Anecdotes and other notes …
Canadians, we are told by our proliferation of pundits, have something on their minds. The who, what, when where, why and how of recession and its accompanying ills are on their minds. Elections and consistently inconsistent politics are not.
Anecdotes, another level of pundits tells me, are teaching tools – nail-sinkers, they called them – to firmly drive home arguments. Apparently, once upon a time, they were called parables. Fortunately some include a smile to relieve the tension one builds up listening, watching and reading about political machinations, which they constantly reminded, are for our own good.
I present two which are bouncing around the land. The first includes one of our historic, oft unsung hero, the prospector.
This old prospector walks into town with his tired old mule. After a long time in the bush he was ready for a spree. While the miner is tying up his mule and brushing the dust off, a young gunslinger walks out of the saloon, gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.
The gunslinger leers at the old man, laughs and says, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?” The prospector looked up at the gunslinger and said, “Nope never did, never wanted to.”
A crowd gathered and the gunslinger says, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna’ dance now,” and started shooting at the prospector’s feet.
He hopped around like a hen on a hot griddle, and the crowd joined in, laughing.
The gunslinger fired his last bullet, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon, when he heard two loud clicks, froze, turned around to find himself staring into the muzzle of a double barreled shotgun the prospector had taken from his mule’s pack.
The crowd, watching intensely, like the gunslinger, were as quiet as mice.
The prospector asked the gunslinger, “Did you ever kiss a mule square on the butt?”
The gunslinger swallowed hard, “No. But I’ve always wanted to?”
The moral of the story is obvious: never mess with oldtimers, or, may we add, weary voters if you’re politicians bent on an election spree.
The second anecdote comes from a friend who claims it’s an explanation of how we got into the financial black hole called The Recession, which a $300-million election will not help.
Once upon a time, in a place where hordes of monkeys lived, a man came and told the villagers he would buy monkeys for $10 each. The villagers began trapping them.
The man bought thousands at $10, but because of intense harvesting supply dropped and the villagers stopped catching monkeys.
The man then offered $20 per monkey, renewing the hunt.
The supply diminished further and the people stopped trapping again. The man’s offer increased to $25 each. Out they went again, and the supply of monkeys became so few it was difficult to see a monkey, let alone catch it!
The man now offered $50 each, telling them his assistant would buy monkeys for him, as he had business in the city.
With the man gone the assistant offered a deal to the villagers: “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage the man has collected. I’ll sell them to you at $35, and when the man returns, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”
The villagers rounded their savings, borrowed all the money they could, and bought all the monkeys.
They never saw the man, nor his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!
Now, according to my friend, we have a better understanding of how Wall Street brokers, financial advisers, and politicians finagled (or did they lead us?) into this financial downturn, as they like to call it, and they want our blessing in an unwanted election.
But as an objective adviser said, we must remember we were there too, with our eyes and wallets wide open.
A tip of the hat to wise friends who know laughter helps, and heals too.
May we revel in autumn’s sights and sounds, especially the haunting calls of geese, swans, and loons gathering and moving south, and ah, ‘tis a fairy tale I know, but imagine how wonderful it would be if those politicians spoiling for an election fight would follow them, leaving us the winter to relax and settle down? And spring and summer too come to think of it!