12 May 2012

A Spoon in the Street

We all know the old pun about a fork in the road, well-represented by the photo above. We all also recall seeing things that are out of place and wondering just how they got there. Well, the other day I got to see the beginning of the story that probably later resulted in someone else wondering just how that spoon ended up in the street.

Thursday this week started out a little strange. Rushing off to work, I noticed that there was an unusual number of people standing at my bus stop waiting for transportation. I dutifully got in line, as Montrealers are wont to do (read about that here) and waited as a full bus or two went by slowly in the heavier than usual traffic. This was all about someone setting off some smoke bombs in the Métro, throwing the morning rush hour into chaos, but that is not the chaos I want to share with you today.

No, today's chaos is all about someone who was maniacally riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, then manoeuvering it onto the street to get around the big bus line. The descent off the curb was a hard one, and I was a little startled and more than a little annoyed by the craziness of the driving on the part of the cyclist. What followed might have been a little poetic justice: the hard descent to the street dislodged his backpack from its perch on the back of the bicycle and as it flopped over the side, it opened up and spilled the many components of his lunch across the right lane.

I wasn't sure how to feel: a little smug about the justice, a little bad about the lost lunch, a little fascinated by how healthy the lunch was… He hastily gather back up what he could, but abandoned a number of elements, including a couple pieces of fruit, some damaged containers that probably contained a little yogurt and/or applesauce…and a spoon. I watched in fascination as successive cars either barely avoided or squarely ran over the spoon, flattening it a bit, flipping it around on the street. Very entertaining, but I was also keeping an eye on it because I half expected it to shoot out from under a car tire and catch one of us transit users in the face or on the shin or something. A bus with just enough room for us arrived and I was off, abandoning the spoon to its fate.

The next day, arriving at the same bus stop, I looked around for the spoon or for other remnants of the cyclist's horror. No spoon to be seen, just a lonely apple looking a little the worse for wear up against the curb.

I had to chuckle thinking that sometime on Thursday, someone walking by spotted a spoon in the street and puzzled about how such a strange thing came to be so out of place. And if you were that person and you happen to be reading this, you now know the back story.

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