For the second year now, I decided to take to the streets with my flowered bicycle and baskets full of apples. Last year I hit up the intersection of Bay and King, in the heart of Toronto's financial district. This year, we went for a slightly different demographic, venturing a little further North to Yonge and College. Though there are many areas of the city that could use a little boost of nutrition, I chose this one because the four corners of this none-too-pretty part of the city plays host to Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Tutti Frutti (a candy store), a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy and just off from the corner is Frans, a 24-hour greasy spoon diner, McDonald's, Burger King and numerous pubs. These, friends, are potentially the greatest contributors to the ill states of mental and physical health of which we suffer.
I was curious to see if I could persuade anyone to forgo their lunch time coffee and instead have an apple. The little stumbler of this plan was that I kept catching people coming out of the coffee shop and so their hands were already full- a coffee in one hand and a ciggie in the other. No room to spare for a bite of health in the form of a locally grown Macintosh apple.
Once again, people were dumbfounded by catch-free generosity, though I must admit, unlike the suits down at King and Bay, they were mostly willing to make eye contact, lots of big thanks, and some people even came around again to grab another.
The highlight, of course was when my new friend Ron, who also goes by the moniker 'The Street Professor', decided he wanted in on the love sharing. He explained to me that he was a superior salesman thanks to his 'unmatched gregarity', and that he has been working in sales forever. Ron is the anti-Meghan, wearing head-to-toe-black, and big scary skull and cross-bone jewelry. Watching the video when I got home, I realized that as he was chasing people down the street harassing them to take an apple and my biz card, he also kept taking calls on his ear piece and pumping fists with random seen-better-days people. Now, I don't like to make assumptions, but something tells me The Street Professor and I, we're not selling the same kinda goods.
All I know is that it was fun; as much fun as last year with the added benefit that no strangers asked for hugs this time around. If at least one person decides to take an apple as a snack this week instead of getting a Tim Hortons donut or a Starbuck half-caf-double-soy-vanilla-mocha-coffee-free-latte or a bag of fuzzy peach candies, well, then my job was done well. At the very least, I know that 100 or so people had a great, health building snack today. For that alone, I can sleep well tonight!