Guest Post: Andrea Peneycad’s Magico Magico

January 17, 2011

I tried to trick Peneycad into starting a blog by being all tricky, like “hey that thing that happened to you is funny, you should type it” and she did and then I was all tricky again, like “oh hey great story, why not start a blog and put that story on it” and she was like “no”. So basically she’s the one who tricked me, because look, I’m posting it here.

I was on the subway on Saturday night. It was around 10:30 – kind of a lull time, just before the going-out crowd, um, goes out. I was coming back from a baroque- concert-slash-gay-marriage-fashion-show that I saw with my aunt and my 91-year-old grandmother. But that is entirely another story.

At maybe St. George station, this guy about my age got on the subway. He was incredibly nonremarkable in every aspect except for that he had kind of searching eyes, which are entirely unusual (and entirely undesirable) eyes to see on the subway. The rest of us were playing our required roles of Weary Torontonians On The Subway Who Don’t Notice Anyone Around Them.

I half watched him choose a seat not too far away from me, next to some other guy I dutifully hadn’t noticed either. He then sat down with an exaggerated ‘aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,’ a sound which I can compare only to letting the air out of a bicycle tire. This guy was happy to be taking a load off and wanted us to know about it.

In that exact moment, the man who had been sitting on my same bank of 3 seats got off the subway, and our deflated bicycle tire gave us all a look like ‘golly, isn’t that just Murphy’s law that a better seat opens up right when I sit down, well, gee, I’ll just snag it, it seems like the only thing to do, wouldn’t you agree?’ We wouldn’t agree (or disagree), we were Not Playing. He got up and crossed to sit down next to me, leaving a seat between us.

I focussed on my subway activity of choice, which is to send text messages to my friends, which eventually send themselves when I get to ground level, but once again, ‘aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.’ This sealed the deal for me. I had to keep my eyes to myself; this guy was looking for some sort of conversation opener, and it wasn’t going to take much.

The next time I looked up, he was sort of clumsily shuffling through a deck of cards. Not in a ‘wow, I’d really better get these cards mixed up; look, all the jacks are together’ kind of way, but more of a ‘if I do this for long enough, someone will ask me if I do magic’ vibe. We’d just passed Christie station, which meant I was getting off in 4 stops.

It sort of flashed through my mind that I could make this guy’s night by asking him if he did magic. He was basically wearing a sign that said ‘Ask Me If I Do Magic (Hint: The Answer Is YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)’ but then I thought better of it, and right in the middle of deciding not to, I heard myself say resignedly ‘so. do you play poker, or do you do magic.’

Him: ‘Why, I do magic!’
(I swear, he threw in the ‘why’ at the beginning of the sentence.)

Me: ‘Ok. I’m getting off at Dundas West.’

Him: ‘I’m getting off at Lansdowne! What you see here is a completely normal deck of cards.’

He lifted his deck of cards up, which he was awkwardly holding, as if to prove that there WAS something fishy up with these cards. He kind of clumsily half- fanned through them, so I could vaguely see some writing on at least one corner of the cards. ‘What I plan to do, right before your very eyes, is erase these cards. So, first thing we nee–
FFOOOOOOOMMM

He threw an ENORMOUS fireball into the air, then did some sort of awkward sleight-of- hand and, yup, he’d turned all the cards white. But who cares. I was still back at ‘WHOA. You just threw fire on the subway. Did you really just throw fire on the subway?’ Also, I was thinking how READY this guy actually was for me (and by ‘me’ I mean ‘anyone in the entire world’) to ask him about doing magic.

The other riders on the subway, god love ‘em, they were all playing their ‘I’m in Toronto, nothing’s gonna surprise me’ roles all the way to Oscar nominations. Not a blink or a raised eyebrow anywhere. Inspiring stuff.

With one stop till he needed to get off, I kind of expected that we were just gonna have the ‘thanks, that was neat’ ‘oh really? You really think so? Thanks a lot I have been working on it I am really into magic it’s not that easy you know thanks a lot’ conversation that happens after someone almost singes off your eyebrows, but he stuffed his hand into his pocket and pulled out 3 pieces of trick rope. Kleenex, receipts and instructions for other tricks came tumbling out too, but this guy didn’t care. He was on a mission.

‘I have in my hand 3 ropes. I’m the kind of guy who carries rope in his pocket, crazy eh?’

‘You certainly are prepared,’ I managed.

‘As you can see they’re all of differing lengths. I will now transform them to be the same length.’

He started doing some clumsy movements in his palm. ‘Next stop, Lansdowne Station’ came the recorded voice. He sped it up, and I kind of glanced away so he could hurry up with whatever secret moves he needed to do.

The subway rolled into the station, and he kind of threw the rope out of his hands ‘ and now you see they’re all the same length um bye!’ he grabbed his bag, stood up, and started scooping the receipts, tissue and the instruction card back into his pockets, sliding out the doors just as they were closing.

I laughed and laughed to myself. I tried to catch the eyes of the other passengers, but they weren’t having any of it.

Understandable, really.

- Andrea Peneycad doesn’t have her own blog.
(yet)

PS, Here is an unrelated link.


Lower Bay Station

May 21, 2010

See Lower Bay Station, the creepy hidden TTC stop, this weekend! You’ve seen it in movies; now see it through a moving window!

