Note: The Rules & Guidelines for the Yes Test can be found here.
If I'm not careful, the Yes Test is going to bankrupt me. Rather, the crackheads are going to bankrupt me and because of the Yes Test, I'm going to have to give them my money because it's not an unreasonable financial request.
You see, Vancouver has a serious problem with homelessness and addiction. In the five weeks I've spent here, I've seen more crazy than I ever did in New York City, which is obviously saying something. I've never felt in danger, but it's impossible to ignore the oddities. My personal favorite was a middle aged woman, sitting on a bus stop bench, in a hot pink wig, with a live rat perched on her shoulder that peeked it's little snout through her pink coif like a snooping neighbor.
I'm currently living in Yaletown, the hip and hipster part of town where the average cup of coffee takes 45 minutes, mostly because the baristas are busy harvesting the beans from their local, organic, rooftop farm before gently brewing the fresh roast with holy water. While the majority of the area is full of glossy high rises that remind me of Manhattan, the area intersects with Granville Street, which is also home to many of the homeless. Granville is also one of the most efficient ways to walk from one end of Vancouver to the other, making it a prime location for all facets of society to mingle together.
I was walking home from a concert for a band called Moonface. I had zero desire to go to the concert to begin with, because I'm not one for crowds, dimly lit bars, and noise, but when I was asked if I wanted to go, I had no choice but to say yes. My plan was to stay home and work on my super cool puzzle. I had already spent my morning ankle deep in a public water garden after Irishman and I watched a toddler splash around while its mother just gave up on life. As the kid learned what happens when you try to plug a fountain wth your feet, Irishman said, "Are you going to get in the water?" And, well, I had to slip off my shoes and get in the water. I assumed my public pond wandering would be the only oddball yes of the day, but 10 hours later I was losing my hearing to the trance sounds of Mr. Moonface.
While the rules tell me I have to follow through on a yes, they don't dictate how long I have to participate. Halfway through their set I was falling asleep standing up, so I left the venue to make the long walk home alone. Lost in my thoughts, I saw someone in a wheelchair outside a Tim Hortons.
"Can you help me out with some change?"
I walked on. After eight years in New York, most of the time, you just walk on. A block or so later, I realized that I could not say no. I could spare some change. I emptied my wallet and dumped the change into my pocket, knowing I would be walking near Granville in order to get to my apartment. I turned the corner, and a smiling woman held out a paper cup.
"Could you spare a quarter?"
I fished into my pocket and dropped in a looney. "Yes, of course, and have a good night."