Archive for August, 2007

Tony’s dedication

August 31, 2007

Tony’s dedication

Tony gave me a book this morning. It’s full of jokes about lawyers and written, purportedly, by a rat. Here’s his dedication. He asked me to post it and I wasn’t about to refuse. Thanks, Tony.

What the doctor ordered

August 29, 2007

Shake it up

“You notice I’m getting a bit scrawny?’

“Well I actually went down to the hospital the other day. The doc told me to start drinking these milk shakes, 3 cans a day because wasn’t getting enough vitamins.”

Roaming through the Danzig corridor

August 27, 2007

Rat baiting

“We haven’t really discussed that murder of the St. Catharines’ guy by those four homeless people. ”

“Well as far as I’m concerned, they must’ve been provoked. Homeless people don’t get in fights with regular folks unless they’ve got to. Maybe if they’re on acid, but you gotta wonder even then. One thing’s for sure — no one’s ever going to find out, one way or the other.”

The Golden Rule of yesterday

August 24, 2007

James Joule

“Hey Phil, I met this young guy, about 28 I’d guess, yesterday. We were talking and he asked me why so many people just don’t follow The Golden Rule. You know what I told him was that if you follow The Rule, you get it back in return.

That’s just the way it is, you know.”

Going soft on bums

August 22, 2007

Bum pad

“I see you’ve got yourself a luxury pad for your bum, Mr. Clemens.”

“And, let me tell you, when I’m done the day, it folds up nice too.”

“How about we do a photo shoot?”

“Where do I stand?”
PS: Question – What would make this blog better?  Thanks for your comments.   –  Philip

My favourite me

August 20, 2007


For a few dollars more

August 19, 2007

A few dollars more 

“Tony, have I asked you about that murder by the four homeless people last week?”

“Hey, Phil, can we talk about it tomorrow? I need to get some money for some dinner.”

Giving no quarter

August 16, 2007

Saul to Paul

“Did I ever tell you about this guy who tossed me a quarter and he says to me:, ‘I hope you aren’t gonna use that for cocaine.’ So I say ‘excuse me,’ and then said to him that I didn’t use cocaine and he could take back his quarter if he wanted.

“Then he comes back another time and says that he was wrong to say what he said.

“You know, now we’re best buddies.”

Philip’s letter to the editor, as published in today’s Globe

August 15, 2007

Letter to the editor, The Globe, Aug 15 2007

Responding to today’s Globe and Mail editorial

August 14, 2007

Letter to the Globe - Aug 14 2007

I just sent this letter to the Globe regarding their editorial promoting tough treatment for hostile panhandlers (apologies for the small-size scan):

To the Editors:
Stiffer enforcement of hostile panhandling laws is both impractical and inhumane.

Any beggar, whether hostile or not, that is perceived as a pest by local retailers will be swept from the streets. Consequently, jail populations will grow, as the hapless perpetrators are generally without the means to pay fines. For those not placed behind bars, expect further overflow in our dismal mental health depots.

Are such results acceptable?

Forcible confinement of panhandlers, homeless or otherwise, is monstrous. This very point is explicitly recognized even by Calgary’s business community. Recently, TransAlta and Suncor — among many others — made a comprehensive commitment to finance a cure for the city’s homelessness problems. Provision of housing, along with requisite social, medical and psychological services are centerpiece of their plan. Of course, Calgary’s booming energy sector has substantially worsened that city’s homeless situation. Nonetheless, they have chosen an approach both pragmatic and compassionate.

The problem of beggar-related harassment and violence is serious. Our approach should be serious too.

Philip Stern, Toronto
Note: The author blogs at

Them’s the breaks

August 14, 2007


“That guy who just came by? You know the one, he told us he’d be back in 15 minutes and he how he wants to buy you and me a beer at the Freshwood? I wish I could go but I’m behind on money and I can’t take any breaks right now.”

The wheels of life

August 13, 2007


“You see that guy on the bicycle? Now him you’ve gotta keep your eyes open for.”

“That guy? Why?”

“You see how he rode by that parked car, the white one over there? He slowed right down when he saw something on her car seat, probably it’s her purse. So he does a couple of u-turns so he can ride by her car again and grab the purse. If you ask me, the only reason he didn’t grab for it is that she was just coming back out the store. I’ll bet you she’ll never know what just went down, which is like most people if you ask me.”

I haven’t seen Tony …

August 6, 2007

… since his nephew placed a comment under “Nothing rhymes with orange” — also see previous post immediately below. As such, he doesn’t know about his nephew’s comment, which (I believe) could bode a life-changing re-connection in Tony’s life. I’m out of web range until Saturday, Aug. 11th. If you’re a Roncesvalles local and you see Tony, please relate the gist of his nephew’s message.


Tony’s nephew reaches out

August 5, 2007

Please see the first comment in Tony’s July 2nd posting, “Nothing rhymes with orange“.

The assent of a woman

August 2, 2007

Monet’s sunflowers

“So Tony, what’s the best advice you ever got?

“I don’t know if it’s the best, but it’s a good one: ‘If there’s a woman mad at you, and especially your wife, just get her some flowers. Works every time.”

I swear

August 1, 2007


“The other day, I did something I’d swore I’d never do again.

“What’s that?

“I helped out a guy who’d stolen from me already.”

“Why’d you do that?”

“No idea. I’ve got no idea.”

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