“Switch replacement repairs are expected to take place for three days during the 2010 Victoria Day long weekend (May 22 – 24) between Bay and St. George stations. As a result, Bay station will be closed, and trains will bypass to Museum station via the interlining tracks. As a result, riders will be able to see Lower Bay Station through the train windows as they ride between Bloor-Yonge and Museum stations. The last time subway trains were diverted to Museum station for structural repairs in the tunnel was in 2007.”

Thanks to Hig for the tip.


Dear Japan: Absolutely not.

December 8, 2009

But if I did this at home I'd be late.

This Japanese poster campaign is asking commuters not to do certain “annoying” things on the subway.

Here’s what I think is annoying on the subway:

Wearing knapsacks at rush hour

Littering

When two friends sit on either side of a stranger and talk over them.

Brushing hair when there’s a person sitting beside you (flake shower, grode)

Standing in the doorway, blithely blocking passengers from exiting. WHAT IS THAT.

Smoking crack into a napkin (I actually saw a guy do that on the TTC, just once. I was really confused about what he was doing until I told a more worldly friend, Hey, I saw a guy light up and inhale off something hidden in his hand, hold the smoke for about 40 seconds, then exhale into a Starbucks napkin, and what he exhaled smelled like sulphur, and my friend said, Uh, that was crack. Huh. Cracky McGuy was about 70 years old, nicely-dressed, not a tooth in his mouth. Summerhill Station. Who knew. Also, to be honest? Not really annoying, and actually quite fascinating.)

CLIPPING FINGERNAILS. UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH.

Here’s what I do NOT find annoying: Applying makeup. Why would that be annoying? A woman applying makeup has her elbows tucked into her ribs as they should be. She’s not flaking body parts onto anyone. She’s not being loud or getting in the way. If anything, she’s being entertaining and educational because I get to watch her make a painting of her own face, and also I get some tips on how to curl my lashes or whatever.

You know, if you curl them twice- once at the base, once halfway up- you don't get that crimpy look? True story. I learned it at Osgoode Station. And that person on the side giving her the stinkeye? That person is OUT OF LINE.

Subway Makeup Wimmin is going to arrive at her destination on time and looking polished. It’s a real boon to the workforce, actually. If anything applying makeup is practically a public service. She should be rewarded, not scorned. I salute you, Subway Makeup Wimmin.

So dear Japan: In response to your subway ad about not putting on makeup in transit: I respectfully reply, NO. I will NOT not put on makeup in transit. And you can’t not make me not do it.

However, Japan, those other things you asked commuters not to do? Totally fine. Especially this nonsense.

STOP THAT. THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR THAT. THE BEACH IS (EVIDENTLY) THE PLACE FOR THAT. (ALSO: WHAT IS THAT.)

Via Copyranter, Via BoingBoing.


Bunched-up transit

April 8, 2009

Interesting article on Torontoist explaining why every morning, my streetcar doesn’t come for half an hour, and then three come all at once.
No word yet on why the seats on my streetcar sometimes come with special prizes.


Like looking in a mirror, it was.

August 22, 2008

The other day, I hustled my way into a subway train, sat down, looked up, and saw myself.

By which I mean that there was a girl sitting in the seat adjacent to mine who looked so exactly, weirdly, like me, that I blurted (because sometimes I blurt), “Oh my god, we’re twins.”

She turned her head slowly, with that dread-filled expression people have when other people blurt things at them in trains, but when she saw me her eyes widened, and then she burst out laughing. And everyone else within earshot was grinning. I’m not kidding, me and this girl look like curly-topped clones.

Then we were stuck in an awkward situation because we were sitting Really Close Together with our Identical Faces, but what else is there to say about that? “Wow, we both have totally slanty eyes!” Awkward. So, in the interest of having something, anything, to do, she dug around in her bag and had a stick of gum, and I dug around in my bag and applied some lip balm. But while applying said lip balm, of course I used the opportunity to sneak some more super-sneaky glances at her. Only they weren’t that sneaky, because our eyes kept meeting, because she was sneaking the exact same non-sneaky glances at me, we are so alike in that way!

So then we started talking, and we realized that people have actually mistaken us for one another in the past. I’ve been called by her name on the street by strangers, and strangers have occasionally congratulated her for the show I work on.

While exchanging these pleasantries, we’re interrupting ourselves every nineteen seconds to start laughing again at how absolutely weird it is to meet someone who looks like us. I mean, there are lots of girls of our same general “type” out there, but this chick and I share, it seems, a “genotype”.

And sometimes when I meet my long lost clone out of the blue on public transit, I take a photo of her on my cel phone to show my friends later. And this girl? Y’all, it turns out that sometimes she does the same thing, we are so alike in that way! And then sometimes I realize later, like when blogging about it, that I can’t get photos off my celphone without “learning how to use a new form of techmology” and “setting up an account” and “paying exhorbitant data rates” and y’all, my momma taught me better than that. So that photo is staying on the phone, ask to see it some time and I will tell you this whole story again, in person! It will take even longer to tell because I will mime the part about the lip balm!

Anyway, as you’d expect, this girl and I of course traded names and became Facebook friends, and so now I can use Facebook to its full potential, which is to poach through her pics & then use Photoshop to prove my point about how we look alike. So, y’all, let me introduce you to my new twinfriend, the lovely Chantelle. And our hybrid photoshop daughter, Chancole.

.

.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64 other followers