2017 A To Z Challenge – C

Challenge2017

In mining other people’s prompts for this post, I dug up a lot of other options but, for the letter

Letter C

it all came down to one choice. I have to write about CANADA!

Canada 150

This is Canada’s sesquicentennial. That’s just a sesquipedalian word that means we’re 150 years old this year.  We’ve been at this ‘country’ thing for a century and a half.  The Government is so thrilled that it directed the Bank of Canada to issue a new, commemorative $10 bill, which features people and places that even Canadians have never heard of.

Canadian Bill

The US gained its freedom by revolting, a definition still agreed on by much of the world. Canada became independent by asking nicely.

50 years ago, we celebrated our Centennial. I should apologise to the rest of the world, especially the Americans, for Pamela Anderson.  She was declared Canada’s Official Centennial Baby, being born the soonest after the stroke of midnight that began July 1-1967, CANADA Day.

The problem was that she was born out on the Left-Coast, beautiful-bud, British Columbia. The Centennial was already 5 ½ hours old in Newfoundland and the rest of Canada, by the time it dawned on her.  Continually told throughout her childhood that she was Special, as she grew older she decided to inflict it on prove it to other people, by getting into TV/movies.

The best thing that she ever did for Canada was move to California, where she became the bulbous Baywatch bitch. After that was cancelled, she became a born-again vegetarian, and endured a lackluster career of dressing up in lettuce leaves and shoving her boobs and her unfounded, ill-considered opinions into other people’s faces.

Canada Kicks Ass

The wife and I got married as a Centennial project. We were going to leave it until the next year, but saw little reason to wait, so we moved the date up to Dec. 2 – 1967.  We almost caused an evil-minded, judgemental, Catholic sister-in-law to wear out her fingers, counting the months till the birth of our first child.  The daughter fooled her, and saved her fingers, by being born 10 months and 1 day after our wedding.

When we got married, both we and Canada were filled with naive optimism. For proof, you can click on the YouTube link to see and hear.  The French have the stirring, martial, Le Marseillais.  The Americans have the patriotic Star-Spangled Banner, with bombs bursting in air.  We have Canada’s Centennial Song. One little, two little, three Canadians – Weeee love you. Now we are twenty million. That was then.  Now, 50 years later, we are 33 million – perhaps 34 million, if you count the illegal immigrants being welcomed with open arms by the RCMP, as they leak across the border into Manitoba and Quebec, trying to get away from Trumpetopia.

As the wife and I near our 50th wedding anniversary, both we, and the country, are older if no wiser.  Both have become harder and more cynical, especially now as we endure a Care-Bear, second-generation Prime Minister who is spending the country’s, and our children’s, financial future on frivolous, feel-good, social-engineering plots.  When he visits Donald Trump, he’s on his knees, and not to pray.

This too shall pass! We are tough.  We will prevail.  You can tan my hide and make work boots out of me.

Please use your boots to walk back over here in a couple of weeks, to see what indignities I inflict on poor, unsuspecting Letter D.   😯

Canadian Flag

What a Bunch Of Boobs

Aghast

It’s been a summer of bare breasts in Canada – and outrage, and complaints, and moral entitlement.

It started a couple of weeks ago, in Guelph, ON. An 8-year-old girl at the splash pad of a municipal pool was told by a teenage male attendant, that she had to put a top on. The pool’s rules insisted on it for any female over 4. Her mother was aghast, and angry, that she had been discriminated and sexualized.

The next day, with a lawyer’s aid, and serious discussion with various local bureaucrats, it was admitted that a public pool had no legal right to enact such a rule. In a spin-doctor defense of the life-guard, the Recreational Department claimed that he was probably just trying to prevent any complaints.

This is the city where, in 1991, three 19-year-old males, returning from the park, stripped off their shirts on a hot muggy day. The 19-year-old female with them did the same, and was stopped and charged with ‘committing a lewd act.’

