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Dear Urban Diplomat: My neighbour caught me peeing in the park

I was walking home from some light day drinking when I was struck by the need to pee. Unfortunately, the nearest park bathroom was closed. What else was I supposed to do?

By Urban Diplomat| Illustrations by Salini Perera
Dear Urban Diplomat: My neighbour caught me peeing in the park

Dear Urban Diplomat, Recently, I was walking home from some light day drinking when I got the urge to pee—badly. Our park washroom was locked, so I took the next best option: the bushes. Mid-stream, I locked eyes with one of our neighbours walking his dog. He looked shocked and left without saying a word. I’ve avoided him since. The problem is, we’re planning a community skating party for December, and I know he’ll be there with his family. What to say? —Squatter’s Rights, Leslieville

Some acts require contrition; others call for not much at all. This seems like the latter. I doubt your neighbour will bring it up. We all pee, and I’m sure he’s been in a similar bind. But, if you want to break the awkward  silence, next time you see him, explain what happened. Remind him that Toronto has a bad habit of locking its washrooms for reasons that defy logic and the human body’s basic functions. If two years of pandemic-imposed park hangs have taught us anything, it’s that the city is slow to adapt, even when it’s an emergency.


Dear Urban Diplomat, Somehow, I beat the odds and got two tickets to see Taylor Swift next year. Except now I’ve landed a job in France and can’t go. To be honest, I’m a Swiftie of ­convenience—there will be no flying across the Atlantic just to see her. But here’s the thing: a few weeks ago, I stupidly told a friend that she could buy my tickets at face value. Then I checked the resale sites and saw that they’re going for $2,000 each. Should I reverse course? —Deal or No Deal, The Annex

This may sound mercenary, but it depends on how much you need the cash and how much you like your friend. If you’re relatively flush and we’re talking about a best friend here, take the hit and honour the deal. It won’t help your pocket­book, but it will strengthen your bond. If your relationship is more transactional, then feel free to transact with others for more money. After all, moving to a new country is expensive.


Dear Urban Diplomat, About a year ago, my cousin sold his two-bedroom semi to my wife and me. He gave us a good price, and we thought we’d finally beaten Toronto’s insane housing market. He also said that the house was in good condition, so we skipped a home inspection. Big mistake. Now we’ve found out that it has dry rot, which is going to cost thousands to fix. He’s claiming ignorance and refusing to cover the cost. Part of me wants to sue, but my parents and siblings don’t want me to cause a rift in the family. Please advise. —Cursing Cousin, Birchmount Park

You need to look for compromises, not court battles. If you’re stung by the dry-rot bill, imagine how your lawyer’s $200 hourly fee will feel. As you say, skipping the home inspection was a mistake, and you have to own that. Perhaps your cousin could be persuaded to pay half or a quarter for the sake of family unity. But, even if he balks, litigating will only make a bad situation worse. Consider it a lesson learned: trust, but verify.


Dear Urban Diplomat, As a daily GO train commuter, I’m so happy that they’ve finally removed those awful plastic Covid barriers between seats. So imagine my dismay when I reached the office and discovered that my co-workers want everyone to wear masks again. There’s been a spate of cases in the company, and they’re all freaking out. But I have super-sensitive skin and am prone to maskne. I hate the way my condition makes me feel, inside and out. Our boss doesn’t want to wade in, and I’m getting attitude from colleagues who think I’m being a princess. What can I do? —Saving Face, Weston

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Masking is the safe move, but the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and unless the higher-ups put forth an official mask mandate, wearing one is still your choice. Get your booster and tell your co-workers about your acne problem. If they’re still hell-bent, you’ll have to decide what’s more important to you: clear skin or contented colleagues.


Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com.

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