Friday, July 18, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

wait for it... wait for it... help is on the way?


Damn. I would like to believe that this guy has a good reason he's strutting down the back streets of Montreal in the rain with a bike in each hand.
I'd like to say I immediately ran after him yelling "hey punk, those aren't your bikes!" But it appeared that my powers of confrontation were momentarily disabled due to a lifetime of pacifism... or something.

So I follow the dude for a couple blocks trying to snap some pictures, maybe see where he was headed... maybe he was going to one of the twelve hundred bike shops in Montreal's Plateau. Eventually he stopped walking and started checking out his bikes... well I'm trailing twenty feet behind him and I don't have much time to think of anything more clever than to keep walking past him and into a d├ępanneur (or corner store as you may call them) just up the street. I loitered in the store to see if he would keep walking past me and I could keep following. But as the tension rose between me and the confused store clerk I decided to leave with out buying anything. I walked back towards the now bike enthusiast. Catching a glimpse of his regular white guy, light blue/green eyed face with a couple days of dark brown stubble growing on it. But like a coward I kept on trucking.

Now what am I supposed to do! I can tell he's gonna be walking up this street for a while! What should I do? Well I pop into a pizza by the slice shop, and use their payphone... Hmm 911? No, as far as I understand that would summon a cop car, and ambulance and a firetruck... right? So I check their phonebook and it has a big blank line saying insert local police number here. What? or Dial "0" and have an operator connect you. Well I do that and because I'm at a BELL payphone I get the bell automated service giving me the option of paying for this call with my calling card or making it collect, but no operator assistance option. I hang up and Dial 911, but then get worried and hang up. Damn.

I walk home, with my digital photographs, hoping to see a cop car on the way. Surprisingly I don't. Most the time Montreal is a pretty heavily patrolled city, bt maybe cause it was rainy and a Sunday they had better things to do. I got home and decided to test that theory. I dial "0" and get my lovely operator to connect me to the police phone line, an automated service that puts directly on hold as my call is not an emergency. It doesn't even have any hold music or messages to re-affirm me that I wasn't just hung up on. Well, I wait ten minutes and give up. Calling 911, explaining that its not really an emergency, but I suspect a guy was walking around with some stolen bikes, can you direct me to the right people to speak to. Sure, no problem.. I get transfered and soon realize... "hey, they transfered me to the same phone number from before." This time I wait it out, but eventually i set down the phone and start making some eggs as this all happened before breakfast. I check in every five minutes, still nothing happens but eventually I hear a phone disconected sound and I get outraged.

So the moral of the story is, walk calm bike thieves with two maybe three or four stolen ikes in your hands, as the people in Canada are far two polite to say anything, and apparently some one who actually goes pretty far out of their way to catch you, will be defeated by lack of telephone channels. Wow... what a cynical day.

Citizen Justice.
(oh. and I have been looking on craigslist to see either of these bikes have been posted for sale, not yet.)