individuals without money or homes due to mental illness, but most of the homeless I encounter seem to hang around beer stores or have obvious drug problems… and there’s no way I’m funding someone else’s addictions when I have oh so many of my own to support. Ha! Ha! Ha! Uhm… sorry.

I guess this is just one of those things about Toronto that I hate because I feel morally responsible as a citizen for the problem, and yet have very limited means to help the situation. I’ve thought about making a whole bunch of tasty sandwiches to hand out to homeless people, sort of a “Sandwiches for the Homeless” personal campaign. Hey, if you can’t give a homeless person a house, hopefully they’ll appreciate a delicious bacon-lettuce & tomato sandwich when it’s forty below! (Always throw on a little extra mayonnaise, the homeless have suffered enough).

I know my third complaint will probably get some people’s panties in a twist, but I can’t help it because:

2) Every Time I Walk Up Church Street, Everyone Assumes I’m Gay.


    Okay, okay, for Baby Jesus’ sake CALM DOWN! I do not hate Gay people! I like Gay people! Hell, I think Gay people should run the goddamn government for chrissakes! Sort of like a “Homocracy”: Toronto police would look nicer in pink & lavender uniforms, the city streets would be cleaner & certainly more colorful ‘n festive, and the homeless would get really tasty sandwiches with sprouts ‘n tofu ‘n fat-reduced mayonnaise.

    It’s just that… I feel a bit uncomfortable treated like a piece of delicious man-candy whenever I have occasion to pass through Church Street. I’m flattered, sure, as I feel hundreds of lustful men’s eyes surreptitiously traveling up and down my rippling abdominal muscles & lean Scandinavian-swimmer-like body. So why don’t WOMEN give me these kind of looks?

    I’ll tell you why: because every woman on this planet is plotting to make my life miserable. My ex-wife leads this conspiracy. I’m not joking.

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Okay, I’m joking. My ex-wife doesn’t lead this conspiracy; it’s actually run by Henry Kissinger:

“I will stare into your MIND until your soul is MINE. Please do not struggle during the procedure.”

     Henry’s the man (actually an alien lizard-being in human form) responsible for each and every conspiracy on the planet, which includes all the occasions you’ve lost your keys, woken up late for work, or suffered the loss of bladder control during important staff meetings.

    Yes, Mr. K’s influence is everywhere, in the cosmic rays, in the deepest pool of fear inside my soul, and in: 

3) Those Goddamn Huge Electronic Billboards That Rape My Eyes

 Send in eighty-seven Proofs of Purchase of our product and we’ll send you a free sample of sight-restorative eye-drops! ($29.95 shipping and handling, 8-16 months for delivery you poor blind bastard muwhahaha buy our product.)

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I think that the last thing a Toronto downtown shopper wishes to observe are massive arena-sized supernova-bright computer screens hanging off the sides of buildings. Or worse, huge malfunctioning monitors flickering at bizarre frame rates that lead to full blown sidewalk seizures. And yet, we see these damn electronic monstrosities all over downtown Toronto.

    I hate computer billboards! I don’t know what’s worse, tearing down a beautiful old building or turning it into a corporate whore by slapping a big-ass gaudy display on it. And even if there’s nothing technically wrong with the picture, do we really need to be bombarded with hair conditioner messages from yet another advertisement flashing in our faces? We’re shopping already, for God’s sakes; take the big bright light away! Take it away! My eyes… oh sweet blessed St. Al Waxman, my EYES… MY RETINAS ARE ON FIRE.

    Sure, it’s fun to watch tourists in Toronto clutch their steaming eye sockets and fall to the pavement, but that can’t be good for our city’s economy. I say, tear the electronic billboards down… or let them randomly fall down due to non-maintenance. This will ensure a more exciting downtown shopping experience. One day I want to see one of those billboards fall off the side of a building and pancake a whole crowd of Mormons. I don’t hate Mormons, mind you, I just think it’d be really funny. And you would, too. Admit it.

    I guess it’s not politically correct of me to make fun of people whose spiritual beliefs are sillier than mine, so I’ll ensure more hate comments on my blog by discussing the:

4) So-called “Multiculturism” of Toronto

“United we stand for glaring suspiciously at a dumb looking bald-as-fuck white writer with the ego to call himself THE Internet Slacker. What a prick. We must glare at him with yet more eerie strength.”

