Harold’s assessment has him down
Last month, Trudeau the Younger was elected King of Canada, so I ‘low by this time promises have been fulfilled, wrongs have been righted and there is no one a’moanin’ or a’groanin’ in the Land of the Maple Leaf.
Except here on the off-shore Rock where, weeks before the young king’s ascension, a terrible proclamation was…well, was proclaimed — kinda.
The decree arrived for all hands — regarding mine and Dearest Duck’s domicile anyway — via Canada Post. It arrived from the Municipal Assessment Agency Inc. — may its minions suffer the chronic pain of bunions.
“I s’pose property values have been buggered with again,” said I to Dearest Duck while showing her the envelope I’d fetched home from the post office.
Dearest Duck dusted her flourcovered hands — God love her heart, she was mixing up a batch of bread — on her apron and stood at my side as she always does in times of adversity.
“Harry, my love, my helpmate,” she said, gripping my elbow to steady an incipient tremble, “open the envelope.”
A chuckle choked in my craw as I attempted to make light of the imminent news. “And, the envelope says,” said I, slitting the flap with my pocketknife, lifting out the enclosed document and shaking open the page.
Dearest Duck peeping over my shoulder, I commenced to read the details of our freshfrom-the-agency Property Assessment Notice…
…and nearly went whoopsie in my small clothes!
Bad words spewed from my lips and splattered against the opposite wall.
“Harry, my overwrought honey,” said Dearest Duck, “obscenities will solve nothing.”
The frightful numbers announcing the brand-new value of our place of abode — our ever-so-humble place of abode — pulsing in my noggin like veins on bust, I read the following line in a narrow box on the right hand side of the page: “THIS IS NOT A TAX BILL/ Tax bills are issued by your Municipality.” I was not comforted. “Harry,” said Dearest Duck, pulling the paper from my shaking paw, “calm down, sit down, mind your blood pressure.”
Pushing me in the direction of my Lay-Z-Boy, she scurried off to brew me a mug of Tension Tamer tea — or maybe to fetch one of my stress-reducing colouring books. Time passed. At least an hour. Dearest Duck sat beside me, pencil and paper in one hand. With the other hand she pried the mug from my fingers and lodged it on the coffee table. “I’ve done the math,” she said. I managed a painful glutch. “You won’t like the number,” said Dearest Duck.
Property-owner’s tears rolled down my whiskered chops.
“According to this,” said Dearest, tapping pencil on paper, “the value of our property has increased by 53 per cent.”
I bellowed the badest word I know. Yes, that one.
“Harry,” said Dearest Duck… softly.
Of course, in times of plenty an increase in property value might be a good thing, especially if one were selling one’s dwelling and surrounding acreage.
These, however, are not times of plenty.
The bubble has burst, so to speak.
At best, oil floats on troubled waters.
Mineral laden ore remains jammed against the bedrock.
Previously fluid milk and honey have thickened and slowed to a slow molasses crawl.
Soon I was grasping Dearest’s numbers-crowded page, my tears sogging her sums and tallies until they bled into the paper’s pulp. “Why?” I wept. Some more time passed. Days at least.
A minion of the Agency appeared on The News and spoke with Debbie or Lynn. I’ve been so distraught I don’t remember which. P’raps both.
Said minion explained the reason for the increased property values, speaking in jibber-jabber; in gobbly-gook; in mumbojumbo…
… in piles of freshly steaming horse whoopsie, eh b’y?
Translated, the aforementioned explanation is something like this: a couple of years ago, when the bubble was the size of Saturn — or thereabouts — some guys in town sold their McMansions on the hills for more bundles of loonies than Donald’s [Duck, not Trump] Uncle Scrooge could cram into his vault. Therefore, or ergo, or hence, my property today, even though the bubble has vaporized, is worth 53 per cent more — 53 per cent, for frig sake! — than it was worth those few years ago.
An appendix: by the time you read this p’raps this specific wrong will soon be righted. P’raps the doors to the Ball room will soon be flung wide open and soon the dance floor will be stogged with merry caperers. “Harry!” “Yes, my being silly.”