Meet the Commuters: The Inquisitive Drunk

April 27th, 2007 by Mr. Fanrastic

Every so often I will be writing about the wonderful people I meet while commuting. Today’s subject is the inquisitive drunk.

I like learning funny phrases in foreign languages, and had managed to pick up a couple of silly Turkish phrases from my friend. Despite the fact that he says I sound like a retard when I attempt to speak Turkish, today the phrases would finally prove useful.

The subway was crowded with tired workers on their way home to enjoy their Thursday evening. Seated beside me was my friend, with whom I was having a riveting conversation about absolutely nothing.

Enter the drunk.

He was tall, wore a drab overcoat, and was a little wobbly. Had he not said anything, nobody would have noticed him. Hell, this is Toronto. I’m surprised anyone noticed him even after he spoke up. But I digress.

He attempted to start a conversation with my friend, but, like most city dwellers, my friend is an expert in ignoring people and deftly evaded the drunk’s inquiry.

Determined to engage someone in a conversation, the drunk’s attention shifted a couple people to his right. Again he was met with ignorance.

Continuing what must have been a dizzying arc to the right, he found a businessman sitting all alone right beside him.

“Hey, nice tie!”

“Wha…?” said the businessman, just now noticing the tall drunk who had been standing beside him the whole time.

“That’s a nice tie!” The drunk gave a thumbs-up to help convey his appreciation of the businessman’s tie.

The businessman smiled awkwardly and tried to resume reading his paper.

At this point, the drunk found himself back at square one, attempting to once again engage my Turkish friend in conversation.

“Hey, where are you from?”

“Huh?” my friend replied.

“Where are you from? Let me guess… Persia!”


“I’m from Canada,” the drunk offered. “Welcome!” He made a grand welcoming gesture.

Fortunately for my friend, I was finding the whole scene rather amusing and decided to make eye contact with the drunk. He latched on immediately.

“Where are you from?” he asked me.

I decided that I didn’t speak English and stared blankly at him.

“Where are YOU from?” he repeated, trying to be a little more clear so that I might understand him.

At this point I turned to my friend and said “Sana chorba yok,” which is Turkish for “No soup for you.” (I only know a couple Turkish phrases.)

“WHERE… ARE… YOU… FROM?” The drunk was determined to get an answer from me.

“Bir bok bil miyorsun,” I said in a tone that surely would convey that I didn’t understand what he was saying. I was, in fact, saying, “You don’t know jack shit.” It probably didn’t help that I was speaking Turkish with a Borat accent.

“Are you from Russia?” he inquired.

Again I turned to my friend and told him that he wasn’t getting any soup. Understandably, he seemed a bit confused.

The subway pulled into Bloor, which was apparently the drunk’s destination.

“Finally!” Evidently the drunk was getting fed up with the poor conversational abilities of his fellow passengers and was glad to have an exit. So was my friend, who disembarked shortly after the drunk.

I looked over at one of the passengers who had witnessed the whole thing. He probably thought I didn’t speak English, so I said to him, “That was fun! I told him in Turkish that he didn’t know jack shit!”

The moral of the story is: learn a couple phrases in a foreign language. You never know when they’ll come in handy!

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4 Responses

  1. Rob

    This soundslike something that happened to me when i was drunk on the subway once.

  2. Mel

    Next time you can try some japanese:

    Anatawa baka desu! (for when you are trying to tell him that you do not speak english – even though it means “you are stupid!”)


    Samui desu-nei??? (to perplex them even more, ask a question like “It’s COLD, isn’t it???”)

    Try these with a Borat accent for even more interesting results!

  3. Adam

    I met a crazy old lady on the TTC who asked my opinion of her imaginary friends position during an arguement she was having with her… I shrugged and she gave me an irritated look and continued arguing. The entire thing lasted about 30 min. It managed to attract the attention of most of the passengers.

  4. Mr. Fanrastic

    I saw this crazy guy on the subway a couple weeks ago. He just kept saying over and over in a loud, high-pitched voice, “Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him! AAH HAHAHAHAHAHAAA! AAH HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!”. Pretty strange…

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