Today was a berry beautiful day.
I woke up early and jumped on the sleepy-guy train, heading downtown.
When I arrived at the mall, I found myself staring up at the rump of a ginormous reindeer.
There were more humungous reindeer further down the mezzanine. Can you find all three in this picture?
I wandered around the shops, trying to find a gift for my work's Secret Santa exchange, but everything was too damn expensive. I gave up and stopped in a café for a cup of jasmine tea. I wish this photo was scratch-n-sniff because the tea smelled heavenly. I worried when I found something green in my chocolate cake slice, until I remembered that it was a chocolate zucchini loaf.
I coveted some crazy stockings.
Then, bored with shopping, I bought a package of raw, organic almonds and walked to Queen's Park to share them with the squirrels.
Queen's Park was abuzz with activity. The CityTV crew was there, getting all their tech in place for tomorrow's Santa Claus parade. A young beardo was walking around, carrying two huge, furry microphones, muttering numbers into them. Employees with "Security" jackets stood around looking cold.
I found a bench and began handing out almonds. I think I had around six squirrels in attendance, but it was difficult to tell them apart. The most aggressive one was black with a white tip on his tail. I kept trying to explain to him that I had plenty of nuts to go around, but he felt compelled to continually chase the other squirrels away. As soon as he turned to chase another invader, the one he'd just dominated would sneak back to me.
It was interesting to see the squirrels' competing drives of hunger vs. fear. When I held out a nut, some squirrels would run straight at me, and then, passing an invisible boundary, would, without slowing down, make a tight U-turn and run away again. I had to pitch overhand to get nuts to my shyest customers.
Eventually I started getting cold and hungry. I was down to the bottom of the bag. I started eating the almonds myself. The squirrels hung around, staring at me. Finally a very energetic dog ran into the park, and started flipping out, like:
And that was pretty much the end of the nut party.