Angered more by the double standard than the possibility of a $170 fine, she went to court with a prepared lawyer, and what was expected to be a five minute, Pay-The-Damn-Fine hearing, turned into a two-day, he-said-she-said trial, where the language of the law was shown to be sexist, moralistic, and so sufficiently vague as to be unenforceable. It was reported that the law was in place to prevent complaints.

Suddenly, a precedent had been set, that women in Canada could legally bare their breasts in public, as long as it was not for commercial gain.

Somewhat more recently, three local sisters, in their early 20s, set out for a bicycle ride around town. On their way home at dusk, on a warm, muggy evening, they also decided to remove their shirts to get cool. Wouldn’t you know it; not one of them was wearing a bra.

They were stopped by a female police officer, who maintained eye contact, and warned them to be careful riding through some road-construction areas. Several blocks further on, they were stopped by a male police officer, who ordered them to put their shirts back on, insisting that there was a bylaw, and that police had received complaints.

When one of them denied that they were breaking any law, and another pulled out a cell-phone and started recording the proceedings, suddenly it became all about whether they had lights and bells on their bikes. They did!

The next day brought an hour-long phone-call to the Police Department, where they were put on hold three times, till someone actually found out that there is no such bylaw. They have lodged an official complaint. Why am I not surprised to find that the oldest is a Grammy-nominated singer/performer, with a career to support? Local TV, radio and newspapers were soon notified.

BC Mountie

Two young mothers in British Columbia, left the kids with the dads, and headed to the beach for an afternoon of sun, sand and freedom. They found a secluded dune, spread their towels and dropped their bikini tops. Fifteen minutes later, a young RCMP officer marched a quarter-mile across the Sahara beach in his shiny shoes, to order them to cover up, because there had been complaints.

They also are bringing an official complaint for embarrassment and harassment, because there is no bylaw prohibiting topless sunbathing.

You have to be very careful how you speak to a police officer, because they take themselves very seriously. Most don’t care about obedience to legislation; they care about social peace and quiet. It disturbs and angers me that so much time and effort is spent ‘assuaging complaints’ instead of enforcing laws. I am supremely disappointed that police officers either don’t know the laws they claim they’re enforcing, or that they intentionally lie to civilians to get their way.

Were I one of the beach ladies, I’d have been very tempted to reply that I was already obeying the law, and was not the Complaints Department. If my daughter decides that she requires an abortion, we don’t care if you and your Fundamentalist Church complain; we will obey the law that says she can have one. If the wife and I decide that divorce is a better solution to our problems than murder, we don’t care if you and the guy with the funny hat in Rome complain; we will render unto Caesar, and get one.

I know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but I don’t want it to be at the expense of my legal rights. There is nothing intrinsically evil or psychologically damaging about naked female breasts in public. “But what about the children??! 😯 ” Perhaps if children learned to view them as natural, and not as lures into sin, we would have less sex crime and psychiatric counselling. I know I’d be happy.  😀

#491

Flash Fiction # 24

Patio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loss Of Innocence

“It was a long drive, all the way from the prairies, down here to Ottawa. On the last nice day of autumn, it’s nice to be able to sit at an outdoor patio, having a coffee, right across the street from the Parliament Buildings.”

“I wonder what all those Mounties are doing??!”

“They’re chasing that guy!”

“Looks like he’s got a rifle!”

“Don’t be silly. This is Canada – people don’t run around with rifles!”

“DAMN! They’re shooting!  Quick, get inside!”

“Must be a foreign tourist! How would a tourist get a gun?”

“I’m going back to Calgary, where it’s safe!”

 

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site, and use her weekly photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Police Dog

I am not particularly impressed by police officers.  They do a tough job, and I respect them for that, but I’ve been exposed to cops all my life.  I’ve seen the good, and the bad.  “To Serve and Protect” doesn’t thrill me any more than “To Serve God.”  There’s always at least one who’s anxious to get into the sacramental wine, or forbidden fruit-of-the-loom underwear.