    Sorry, but I just don’t see much friendliness in the Toronto multicultural scene. Many of the stores I explore in Chinatown are usually run by old Chinese ladies who glare suspiciously at me.

    And… oh, wait. I can’t think of anything else to support this argument. I guess suspicious old Chinese ladies are my only reason for number #4 in this list. Not much of one, is it? Well, have you seen the way those old ladies stare at you? It’s unsettling

    And Chinatown in Toronto is always so packed with people buying spiny things from outdoor vendors who scream about spiny things. And spread-out blankets offering home-made pirated DVD’s. And the old Chinese ladies who find me in the crowd with their eyes… their eyes… their ever-glaring, unforgiving EyEs

    That’s Toronto for you: wherever you go, there’s a bunch of people on the sidewalk who try to sell you something, ask for change, or just won’t get out of your way. Maybe my “walking etiquette” is a bit too demanding, but what really flames my nuts on the open grill of hate are:

5) People Who Use the Entire Sidewalk As If They Own It.

For three days I’ve tried to come up with a funny caption for this picture, while vaguely worrying about getting sued by George Lucas. Suffice it to say, I love George Lucas and everyone should collect ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia until they VOMIT. God, I am a WHORE.

    There is a certain type of person who just instinctually knows how to “walk ‘n block” everybody else on the sidewalk. Such a walk is hard to describe, but imagine someone walking not so much forward as they are diagonally weaving back and forth along the sidewalk’s general direction. And while they are walking slower than you, somehow (as if they have eyes in the backs of heads) these people weave into your path, blocking you better than a professional steroid-crazed NBA athlete on defense.

    I am a non-violent person, but I really, really want to strangle these people. Slowly. On a sidewalk, in full view of horrified bystanders. And many old Chinese ladies would nod their wisdom-wrinkled heads, knowing they were right about me.

    But I always prefer to walk. I enjoy walking, and it’s just not safe for society in general to accelerate my fat ass at greater speeds than a light stroll. I know I’d make a lousy driver because, well, I hate:

6) Cars & the People Who Drive Them

 Force equals mass times velocity squared or cubed or something like that. What I really know is that a steel engine block accelerated by human stupidity driven into my knees really, really SUCKS.

    I don’t drive. On the whole, I don’t like cars: noisy, smelly, big metal things that have on more than one occasion run me over or flung me from their roofs while I was hanging onto Ron Patenaude’s Datsun during drunken college parties.

    I was actually hit by a car once, but fortunately I suffered only a mild concussion muffins tractors Cracker JACKS.

    I actually have never owned a driver’s license or car, and that’s because I’m afraid of my family curse. It seems that whenever a male specimen in our family tries to operate anything that moves them faster than walking speed, they (read: me) crash it into something heavy and non-moving.

    You think I’m kidding? The first time I put on skis, I pulled a “Non-Fatal Sonny Bono”, a ‘NFSB’. Well, non-fatal for me, the tree wasn’t so lucky. Ice skates? The problem there is I can skate just fine, I just can’t stop. My body refuses to do the stopping motion with the skates because invariably I launch myself into the air at about the height of nearby people’s ribcages. So my brain refuses to stop my legs when I’m skating.

    It’s a psychological disorder I’ll thank you to not laugh at. Three years ago I was skating on the frozen Ottawa River in February and I slid all the way to the mouth of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Oh, very funny, yes, nearly freezing to death is a laugh riot, isn’t it? At least the rescue patrol on snowmobile who threw a net over my desperately accelerating body thought I was flippin’ hilarious.

    Rollerblades? I nearly uprooted a sapling oak as a car full of Rastafarians drove past me, the occupants of which laughed uproariously while encouraging, “You can do it, whitebread!”

    Suffice it to say, I use the public transportation system now. It’s a lot safer to the people and general environment around me… but it’s not safe for me. No, we couldn’t have that now, could we, God? Each and every time I pay the TTC I have to suffer:

7) Strangers Who Sit Beside Me on the Bus or Subway Train and Press Their Thigh Against Mine and/or other Touch Me Inappropriately.

