Ten years ago I worked here and, strangely enough, was just talking about it yesterday, although when I worked there there were no assplody taco shops next door; it’s the beans, people. Beans are the devil’s work.
Witness Lesley Jackman said: “The flames were almost completely across the road. They were probably 15-feet high and all you could see was the fire.”
Two other witnesses told CBC News that immediately after the explosion, they saw a man dressed in dark clothing running from the area. It is not known whether the man was fleeing the explosion or was involved in the incident.
I’m kind of bitter about this. When I worked at the Broadway and Heather Starbucks (and Stephen Hayes and I opened it) the most interesting thing that would happen is when the head cases from the hospital would come down and…be headcasey. One fellow shuffled down in his paper gown and paper slippers, toting his IV, because he just wanted a cigarette and a decent coffee, dammit. We called the hospital and said, “You’re missing a guy,” and they actually said, “How do you know he’s our guy?” I guess they just didn’t want him back.
Then there was Apparent Eating Disorder Woman, who ordered one of every pastry and one glass of orange juice and a big empty cup. She very slowly took the pastries apart, chewed them, savouring the flavour, and then spat the chewed bits into the cup. We didn’t see her do anything in particular with the orange juice, but when she left we saw that the cup with the food mash was very moist and quite orange.
There was, though, the time I was working with Sam (we think it was short for Samantha, but she was sensitive about it so we never asked) and, it should be explained, Sam had the mother of all crushes on David Duchovny who, it must be admitted, is pretty sweet-looking, especially if you’ve got a weakness for doe-eyed, soft-spoken, sexy-professorlike brunets and we surely don’t know anyone like that around here, do we? And she was puttering away behind me, making a fresh batch of decaf or some such attention-occupying task, and a customer stepped up to the till and ordered, and I still remember it, “A tall Kenya, please,” which he pronounced correctly and everything. I rang it in and took his money and asked Sam to pour it for me, as she was right there, and I used her name and everything, and so she did. She poured it. And she turned around, said, “Here you go,” handed David Duchovny his Kenya, and then she looked up and smiled, and then she froze, and then, magnificently, her knees gave out and she sank sloooooowly to the floor, like some kind of mesmerizing reverse levitation. He watched her sink and when her head was even with the counter he smiled a slow, sexy smile, said, “Thank you, Sam,” and left.
Oh yeah, and the beggars who sat out in front of London Drugs paid some guy a “management fee” because he “owned the block.” Some of them were quite short in the wits department and we used to give the guy hell for renting out a public sidewalk and taking money from people, but you can’t argue with a born capitalist. He was greatly insulted at the suggestion he’d done anything wrong. “Don’t I make them feel a part of something bigger? Don’t I make them feel protected?” Yeah, maybe, but they, of course, were deluded to think so and when one of them got mugged and beaten we finally reported the whole deal to the cops. Apparently, it’s not illegal to rent a public sidewalk to a mentally handicapped dude? Or apparently those cops were particularly lazy.
The “sidewalk manager” controlled a lot of sidewalks around town outside prime spots like liquor stores and London Drugs, and he spent his days gambling. When he was finally put away for something, the beggars could not BELIEVE how much more money they suddenly had.
Oh yes, and there was the (literally) prize-winning story of the lumpenprole. I really don’t know what else to call her. She was there when I got back from my break: large and squashy and overflowing the chair, like soft serve ice cream poured out of a cement mixer and into an acrylic tracksuit. She was quite clearly drunk, which may be against the law but as long as you’re quiet who really cares, but at some point she reached into one pocket, pulled out the most noxious-smelling weed I’ve ever encountered and lit up; with her other hand, she reached into her bag and pulled out a bottle of, I believe, Captain Morgan rum. It took three increasingly firm “You can’t do that. You must put it away. We will call the police. Oh yes we WILL.” to get her to put the doobie out, which she did in her latte. We let her continue to drink it and indeed, she didn’t notice till she’d gotten to the bottom, whereupon she screeched complaints about someone putting a joint in her latte. “Look,” I said, “would we put it in your latte or would we keep it to ourselves? Hey? That stuff doesn’t grow on trees!” and she laughed heartily, passed out, and peed herself all over the floor.
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