Breakfast, with a side of Parkdale
So the mister and I are finishing up a lovely grease-fest at a neighbourhood diner, when out of nowhere, a shouting match begins between another customer and one of the restaurant owners. Apparently the customer had been asked to leave (he even had his toast and juice taken away) but it was unclear as to why this was happening. The owner was shouting something about minimum charges and taking up a table for too long, but the customer, who was black, was singing a much different song, claiming that this was a simple case of racial discrimination. He looked a bit down on his luck, and probably was lingering over his toast so as to avoid going back out into the bitter wind. The restaurant wasn't that busy at the moment though, so I'm not sure what harm it would have caused to let the guy eat his toast in peace. I'm sure there was some history between the two shouters for it all to have gotten so out of hand, so fast.
When I went to the cash to pay, the waitress apologized for all the commotion. I laughed and assured her we were used to it. She looked a little puzzled (clearly not a Parkdalian - though she's been working there long enough to know what it's like) and asked if I meant we were used to it in the restaurant or in the neighbourhood. I explained (shouting matches are de rigueur in the 'hood), and when she asked if the neighborhood was generally a good and safe place, I smiled, assured her that there's no place like it, and went on my merry way.