We have another ‘chore’ day looming. Tuesday. Been awhile, it has. So long, in fact, that we had one and half days chores lined up. As fast as we are (and we are very fast, efficient, organized and dedicated to the challenge each and every time), we had more to do than we could possibly get done on the next-scheduled chore day. So, we made a mini-day, a half-day, an ‘exception’ and went to the neighbouring island to get a few of the easier tasks handled.
Like picking up manure for the gardens. And a couple of chainsaw files. And wine. You know – the kind of chore that is so incredibly simple that one should be able to blitz in and bounce out in seconds if not a minute or two?
I just doesn’t happen that way….
I go into a store that has no customers to get a chainsaw file. By the time I find them (only three left so I get ’em all) and get to the counter, the cashier has wandered off, Sally has come into browse and two others have come in through the front door. One of the clerks passes. “Hey, Dave, haven’t seen you in the local rag lately. You get blacklisted, too?”
“Blacklisted!? Me? I don’t think so. Well, now that you mention it, it wouldn’t be the first time. Had a little row with some Deputy Ministers a while back. Got kicked off the Little League circuit a couple of times for yelling too much. But nothing I am aware of up here. Unless you are countin’ book club but that’s women only ………..mind you, I’m pretty sure I’m on the black list at the local MP’s office…………Geez, I dunno. All Sal’s friends finally organize against me? Which list are you talkin’?”
“Rumour has it that the local paper has banned any controversial letters-to-the-editor!”
“But all letters to the editor are controversial! That is the point of them!”
“Yeah. But it seems that is not a universally accepted point. Least not with the local publisher. It’s now controversial if we can have controversy or not. Editor, it seems, is fed up with it. We call that the Stephen Harper syndrome.”
“Hell, I only read the paper for the letters. Those writers are nuts! They are funny, tho. I loved reading about how someone was so fed up stepping in someone else’s dog’s feces that he opined that someone – not named, of course – would likely shoot the beast. Or the guy whose letters covered ten or so topics in two or three paragraphs. What a bunch of whackos! Great fun!”
“Yeah, well, you know……………a guy can get a bit riled steppin’ in the same dog crap, ya know………..anyway, it was you I was thinkin’ about. Haven’t seen any letters from you and now I am not seeing any letters from anyone and, well, I am not writin’ any myself (gotta lay low for awhile). But I don’t think this is a good thing, do you? How you gonna get that stuff off your chest otherwise?”
“You make a good point. The Harper syndrome has stifled expression. That is for sure. But I had no idea that it trickled down to the local paper. You sure?”
“Nah. Just rumour so far. But that is the next best kind of news, don’t you think?
It is a good twenty or so minutes after I arrive that I leave with three chainsaw files and two Roger’s chocolates (Sal only browses hardware stores that also carry chocolate). We still have five more small, simple chores to perform all within a half mile of where we are. All single purchases. All from people we know.
OMYGAWD! There is so little time!