Monday, April 8, 2013

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Baby!

"I'm suited up and ready for adventure!"

I’ve always thought it must be rather exciting to be a baby. You would fall asleep somewhere and wake up somewhere new. And this can happen multiple times in a day! Imagine each time you woke up you were in a whole new world. It would be like Alice in Wonderland but with a stroller.

Just make sure it's not the Tim Burton version, Jesus Fuck!

One of the more magical places for this to happen is Allan Gardens, a beautiful huge greenhouse in the centre of Toronto.

When the baby awakens here after falling asleep in a crowded smelly streetcar (I suspect babies fall asleep as a defensive mechanism), she squeals with delight.

Also, dirt magically attaches itself to her

It’s a great place with wonderful breathtaking flowers and really sharp cactuses at small person height, just to remind you that nature will fuck you up. Years ago my eldest daughter got a cactus during a show and ran to show us. I didn’t see much of the cactus, but I did see the needles grotesquely sticking out of her face and hands after she tripped.

All these plants want to high-five you

My daughter and her friends like to spot struggling artists sketching in the gardens who live a bohemian lifestyle and thus have no idea how to talk to small children. They then stand around the artist and once the artist is calmed to the fact that these kids are watching her, suddenly ask if they can “help”. Anyone with children can attest to the fact that when children wish to “help” with something it usually means you will be forced to fix something in the near future. That’s how many of the professors at the Ontario College of Art & Design have come to find crudely drawn unicorns floating above stunning sketches of hydrangeas.

"I'll give you an A+, just don't hurt me."

The baby who is as antisocial as I am is content with walking around sampling the menu at the gardens or being frightened of the large water wheel cranking away in the south-west wing.

"Man, don't bother me. I ate too many red flowers."

Outside the Gardens is a dog park, where both girls like to watch the dogs. The baby likes dog until they come anywhere near her. That’s when the laughter quickly turns to screams that only the dogs can hear. My older daughter likes to follow the “dog trains” around the park. She calls it a train, I call it a doggy orgy.


It’s strange that such a magical place be located right smack dab in the middle of one of the scariest neighbourhoods in Toronto. It’s such a notorious spot that a documentary was produced about it, East Side Showdown.

It certainly makes for a colourful walk to the streetcar to get home. The first person who crosses our path is a man who announces that for two dollars he would do his “act” for us. Seeing as he had no top hat, musical instrument or shoes I fear that his act only consists of parting a curtain behind which is the only “member” of his repertory company.

This was followed by a woman draped only in a sleeping bag, the zipper of which had less teeth than she did, mumbling about how adorable my baby is. The baby with reflexes like a sea cucumber has of course fallen asleep. She then tells my older girl not to trust me because I’m lying to her. Of course I am. I’m telling them not to be afraid.

Finally the last person we see is a ragged fellow leaning against a corner just randomly screaming unintelligible things at passers by.

All these run ins just lead to the discussion of how there are good drugs and bad drugs. The bad drugs make people lose control of what they say and do, while the good ones will get you laid in College. Rim shot please...


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