"Stuck on you: Hey handsome, you're beautiful. You're nice. Give me money."

The people in our neighbourhood: The Sticker Lady

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An informative look at the characters in our community.

With glazed-over eyes, plastic smile and a warm Tommy Hilfiger winter jacket, this elfin woman is on a mission for your money.

The Sticker Lady, as she’s known to folks around here, has been working Yonge Street for years now. She wanders back and forth, to and fro, looking for tourists (who she says are “great”) and anyone else that she thinks will fall for her little tricks. A typical score goes something like this: You’re walking down Yonge Street. The Sticker Lady sees you coming, decides you’re a sap and comes in for the kill, calling out “Hey, handsome!” and pressing a small, round sticker somewhere on your upper body. As soon as the sticker makes contact, it’s all over. You thank her, but she won’t let you pass. “Those stickers cost money, you know!” she says. “And besides, it goes to the cancer society.” You shell out whatever change you can spare. Only then are you allowed to keep walking, as the Sticker Lady moves onto her next victim.

Variations on where the money goes include, “To help support my children,” “To the Hospital for Sick Children,” and “For charity.” But one has to wonder if the money isn’t really to help pay for The Sticker Lady’s GO bus fare. She commutes daily from Hamilton, usually arriving in Toronto for a day’s work around 11 a.m. She’ll often work the entire day, not leaving until evening.

The Sticker Lady’s stickers are nothing special, so if you haven’t run into her yet, don’t think that you’re missing out. They’re just those cheap little round stickers with flower and teddy bear pictures on them. Usual cost is about $1 for 100 or so. But the Sticker Lady adds a bit of a service charge. Anything less than a quarter for just one sticker is just no acceptable! When tourists ask what the usual charge for a sticker is, the Sticker Lady responds “Well, the usual minimum donation is about $5.” What a rip-off!

Three tips for dealing with the Sticker Lady. 1) Try not to get caught alone with her in those blue wooden construction corridors. She’ll try and trap you, and it’s hard to run away if you’re blocked. 2) Try beating her to the punch by calling out “Hey, handsome!” first, then keep walking as she stares at you, stunned. 3) Tell her that you’re allergic to stickers. Sneeze on her for dramatic effect.

The Sticker Lady refused to be interviewed for this column. She did not want to be photographed either. When asked, she responded, “Well, you’re from Ryerson, right? Your professors already have enough pictures of me. Just ask them.” We’re still trying to figure out what this means.

If any professors or students have photos of the Sticker Lady, please submit them to The Eyeopener. We’ll tell you you’re handsome and give you prizes!

NOTE: The above article originally appeared in the Eyeopener in January, 1999. Don’t worry. Nothing’s changed with the Sticker Lady.

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