I've Bad Luck, Except...

Posted: Apr 9, 2024   8:40:08 PM   |   Last updated: Apr 15, 2024   4:07:45 AM
by Pascal-Denis Lussier

Meat found 1 2 v9

After a return to biting cold weather followed up by last week's heart-attack causing snow storm—what a slap in the face that was to wake up to—Spring is finally here!(?)

Need to have that question mark. This is Quebec, after all, so, one never knows. Though it's nothing like living in the Rockies, where I enjoyed all four seasons in one day on a few occasions. I remember going to work in the morning in short sleeves one day and making a snowman during lunch; that was in July.

If wondering: As I had eventually learned, quickly adopting the practice myself, the surest way to tell the difference between tourists and locals in a town like Jasper or Banff is by whether or not one has a backpack. Locals always carry warmer clothes with them on a warm day and vice versa on cooler days (except in the dead of winter).

By the way: I wish; everyday lately. I sincerely hope I suddenly and painlessly drop dead from a heart attack. It would resolve so much; make 'life' easy...

My dad had two mild ones and died from a third, but, unlike him, I don't drink (alcohol) and spent a good portion of my life running or on a bike; I easily put over 100,000 KMs on my Cannondale in the last decade and a bit alone, and I used to spend way, way more time on my bike in my twenties. So, heart-attack... I wish. But not with my luck.

Not something I wanna go into depth in in this post, but, despite being hundreds of KMs away, I knew it when he died; I felt it. When the call came, there was zero surprise. I still have a hard time accepting certain facets of his death, but... maybe another time.

Any hoot, today was a gorgeous day, the peak hitting 20°C (68°F). Even nicer than yesterday, and, yes, I did have a chance to enjoy the total eclipse, which lasted roughly 1 min 25 secs for the Montreal area. 

I went for a long walk, bringing a bag with me in case I should come across some empty bottles. It's a habit I had picked up some years ago, as, without looking for them, I'd continually come across a whack of them simply walking to and from wherever I was going; despite not needing the money back then, I averaged a bit over $100 per year simply picking these up and returning them for a refund on the deposit.

During a period when I was making real good money, I'd still pick them up, but I'd them leave then in a bag on the sidewalk in front of my place rather than returning them, so someone who did need the money and made a job of hunting down empties, rifling through people's recycling bins for them, would get a prepared 'bonus' whenever I had a few dollars worth.

I haven't taken on such a 'job' yet, still not finding myself living off of the deposit economy that bottles have created.

A few years ago, when the littering problem caused by water bottles had become an issue that most N.A. cities felt needed to be addressed, I was shocked to see how ignorant most people were regarding this aspect.

Folks living comfortably were entirely convinced that the problem showcased the deep hypocrisy that granola types (in today's parlance: Wokes with an environmental focus) operated under since only water bottles littered the landscape. They couldn't figure out that the lack of deposit gave them no value, hence, no one was picking up those bottles only. Pop and beer drinkers littered just as much if not more so. These days, you'd think only consumers of energy drinks are those who litter. 

Having had a good walk, I made my way back home but, for some reason, was propelled to take an odd route through streets I rarely ever set foot on, having no reason to go there. 

As I turned the corner and decided to cut across a small park nestled between two residential buildings, I spotted a reusable Walmart bag that was sitting on a picnic table in the middle of that small park. The closer I got, the more intrigued and set on discovering its contents I became. 

The firm, rectangular shape that  the bag's content imposed on the flimsy, tissue-like fabric bag, a case of beer or some such case filled with empty bottles is what I had expected to find, but... yet... that didn't seem right.

Nope. Not bottles. Inside was pure gold.

If hungry, that is.

A full loaf of sliced bread—a pricey brand—sat atop close to $40 worth of meat.

My initial thought when I saw that bread was a negative one; I was sure that it had gone bad, sitting out in the open like that, and probably for a few days, ditto for whatever else was underneath it... nope. All of it was still frozen, removed from someone's freezer and placed there no more than 30 minutes to an hour ago.

I looked around; the park was completely empty, so were the sidewalks on either side of the park. I scanned the area and pretended to care whether it had been forgotten there by error, making a show of 'waiting' for someone to show up, but within 30 seconds, and in a pantomime sort of way, I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, snatched the bag, and bolted out of the park.

Meet the meat

Instead of my "usual" Basmati rice or flour-and-water pancakes, I had the two Toulousain sausages for dinner (supper for those not raised as snobs) and, so far, I'm still alive. 

Other than breakfast links, which I hate, Toulouse sausages are among my least favourite, real Merguez (lamb) being my faves, though no one would have believed that if watching me chew and swallow that meal. That fat, dripping from the sausages... sooo good.

•       •       •

Last year, though not quite in the same situation I'm in now but tight on cash, I'd gone for a walk and, when I got back to my place, found a ripped shopping bag with a brick of cheese, crabmeat, and some other goodies (don't recall what else).

Two weeks ago, real hungry and having only $3.85, I'd made my way to a store that sold its cans of beans cheaper than all other stores in the area, as what I had allowed me to get two cans, which, I figured, would give me food for two days, having to last three until a bit of money came my way (based on selling my NAD and Rotel amp and pre-amp, if the buyer did come).

On the way back home, crossing a pile of furniture left on the curbside, I noticed a can of Lipton Chicken Noodle soup sitting proudly on top of the pile. I hadn't seen it on the way there, having taken a good look at the pile. It was brand new, and with plenty of rice added to stretch it, provided that third day's meal...

In December, when things officially had taken a turn for the worse for me, I made my way to the same store hoping to get a loaf of bread and some milk, as I still had half a large tin of coffee, which I do love having with a bit of milk and sugar. There was no price on the bread, but I took a gamble, finding myself 15 cents short at the register.

Rather than giving it to me, I was forced to remove one of the two items—some shop owners are like that... what can you do—which didn't really bother me as I knew I could get cheaper bread at the larger grocery store nearby, and 50% cheaper at that if expiring on that day.

However, an Indian fellow who'd come in after me, eyeing me oddly as he zipped to the wine section and quickly picked up a bottle and made his way to cash, told the woman—who owns the shop with her husband (they're Chinese)—that he'd get it. 

"Oh, thank you so much," I said.

The woman seemed confused about how to proceed, waited for the man to give her the 15 cents.

"No, no. Take it all. Take back your $5," he told me, then told the woman to charge him for both my milk and the bread.

"What? Really?" I couldn't help it; I broke out in tears, thanked him profusely. The woman seemed lost; couldn't understand what had happened.

I never quite got why the man did that, though. For all he knew, I was 15 cents short, and that's it. I was wearing an expensive Columbia jacket, had good boots on, leather gloves, a cashmere scarf, clean chinos, etc. I didn't look like someone so badly in need of those 15 cents.

He sure made a difference for me that day. I swelled with emotions, overwhelmed, happy. Tears froze on my cheeks the whole way home.

It takes so little sometimes.

Posted 44 days ago  Last updated: Apr 15, 2024, 4:07 AM

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