For years, in my youth, my home town only had one policeman.  After they ceded the little park/lake to my boys club, that expanded to a chief, and two constables.  Tough enough in the winter, but busy in the summer with tourists.  For a couple of summers, my brother volunteered for Friday and Saturday-night ride-alongs.

Once upon a time, you could throw a drunk in jail and set him free in the morning when he sobered up.  Then it became necessary to have someone to check on him.  After he retired, my Dad took that job.  He’d get a call, pack a book, a sandwich and a thermos of coffee, and be gone all night.

My brother-in-law wanted to become something political.  In his mid-twenties he took some training and became a justice of the peace, because that gave him exposure and contacts.  Our town already had two JPs, both real estate agents in their fifties, who didn’t want to be awakened at 2 AM, to sign a warrant for some drunk.  The town five miles away had one JP, just as sleepy and grumpy.

Sister and B.I.L. liked to go out and party with the movers and shakers.  From 12 to 16 I was drafted to babysit their five kids, Friday and/or Saturday nights.  They often partied till after sun-up, but it wasn’t unusual for them to return earlier than that, accompanied by police – our town cop, the one from down the road, an Ontario Provincial Policeman who patrolled local highways, the R.C.M.P. officer who was responsible for the attached Indian reservation, and later, Indian police.  I’ve been in rooms with up to five on-duty officers, drinking coffee, beer or whiskey, waiting for paperwork to be signed.

In a small town, at the ass-end of nowhere, most officers were older, and sedate.  The young Mountie, however, was sharp, and aggressive.  I was walking home from high school one June day, when I heard a hot-rod.  Car-crazy, I knew that sound.  It turned off the highway, and proceeded up the street I was walking on.  At a time when a policeman could just pull you over and give you a ticket for excess noise, this thing howled!

In 1962, this was a ’52 Ford convertible, loaded with paint, chrome and muscle.  Bbrraapp, half a block and 30 MPH in first gear.  It zipped past me, and I recognized my unfavorite Mountie driving.  Bbrraapp, past the elementary school, five minutes before closing bell, at 50 MPH in second gear, in a 30 zone.  Bbrraapp, into third gear and still accelerating as he went up the hill towards the B.I.L.’s house.

Sure enough, when I got there ten minutes later, he was waiting to show off the new toy he’d bought.  I mentioned the amount of noise he produced, and told him that I’d seen him doing 50 in second gear, in a school zone.  Instantly, he went all lawyer on me.  How did I know it was 50 in second??  It could have been 30 in first!  Because I already saw and heard you do 30 in first.  I’m just pointing out that someone other than me might have seen the same thing, and lodge a complaint, especially in a school zone.

A month later, just as school vacation was starting, he showed up one night for a warrant.  While others did things in the kitchen, he joined me in the living room.  Out of the blue, and purely coincidentally, he wondered if my friends and I might like to party.  If I just told him what we liked, he could get it for us, beer, wine, liquor, grass, pills, just name it.

I asked him how he would “just get it.”  Oh, he’d just impound it from some guy he caught, and “forget” to log the evidence.  The guy would be released.  What’s he gonna do, complain??  At 17, I didn’t party like that, and not with a group.  If I had accepted his offer, he’d have had something to hold over me.  My previous comment about noise, speeding and dangerous driving was never mentioned.  I think he was disappointed when I graciously declined.

I wasn’t out to get him, or any advantage, and never mentioned the occurrence to anyone but him.  About seven years later, I was reading an article in the Readers’ Digest, about the R.C.M.P. cleaning up the Mob and the drug traffic in Montreal.  Guess whose name was given as the head of the Montreal narcotics squad.  They shoulda heard him comin’ in that noisy hot-rod.

Mighty Oaks From Little Acorns

We often think that the important things which happen, and the marvelous things that are created, are the products of “big city” people.  It just seems right that those with the most exposure to society and education, would be the “doers.”  It is often a surprise that some city-, country- or world-changing events are caused by small-town, backwoods boys (and girls).