 My buddy Scooter didn’t give me permission to use his photo in the above picture, probably because he doesn’t know and I didn’t tell him. Shhhhhh.

    Dear merciful God in Heaven Who laughs at me and mocks my pain, don’t you get enough amusement watching me get “pwned” by life each and every day? Traveling on the bus or subway should afford me some quiet time sitting with only myself & my deep, deep important thoughts.

    But, no. Whenever I sit my fat ass down on a seat, either:

           - a sandwich-less drunk homeless guy,

          - a violently disturbed female (who is probably my ex-wife in disguise), or, 

           - a guy wearing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much cologne who simply must jam & rub their leg against mine,

     …plops down beside me. And then, the leg press. Sometimes, their entire side begins to rub against me. One time a guy rested his head on my shoulder with a gentle wistful sigh.

    In the name of every un-Christian deity, GET AWAY FROM ME! I don’t like being touched, unless the person is a close friend or lover. Lover? Ha ha ha, yeah, right. Close friends, anyways.

    No, wait a minute… none of my close friends want to touch me, not even on the bus. So it’s either a life of no physical contact, or I get felt up by strangers on municipal transportation systems. Fuck.

    Here’s another form of my seething hatred of crowds for you to ridicule, because I know you and my ex-wife and Henry Kissinger laugh at me behind my back all the time. I absolutely loathe and despise screaming crowds of stupid, stupid, stupid people whose combined IQ’s wouldn’t rival an empty school bus of the short type, if you know what I mean and I think you do:

8) The Large Crowd of Shrieking Idiots around MuchMusic When Yet Another Corporate (uhm) We Mean “Musical” Band Appears.

 “Yes, give us Justin Timberlake so that we may KNOW HIM.” Genesis 19: 4-5

    I like a lot of music: classic rock ‘n roll, house, trance, even some stompin’ country and western tunes (as long as they involve potatoes from Prince Edward Island) are groovelicious in fulfilling my musical appetite. (Please note that I invented the word “groovelicious”).

    But I detest “boy bands” and such corporate-born Satanic afterbirths inflicting our ears with random noise geared to amp up the hormonal systems of adolescent girls to “11” on the dial. Young teenage females are naughty enough as it is, and should be spanked more often oh god YES.

    Rock ‘n roll is about stickin’ it to The Man, man! It’s not about making money! So what if you’re starving, homeless and rubbing up against people on subways for cheap human contact, you’re making REAL music. Look, it’s either struggling for years playing your music on the cold streets, or immediately shooting to the top via corporate sponsorship and getting crushed to death by a mob consisting of young female flesh.

    Aw, dammit. I’m… probably not supporting my argument very well here. Instead, let me perform a public service by discussing the very real threat of:

9) The Giant Parkdale Iguana.

 “We will also discuss rent controls, lawn maintenance and… aw, who the hell are we kidding? WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE MURDER THIS HUGE FREAKIN’ IGUANA!!!”

    Almost every week another poor bastard gets eaten by the Giant Parkdale Iguana. As a Toronto citizen I’m sick and tired of hearing the mayor’s constant excuses as to why the police force hasn’t killed it with their new nuclear tank.

    C’mon, Mayor David Miller! Get with the program! Nobody wants a seventeen foot tall carnivorous iguana in their neighbourhood! The combined angry hissing and screams of the 7-11 clerks are keeping people up all night!

    Yes, yes, yes, Parkdale residents, I know you’ve tried to kill the Giant Parkdale Iguana by driving a Toyota Tercel loaded with home-made fertilizer bombs into its pale green abdomen, but that didn’t work, did it? The memorable massive explosion, the 7-11 store’s front windows blowing out, more screaming and hissing, “Twinkies” packages showering the neighborhood…. gee-zuz

    Look, we’re gonna need dozens of nuclear tanks in Parkdale! And stealth biplanes! And giant dead flies laced with tranquilizers! Once we got all that, Giant Iguana BBQ time, baby! (I got dibs on the throat wattle). Finally, 7-11 clerks everywhere will breathe a sigh of relief as they clutch their Twinkies. Er, yeah.

    To all you supporters of the Giant Parkdale Iguana saying “it’ll clean out the neighborhood”: SCREW YOU! I hate YOU, I hate huge iguanas who LICK MY HEAD to judge my flavor when I’m waiting at the bus stop, and while we’re on the topic of HATE I REALLY REALLY HATE:

10) Zanta-Haters.

“You… light up my life. You give me hope… to carry on. With your beach towel… and push-upppppssss…”

    For those who don’t know, Zanta is an eccentric individual in Toronto who blocks people on sidewalks while screaming his Santa-wearing head off, performs push-ups in heavy traffic, and generally loves making new friends who are usually you. It’s considered “good luck” to spot Zanta in a confused & mildly terrified crowd; there’s even a LiveJournal community dedicated to His Zantaness:

    But there are those Toronto citizens who don’t appreciate or even like Zanta. Sacrilege, yes. Or is it “Zacrilege”? Only Zanta knows

    To those people who don’t appreciate Zanta, I send forth a hearty offensive hand gesture involving both my arms and a wrist. Without “colorful” individuals like Zanta making our streets more interesting & full of nonsensical ravings, Toronto would be boring. So bring on the Zanta and his inexplicable push-ups.

    Personally, though, I hate push-ups. I do three of ‘em and I start sounding like an asthmatic moose that somehow wandered to the top of the CN Tower by the stairs. But Zanta’s cool in my book because he rattles the Normals. And when I say “rattles”, I mean RATTLES. S’fun to watch.

In Conclusion:

    Here is the best way to solve these ten problems:

    We elect Zanta as Mayor of Toronto, and hire an all-Gay staff for City Hall. This new political force creates clean, well-decorated homes for the homeless. Several new by-laws are put into effect as well:
    Bylaw #1: No electronic billboards. All existing computer billboards will be torn down and sold to rich computer geeks who will use them as huge monitors to play ‘World of Warcraft’… to the Extreme!

    Bylaw #2: No cars in Toronto are allowed, only Vespa scooters, bicycles, and those weird homemade lawnmower engine-powered skateboards you sometimes see freaks ride. (Oh, and to the guy on the unicycle I’ve seen riding around Toronto: I ORDER YOU TO BUY A REAL BIKE WITH TWO WHEELS. I don’t care if a unicycle is environmentally-friendly, YOU LOOK LIKE A MOBILE VILLAGE IDIOT. Sorry folks, I had to get that out of my system.)

    Bylaw #3: Bus seats & sidewalks are doubled in size, with protective barriers in the middle. Seat barriers on the subway will have a small electrical charge for further “groping discouragement”.

    Bylaw#4: Gay men are not allowed to molest my taut, Adonis-like body with their eyes (or any other organs). However, I should make a compromise with the Homosexuality community in the spirit of understanding & goodwill, so I will allow Lesbians to spank me.

    Bylaw#5: MuchMusic is only allowed to broadcast musical acts with actual quantifiable talent. When CityTV goes bankrupt in direct response to this rule, the channel will be filled with re-runs of “Air Wolf”. SHUT UP I LIKE AIR WOLF.

    Zanta & his fabulous crew will also commission a task force to kill the Giant Parkdale Iguana; the plan will probably involve a lot of push-ups, loud screaming (human & animal alike), and seventeen beach towels soaked in ether. The corpse of the Giant Parkdale Iguana will be turned into delicious iguana-lettuce-tomato sandwiches (or “ILT’s” as I call ‘em) with extra low-fat mayonnaise for the (former) homeless. So far, they’ve received a free home decorated in seventeen tones of fuchsia & a tasty exotic lunch… pretty good deal.

    Okay, that leaves us with the remaining dilemma of elderly Asian ladies who glare suspiciously at me and the ever-lasting mystery of Henry Kissinger. Here’s what we do: we turn the old Maple Leaf Gardens stadium into a gladiatorial coliseum and fill it with combatants made up of all the old Asian ladies in Toronto who glare at me. This audience will perform a “Thunderdome”-style deathmatch between themselves and Heny Kissinger. After Kissinger is brutally reduced to his component atoms by the sheer fury of two thousand surly elderly Asian women, two thousand strong men will taser them into unconciousness.

    And then… I will truly love Toronto. Thank you.

What?!? It’s getting BIGGER? Well, that’s it for me, then. Faithful Readers of ‘The Internet Slacker’, we’ll meet again in my next article, “The Ten Things I Hate About Edmonton.”