Elections leave Harry confused
When I was a toddling bayboy, Joey Smallwood was King of Newfoundland. For frig sake, there were grown men and women who believed Joey was King of Canada.
The length of Joey’s reign was comparable to Queen Vicky’s from across the Pond in Jolly Old England — years and years and interminable years. By the time New King Frankie ousted Joey I was fully grown and living in a different bay.
Since then, kingdoms have risen and kingdoms have toppled and fallen. Most recently we dwelt in the Land of Dan and Dunderland. Today we dwell in Davis Days with a provincial election looming that might — might! — clear the dance floor, so to speak, of a brand new kingdom — the Ball Room.
Oh, and there’s a federal election superimposed on the downhome crowd.
“Harry, no pundit love of mine,” says Dearest Duck, pulling up a chair to the corner of my desk, some kind of fill-inthe-blanks form in hand, “you’re playing in a game for which you have no skills — kind of like if you were trying to play … well, pick a game.”
“Have some faith, my Duck,” say I. “Mayhap I will astound you.”
“You think?” says Dearest Duck, selecting a pen from the collection in my Apple iMug.
The thickening forest of pegged picket signs increases my confusion every time I drive down the road. There are blue signs and red signs. There are orange signs and — truly — black and white signs. There are scattered green signs struggling to survive like sprigs in an ancient forest.
I’m confused. I tick off questions on my fingertips. Which blue supports the Ball Room? Which blue anoints Prince Justin, youthful imitation of Ol’ Fuddle-Duddle himself? Which red prolongs the length of Davis Days? Which red will let the country bleed?
“Harry b’y,” says Dearest Duck, busily filling in blanks and ticking boxes on her papers, “it’s not that hard to figure out I’m sure.”
I’m aggravated. Some evenings after supper has ended, no sooner am I hove off in my Lay-Z-Boy, a cup of Tension Tamer near at hand, then every phone extension in the house commences to crow a clarion call…
…and since Dearest Duck has likely gone out with her group of quilt hookers, it falls to me to snatch up a handset and jam it to my ear.
If I’m lucky, a “live” human voice — not recorded words amplified by those iAids I bought last summer — speaks into my ear.
“We hope we have your sup-
Slant port...” Or words to that effect.
And I — stacking the deck because one never knows when one might wish a favour done — answer, “You surely do,” to every single one.
“Harry, knock off your lies,” says Dearest Duck and checks another box. “Not lies, my Duck.” I confess. I never watch the evening news. I seldom read the daily paper. I trust Dearest Duck to keep me abreast of contemporary things — the impending ending of the world, for instance. I trust her to keep me up to date with current affairs such as politics and layered elections.
Yet, although I count on her for guidance, Dearest Duck refuses to help me make my choices.
“Please, my Duck,” I beg, “help me sort through all the women candidates. There’s a whole slew of them.”
“Harry, tell me there is no gender bias affecting your decisions,” says Dearest Duck, flipping pages, making sure every line is filled, every box is ticked.
“You should know me better,” say I. “Women reared me. Mammy and grannies and maiden aunts. So I know of women’s strengths.”
“My love,” says Dearest Duck, “stop rambling. You’re miles out of your league. Key-in a period, full stop.” Then, rooting though my desk, she finishes with, “Do you have an envelope that I can use?”
Come polling day I will get out and vote because I live in a democracy, a land in which I’m free to cast my ballots.
If I don’t exercise that franchise, as they say, whichever colour rules the realm when all the votes are tallied, I’ll have no right to bitch and moan, eh b’ys?
“My Duck,” say I, “what’s that you’re stuffing in the envelope?”
Says Dearest Duck, smirking like Alice’s Cheshire pussycat, “I’m applying for a polling job with Elections Canada.” Oh, for frig sake! Thank you for reading.