by Andrew Tibbetts
I was accosted on the corner of Yonge and Dundas yesterday by happy people trying to give me something. This happens a lot at that corner. It’s usually gum or iced tea or Kleenex; never cars or large appliances.
The young woman handed me a big fake dollar with Margaret Atwood on it. WHAT? That was different. Cultural direct marketing. I love it! I took a closer look at the hawker and she had a giant A on her sweatshirt. By goodness, she was from ANANSI! I hollered out, “ANANSI” as I often do. But this time, it seemed to fit. She seemed moderately surprised that someone would know and be excited about it. Afterall, most Canadians don’t read. They spend their time watching the GalaChannel on cable.
I got half a block and then decided to rush back and snap a picture. The young woman was on the phone so I grabbed a shot of the young man. Two cultural hawkers on the most market saturated corner in Canada. Storm the Barricades! Play the Game by Their Rules! Damn the Torpedoes! Hand Out Phoney Maggie Money! These are the slogans of my dream cultural rebellion. And now my dream was coming true.
I am actually going to pick up a copy of Margaret Atwood’s “Payback” just to encourage this sort of thing. Now if only Leonard Cohen would call me at home while I’m eating dinner and try to sing me a song!