On August 21, 1860, Aylesworth Perry was born in a tiny Ontario hamlet.  Despite being a patriotic Canadian, interested in our history and heritage, I had never heard of him.  It seems that this was the gentleman who went on to transform the North West Mounted Police – who would later become the R.C.M.P. – from a loose-knit band of rowdy frontiersmen, into the effective, respected organization it became.

What caught my eye about the little newspaper filler article was the fact that this strong, powerful organizer of tough, gritty men, in a tough, dirty landscape, was from the tiny-rainbow-pissing village of Violet.  Like the famous….whatsisname, above, I’d never heard of a place in Ontario named Violet, so I began to do some research.

The officially-issued, Province Of Ontario roadmap refuses to even mention it.  Time to go online!  My first search for Violet, Ontario, got me Violet’s Violets, in Milton, ON, and Violets and Roses Flower Shop in Brampton, ON.  My next step was my usual, Mapquest.ca, which located a Violet Hill, ON, not far from my home town.  This magnificent megalopolis boasts almost 300 residents, which is probably why I’d never heard of it either.

When all else fails, go to Google, which had no trouble locating Violet for me.  Where my town is almost as far west as possible, in Southern Ontario, this place is at the far, east edge, close to Ottawa and Montreal.  To call this place a village is perhaps to stretch a point some.  It’s more than just a wide spot on the road, with a house on both sides, but not much.  It makes Violet Hill look like urban civilization.  There is one road into town, which splits at a Y, and two roads leave town.

I was astounded that Google Earth had actually driven these roads.  They must have been on their way to a real town.  It had to have been a remote-controlled vehicle.  A human driver would have dozed off.  If it’s this tiny now, I wonder how much smaller it was, a hundred and fifty years ago.

At about the same time in history, a famous feminist/suffragette/ human rights proponent, named Nellie Mooney McClung, was born in a tiny village about 30 miles east of my home.  She’s so famous, you’ve never heard of her either, and the only sign that she and the village ever existed, is a dedication plaque, and a small cemetery.

“Famous”, in Canada, means that two people know how to spell your name.  More recently, just before I crawled out of the igloo, a famous female Canadian author was born in a small town 30 miles to my south.  At the age of 76, she’s decided to stop writing, and retire back to her birthplace, to count up all eight Loonies she’s made from the Canadian publishing industries.

A couple of years before my birth, a man was born in a village of 300, twenty miles south-east.  He went on to be the long-term editor of the Toronto Sun newspaper, until the Frogs from Quebecor Publishing hopped down from Montreal, and gobbled it up.  You’d probably not notice his birthplace either, if it weren’t for the stench of the pig-processing plant, and the truckers’ restaurant, which is well-known for its ribs and wings.

All of this has generated great optimism in me.  If people from places like Nowhere, and Never-Heard-Of-It, can become movers and shakers, it’s never too late for me to become famous also.  (It’s spelled S.M.I.T.H.)  Two more posts like this, and it’s onward and upward to FreshPressed, and fame and glory.  Did I mention the money?….or I could just keep trying to amuse, entertain and educate you, my faithful followers.

Being famous, and from a small town is not always a good thing.  We have a Canadian lady (?) from Wadena, Saskatchewan, a mighty little town of 1300.  She’s been a television news reporter, and then anchor-person, who puts her pants on one leg at a time, just like all the other guys.  The Prime Minister gave her a pork-barrel appointment to the Canadian Senate.

She now has to, grudgingly, repay $140,000 in expenses to the Government, because she was “confused” and “forgot” things like that her “primary residence” was in Wadena, not Toronto.  She’s one of four recently appointed Senators under investigation by the R.C.M.P.  I’m not sure how much of this type of thing the American system of electing Senators would prevent, but I’m pretty sure it couldn’t be much worse.

End of bitch!  Insert comment here.