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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Conned on the Commons

Posted on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 11:10 AM

I'm strolling across the Commons. I'm excited to try out my new camera. The sun is starting to drop. In about ten minutes the light will be really nice for photos.

I'm working my way through the camera's bewildering maze of on-screen menus when the delightful sound of a child's laugh makes me look up. And just in time too! Five little rascals on bicycles, out on a play date, are bearing down on me at break-neck speed. I'm amazed their little legs can peddle so fast. I'm also quite surprised to realize they are headed straight for me! I manage a single side-step before the first bicycle whizzes by. I believe "Fuck-head!" is the cheerful greeting from it's young rider. I didn't even have a chance to respond before the second little scamp stretched out his arm, apparently attempting to knock my glasses off my face. Oh, what hijinks! Well played!

Riders three and four fire off a salvo of colourful epitaphs as they streak past (why is it you always think of what you should have said twenty minutes later? Oh, well, I don't think I could have matched wits with these Baby Einsteins anyway).

The fifth little dickens shoots me an icy glare and quite unexpectedly brings his trusty bike to a halt. As a little cloud of dust settles back down to the dirt path, we locked eyes for a moment. I think perhaps he is about to apologize for his colleagues, something along the lines of "Please excuse my associates, the joy of riding free on such a beautiful day has them giddy with glee. I assure you they meant no harm." to which I would reply, "Oh it's quite alright! I was young once. It's just youthful shenanigans getting a bit out of hand."

But an apology is not what this plucky pup has in mind. He shouts to his playmates "Hey! Let's take this guy's camera! Hey!"

But alas, the others are already out of earshot. There will be no easy escalation of this tomfoolery today. Perhaps a bit crest-fallen, the little lad stands on his peddles and is away. Without looking back he salutes me with a single raised digit.

I realize that I'm holding my breath. I heave a sigh of relief. Then it occurs to me that I have been royally duped! These tykes on bikes have tried to make me think they are Haligonian hooligans, young thugs in training. But no! This is not the sort of place where children run wild, thieving and terrorizing willy-nilly. This is Halifax, a quaint little city, where people have a pride of place and respect for their fellow citizens. We don't raise that sort of children here.

Boy, they really had fooled for a minute.

---Mr. Naive

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