Of a different political stripe
I’ve made nary a New Year’s resolution. That’s a lie. I’ve made one. It has nothing to do with dieting and wasting — waisting? — away my manly flap. It has nothing to do with aerobic exercising for the sake of cardio-vascular health. It has absolutely nothing to do with resolving to be more sociable, thus pleasing Dearest Duck and ensuring a constant supply of chocolate chip cookies in 2015. It has to do with politics. Hand on my heart, I resolve to be more politically conscious. At least on a provincial level. Truly. I was still tottering on toddler’s pins when Newfoundland became Canada’s tenth province and God with a capital ‘J’ became the island’s — okay, and Labrador’s — first true premier.
As I grew and my pins became steadier, I was a wee bit conscious of Pappy, Grand-Pappy and a slew of other adults grumbling about not being Canadians: “No b’ys, I idden. I was born a Newfoundlander and I’ll die the same.”
If I dragged on a trouser leg and begged for a peppermint knob, the trousers’ owner likely scuffed my skull and said, “Harry, b’y, don’t ever forget you was born a Newfoundlander.”
I remained conscious of the directive only because I associated it with the peppermint candy lumped in my cheek.
Time passed and under the patriarchal care of Capital J, like Topsy in that old book about buddy Tom’s cabin, I just growed.
“Harry, my growed up love,” says Dearest Duck, the most chocolately chip in my life’s cookie dough, “you’re skating on thin ice when you talk about politics.”
“So true, my Duck,” say I. “Yet the time has come for me to forget cabbages and kings and speak of necessary evils. Politics and politicians. Scoundrels and scallywags.”
“Perhaps you should sip your Tension Tamer tea and speak of things more suited to your imperfect understanding,” says Dearest Duck. “Such as, my Duck?” “Harry, just drink your tea,” says Dearest Duck and leaves me to it.
B’ys, you know more, and surely comprehend more fully, than I do about things political after Capital J’s downfall.
Frankie somebody or other ascended to the throne, so to speak, his booted heel upon the old king’s carcass.
A couple of pipsqueak Brians jumped up and down, beat their chests and proclaimed things wondrous.
And there was Clyde, who some say lied. Of course, I have no idea what he lied about if, in fact, he did.
Oh, and Roger who, like a lad from a Charlie Dickens yarn, earned the sobriquet, Dodger.
And a couple of blips: Tommy R. and Beaton T.
Then came Dan. Milk and honey and — I s’pose — oil flowed and poured and gushed across the land. In a manner of speaking, anyway. Crops were prob’ly plentiful and harvests bountiful in the Land of Dan. I wasn’t really paying attention.
“Harry, sounds like babbling,” says Dearest Duck, once again offering reasonable guidance like a cookie-scented sprite atop my shoulder. Okay. Okay. Last winter came The Darkness. The Darkness shed light upon the crumbling walls of Dunderland. Quick as a blink of any ol’ god’s eye, like Jericho of biblical fame — or infamy, as usual I’m not sure — the walls of Dunderland came tumbling down, down, down.
Tommy Two, a kind of Cinderfella, attempted to sweep up the dust and dirt.
And now — woe betide us, ‘low — we live in Davis Days.
Which is why I’ve resolved to be more politically conscious. “Harry! Don’t you dare preach.” “Never, my Duck.” Here in the New Year`s dawn, Newfoundlanders — yes, yes, and those of the Big Land attached to Quebec — wonder about the extent of Davis Days. Throughout the land[s] all and sundry, from Sobeys checkout lines, to Tim’s overrated counters, to … to wherever crowds collect, folks speculate about the timing of an election call.
Eventually — oh my, I fear a leftover drop of the inebriating dregs of Christmas spirits has adulterated my herbal tea — the call from Paul will echo from the steeple tops, or
I from wherever such calls resonate.
“My sweet Saviour, Harry,” says Dearest Duck as if uttering an expletive.
P’raps Dearest Duck is right. I should stick to dietary resolutions and leave politics to pundits. P’raps. Nevertheless, bear this in mind: Someone famous — Abraham Lincoln or some Frenchman with a “de” in his name, maybe — once said, “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve.”
Thank you for reading…and resolving to read again, I hope.
SPEAKING WITH SANTAJust before Christmas and with a little help from ham radio operators VO1 ROS in Harbour Grace and VO1 COD in Carbonear, Darcy, left, and Morgan Reynolds reached the North Pole and directly provided Santa Claus their wish lists for the holidays. Pictured with the two Reynolds children, both of whom are from Harbour Grace, is ham radio operator Ross Trickett.