Four randoms

27 08 2010

Four random things today.

First: I am always impressed by people who feel compelled to write in the margins of books. Today, I saw an example of this in Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath, which I got out of the library. A paragraph from the first chapter of the book reads as follows:

We know what you’re thinking – people resist change. But it’s not quite that easy. Babies are born every day to parents who, inexplicably, welcome the change. Think about the sheer magnitude of that change! Would anyone agree to work for a boss who’d wake you up twice a night, screaming, for trivial administrative duties?

In the left margin of this paragraph, someone felt compelled to add:

Eating & diaper changes are not trivial.

I’ll bet that person felt a lot better after doing that. Then he or she went out to dinner and sent the steak back.

Random thing number two: when I was out getting a burrito for lunch, someone was walking on the gravel driveway next to the burrito place and nearly slipped in the gravel, scattering some gravel ahead of him. A chunk or two of gravel might nearly have hit somebody sitting at the nearby picnic table, so the man apologized. I thought, “Only in Canada would somebody apologize after almost slipping and falling.”

Number three: at the Walmer entrance to the Spadina subway station, a man who didn’t speak much English, and who was clearly annoyed, was having trouble getting his pass to work in the automatic turnstile. I took the pass and ran it through the scanner, and it worked for me, no problem. But the man didn’t have the presence of mind to go through the turnstile; instead, he pushed it without going through it. Unfortunately, this meant that he could not use his card at that entrance any more, as it records the place it was last used (to keep people from passing the card back to a friend to re-use). So I had to tell him to go to the other subway entrance, which I tried to do by using a series of hand gestures. He left even more confused and somewhat angry. Oops.

And finally: I was walking home today when somebody gave me three packets of Extra Professional gum. I guess it was left over from a promotion or something. I can’t chew gum – I have bridgework – but I appreciated the gesture.

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