Loud noises from the kitchen
According to the loud noises coming from the kitchen, Nalcor could tell that his mistress Mizkat was having a bad day.
There have been a lot of those lately, thought the little muskrat, burrowing deeper under the blankets in his basket to try and drown out the sound. But it wasn’t possible.
The sound of fragile things breaking against the kitchen walls burst forth into the hallway, turned the corner and raced down the corridor into the living room, sped across the carpet, dived under the coffee table and bored into the little muskrat ears seeking shelter there.
Nalcor was caught in a dilemma. He liked Mizkat as a person, but in spite of that couldn’t agree with many things she did. When Mizkat first brought him from his home in Labrador to live with her here in the premier’s official resid e n c e of Newfoudl an d a n d Labrador, Canada’s Rich and Poor province, she had always treated him like royalty. She was kind to him in every way. She fed him nothing but the best food and he was always warm and dry.
She didn’t notice that he really preferred to be cool and damp, so he was careful not to get water on the floor when he sneaked a relaxing cold soak when she was out of the house. She brushed his coat daily and often picked him up, put him in her lap and talked to him quietly at the end of day. He found it calming and could tell she did too.
He missed the days, quite long ago now when she used to take him running outdoors. That was when she was slimming down and getting fit before the last election. After the election the running stopped. Or, at least it did as far as Nalcor was concerned. She didn’t take him with her anymore. According to her stressful irritability, Nalcor concluded that her running was a thing of the past.
Too bad, thought th e l ittle muskrat. It did her a lot of good, and when she stopped, the signs of stress didn’t take long to appear.
It had begun after the election, which she won alright, but she had trouble accepting that her win was by a narrower margin than her predecessor, The Angry Man Who Talks Too Fast. She had really wanted to do as well or even better than him, but not enough people voted for her. It didn’t take long before journalists were commenting on it and that irritated her.
They started to blame her for the unpopularity of the Muskrat Falls project.
It was around that time that Mizkat’s tone changed and she started to speak aloud about her bitterness. Aloud to Nalcor only. He was her confidante, but only because she was unaware the he understood from the Internet and television every one of her increasingly bitter words.
Her evident unhappiness and her inability to get over the perceived crimes committed against her by her colleagues, ex-colleagues and the press, had become too hard for Nalcor to bear and he had fled home to Labrador.
From afar he had kept track of what was happening in her life. As he saw her TV appearances revealing a more and more agitated state, his sympathy ultimately brought him back to her.
The welcome he received was so heartfelt and almost pathetically joyous that Nalcor realized the impression he had gathered from Internet and television in his lodge in Labrador beside the Big Cigar River was true. She needed help. If he wanted to help, and he did, very much, to thank her for all her kindness to him, he had to take some kind of decisive action.
The day the opinion poll came out was a pivotal one. It placed Mizkat’s party behind the NDP for the first time in the province’s history, and Mizkat herself behind “The Saintly One” in personal popularity.
That evening the kitchen walls in the official residence of The Rich and Poor Province’s premier were the target of a lot of flying glass and crockery.
It was then that Nalcor remembered seeing on one of those “Learn to Feel Good About Yourself ” shows on television, something that caught his eye. It was an activity organized by friends of people addicted to sex, drugs, drink, shopoholism and anger to help them overcome their problem. Nalcor concluded it was time to take another look at this thing. It might be of some use to Mizkat. It was called an intervention. … to be continued.
Peter Pickersgill is an artist and writer in Salvage, Bonavista Bay. He can be reached by email at the following: