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Apples and Tickets on Hastings

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Four VPD officers on foot and one CBSA officer ticketed a man on East Hastings between Columbia and Carrall who had a shopping cart set up to display a couple of apples, a bag of sunflower seeds, a plastic container of lettuce, a few packages of white socks and a few other items.

After the officers left, I asked the man if he had been given a ticket. He said no, picked up the light blue slip of paper resting on his cart and tore it up.

"This isn't real. Just becaue they write something on a piece of paper doesn't make it real."

I asked if I could buy one of his apples.

"You want an apple?" I nodded, digging in my pocket.

"Take it." He refused money. "It's free. What do you think – I'm an idiot? I told them I wasn't selling anything. If I take your money that makes me a liar."

I took the apple.

"And you're just like them. You're gonna run back and tell them that I sold you the apple."

I thanked the man for the apple.

"You're welcome, dear."

The apple was yellow and pink, crunchy and sweet.

Further down Hastings, the five officers stopped to talk to another man with a shopping cart. He packed stuff in plastic shopping bags and put the bags in the cart and moved down the block.

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