Homeless in Vancouver: A sign of my paranoia?

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      The laneway back door to the Michaels arts and craft chain store on West Broadway caught my attention a few days ago.

      The futuristic-looking peephole device and the sign underneath it combined to create a decidedly Orwellian picture.

      Headlined “GOAL”, the sign was an exhortation to “Get Out And Look”. The store appreciated the viewer’s “Commitment To SAFETY".

      Shades of New Speak. I could have been in the Vancouver—not of Canada—but of Oceania, the dictatorship at the heart of George Orwell’s novel 1984 that controlled the former territories of the British Empire and the United States.

      Or not. Where do I get this stuff? I guess sometimes my imagination just gets away from me.

      Look before you leap…to conclusions

      The whole idea of the peephole was so you didn’t have to get out and look. Anyone on the inside of the door couldn’t read the sign anyway.

      The two things—the sign and the peephole—weren’t connected.

      Security can equal safety but safety doesn’t always refer to security.

      Professional truck drivers are supposed to be ever mindful of blind spots when backing a big truck into a loading bay. It’s not always possible to see every obstruction sitting in the cab of the truck. Hence the G.O.A.L. acronym, for Get Out And Look.

      I like it. A simple acronym to encourage a professional “best practice”. We binners could do with something very similar; something like G.O.A.L.I.E. for Go Out And Look In Everything.

      Where binning is concerned, that’s pretty much the whole of the law.

      Which neatly brings us back to the peephole.

      I spy with my four little eyes…

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      On the inside of that door, people are working hard at Michaels to hook more of the world on scrapbooking. On the outside of that door who knows what could be going on?

      Binners and Dumpster divers looking for anything of perceived value; junkies looking for a place to shoot up, smoke up, or just act up; drunks looking for a place to drink, or plain old homeless folk looking to take a nap…or the next Charlie Manson?

      The DoorSpy DS-6 allows you see left, forward, right, and below—90 percent distortion free—by simply turning the eyepiece.

      “Developed in conjunction with the Technology Commercialization Center at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, the DoorSpy DS-6 peephole is a fully patented. Its sturdy steel tube and Pyrex lens maintain the structural integrity of fireproof doors. Sleek and attractive, the DoorSpy DS-6 peephole is encased in strong and durable ABS plastic.”

      Isn’t that awesome? I was sold at “sleek.” And only US$50. I want one for my bike.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer.