Homeless in Vancouver: Warm greeting for a slow morning

I haven’t done the statistical analysis yet but observation strongly suggests a binner’s subliminal reading diet—all the words on all the street furniture, signage and dumpsters they encounter in alleys—consists principally of negatives: “No”, “Never”, “Don’t”, “Stop”, with a rare “Please” thrown in to soften the blow.

Once the stats are in, physiologists will probably tell us this surfeit of environmental negativity in the back alleys makes for a toxic workplace—binning-wise—and declare us victims of a hitherto unknown type of PTSD: Pessimistic Traffic Sign Disorder Syndrome.

Street people, binners, parking attendants, traffic enforcement officers, even garbage and tow truck drivers may, in the near future, be in line for significant disability claims. In the meantime, I take solace from the signage in the parkade pictured above.

Could be a sign of age

My morning route to breakfast almost always follows the same side streets and back alleys so I see the warm, yawning mouth of this parkade almost daily. And I’m awake enough that my eyes can focus on the sign way at the back: “SLOW”.

It always makes me laugh.

“I know I am but I’m just getting started.”

And then I’m down an another alley that’s all “No Stopping”, “Never on Sunday”, and “Don’t even think about it”, with one “Smile, You’re on Camera!” 

Stanley Q. Woodvine
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