They said they didn’t exist. They said they were imaginary. Well guess what, mom, leprechauns are real and when they want to get to their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they take the TTC. The leprechaun most recently encountered on the 72 Pape bus unfortunately did not quell the aggressive Irish stereotype, and he definitely did not try to sell anyone marshmallowy cereal. In fact, this bowler-hat-donning, bright-green-shirt-popping magical creature has probably only made a few visits to our realm. We can extrapolate this data by the fact that he has yet to learn proper human public transit etiquette. His transgression? He kept his bag on the seat beside him as Brenda Davie got on the bus and asked for the seat.
“Can you please move the bag? Davie asked politely, possibly dismissing the introverted leprechaun for a small and properly socially integrated man. However, having no grasp of our human social-norms, the elfin character refused. When pressed by Davie to remove his bag from the seat, he replied, “Get the f-ck away from me, airhead, the seat is occupied.” The leprechaun then stomped on Davie’s right foot and pushed her into the crowd.
It was at this point that Juan Hodem, a passenger on the bus, realized the creature of Irish folk lore for what he was and started filming. His footage reveals another man giving up his seat for Davie while the leprechaun tells her, “You get nothing, pay attention.” “You’re the one that won’t let people sit down because of your f-cking bag,” Davie responded, “I’m glad your bag is comfortable.”
Davie took the incident to the unforgiving jurisdiction of social media. It exploded on Twitter and Facebook where it garnered 1,000 likes and was shared 5,000 times. All this has amounted to a week of mass leprechaun shaming, which is what you’re supposed to celebrate when St. Patricks Day coincides with Opposite Day, but that only happens once every 12 years. Some have even taken up a search for the leprechaun in hopes that they will bring him to justice or at least blackmail him for three wishes and his gold.
Julia Lefebvre, a lawyer who specializes in social media, said the reaction raises certain legal issues. “It’s one thing to post a picture on social media,” she said. “Clearly it’s documenting what happened — as far as we know it’s not an altered picture — but it’s another thing to post comments that go with it. Are you opening yourself up to a defamation action? Potentially… [The man] clearly is being vilified in the media for this,” Lefebvre said.
The TTC has since commented on the incident, saying it is unable to locate security footage. “We’ve looked, but we couldn’t find the bus number,” said Ross. “We’ve informed Ms. Davie and suggested if she wants the matter to proceed she make a police complaint. She’s indicated she’s not going to pursue the matter.”
While assault is inexcusable, the existence of a rogue leprechaun may present us with problems beyond making Brenda Davie’s crappy Wednesday even crappier. What if its powers fall into the wrong hands? Doug Ford may win the election.