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“What costumes?” ask Sparrow and Chris

November 2, 2014


Earlier this week I happened upon a curious scene on the corner of Yukon Street and West Broadway Avenue — the northwest corner to be specific; in front of a large mural featuring a super-huge, super-cute sparrow.

A man wearing a sword on his back had dragged a grey garbage bin out of the alley and propped it against the mural. He had a dog placidly posing on the lid while he repeatedly snapped photos of it using his smartphone.

It was Halloween week so I wasn’t surprised to see that the dog had red devil horns.

 Halloween is once a year but Facebook is forever


Chris the photographer holds his star dog Sparrow.

Vancouver seems to me to be a fashion-challenged city. Right now, one of the hippest looks for men is a beard, a toque and a plaid lumberjack shirt. This means that every seventh guy in Fairview looks like a poor riff on Johnny Canuck, the pre-1970s mascot of the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team. And for their part, many women dress like they’re always just between yoga classes.

Under the circumstances I would think that Halloween must come as something of a relief to a lot of these people.

It means that at least for a few days each  year they and every other Vancouverite are given permission to ditch their sober fashion uniforms and dress up however they like.

As firefighters, zombies, superheroes, zombies, bunny rabbits, aliens and even zombies.

Chris and Sparrow — characters in their own right

Or they could dress in black with a sword strapped to their back, a little like the character Hiro Protagonist from the great science fiction novel Snow Crash — except the sword wasn’t a katana and I don’t recall Hiro having a horny little dog.

The sword-bearer’s name was Chris and he explained that he was taking the dog’s photo against the backdrop of the giant sparrow mural because the dog — even more devilishly cute up close — was named Sparrow.

I don’t think Chris was dressing up ahead of Halloween as anyone but himself and I got the impression the photos were actually meant to feed a frenzy of interest in the dog on Chris’s Facebook page.

Three guesses which dog will probably soon have more likes on Facebook than a former CBC radio personality.

I have a feeling that Chris and Sparrow would get along with Mad Dog the artist and his dog Yoda. Click the images to enlarge them.

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