Van Tango has a mean old scene
The first of the Skull Panda shirts are starting to arrive! If you ordered one during the pre-order period, it will probably be arriving in the next week or two, if it hasn't already!
I've lived in the same neighbourhood since I was five. My elementary, junior high, high school and university are all within half-an-hour's walk of one another. Even now that I am a graduated man, I find myself working only a few kilometres away from home. I pass each one of my old schools every morning when I ride my bike to the Yes Mag offices.
Needless to say, when you live in a neighbourhood like that, there are a ton of kids tearing around you at all times, doing the usual kid-type stuff... riding their bikes, trading Pokemon cards, training and racing squirrels, hiting each other with sticks... you know, the usual. As you get older, they're constant screaming starts to hurt your ears, and watching them run around all day starts to make you feel tired. For the sake of your own sanity, you learn to tune them out.
When I was riding home from work on Monday, I passed by a little boy who was walking slowly but surely in the opposite direction, bawling his eyes out. "Aw," I thought. "Poor kid." And then I kept right on going. Kids cry about everything, I rationalized. He probably just had a bad day at school. His folks will help him out when he gets home. It's not a dangerous neighbourhood. He'll just think I'm some pedophile. I should keep going.
I got about four blocks away before I realized how stupid I was being and turned back. It's not like I had to be anywhere, I scolded myself. It would only take a second to check and see if he was OK. So I did.
As it turned out, the kid wasn't from any of the nearby schools. He had only recently moved to Victoria, and he went to a private school on the other side of town. I guess he didn't know his new home territory too well yet, because it wasn't until after the school bus had dropped him off and driven away that he realized he had been delievered to the entirely wrong neighbourhood. The poor little guy was only in Grade Six, and he had absolutely no idea where he was.
Anyhow, I got his phone-number, called his mom and waited with him until she drove by to pick him up. Obviously, she was pretty happy to see that her son was OK, and said lots of kind things about what a fine upstanding young citizen I was. But I couldn't help but think about how I, on a gorgeus sunny day with absolutely nowhere important to go, almost rode right on by. Who knows how long that kid had been there, or how many other people had ignored him? And what if I had been in a hurry, or if it had been pouring rain, or if anything else had been happening to put me in a slightly lazier or more selfish mood? I might have kept on going. And what a dick I would have been!
What I'm getting at, to put it delicately, is that if you see someone who looks like they might need a hand... don't be such a selfish prick that you won't take five minutes out of your idiotic schedule to double-check. Maybe they'll be fine, and maybe they'll think you're a weirdo for asking. But don't assume that.
It certainly wasn't true for this kid. Fortunately, I did turn back. And later that evening, I won a free Dr. Pepper at Dairy Queen. Conincidence? I don't think so.