Evolution of a B.C. trilogy

“Brett Grubisic’s (left) River Bend Trilogy novels are set in a fictional town on the Fraser River, based on Mission, B.C. where he grew up. Here, we learn other ways the titles are linked.” FULL STORY

#16 Waste not, want not

October 09th, 2014

Hi, Darlin’

Went to the Village Council meeting.  Held at the Recreation Centre.  Instead of the “small room” at the Rec Centre, they had it all set up in the gym. The acoustics were so bad I came away with no idea at all what had been discussed. Came home, made some late supper, sat in my almost-but-not-quite-comfortable chair eating and pondering.  And then I got the giggles.

It might be the phase of the moon but for the past few days everything strikes me as profoundly ridiculous. The Council meetings are being held in the Wreck Centre because a door in the Village Office needed to be fixed. Most people probably don’t remember that old saying… “for lack of a nail, a shoe was lost; for lack of a shoe, a horse was lost; for lack of a horse, the rider was lost; for lack of the rider, the battle was lost; for lack of the battle, the kingdom was lost… all for the lack of a nail.”

In preparation to the fixing of the door, some “dry rot” was discovered. It now appears there was a seeping leak in the roof. The wall is rotten. They’re bringing in a construction company from Campbell River.

The Village of Tahsis office and Council chambers are downstairs, as is the Mayor’s office and an office for the Councillors. Upstairs is our small but very satisfactory library. So when the Campbell River construction crew arrives, it’s easy to imagine them hauling out a big hunk of rot from a bearing wall; the library starts to sag, then collapse; books tumbling, pages fluttering; workers racing away from the crushing weight and so the old, wooden building winds up like a box of dumped Leggo, slithering down the steep embankment to the surging sea beyond.

And THAT image made me think of our garbage dump. I know, Politically Correct terminology is “landfill.” We aren’t supposed to say Garbage Dump. Or The Dump. If we had a dump, it would have to be shut as tight as a Scotsman’s purse (which I think is called a sporran). Our garbage is now to be shipped “out.” We’ll have to have what they call a Waste Transfer Station. Who’s going to pay to build one of those?

So in will come the big trucks, burning diesel fuel all the way, over that ghastly road.  They will load up the garbage that has become something now called “waste.” They will burn more fuel taking it away. To where?

That hasn’t been decided yet. Several municipalities are shipping their garbage to Washington State. Down there they charge something like a hundred dollars a ton. Or tonne. Then they burn it for us in a high-tech incinerator and that’s how they can heat their public buildings.

I don’t know what people are paying to buy fuel for their wood-burning stoves these days but the guys in Washington aren’t paying for fuel to heat their swimming pools and hospitals. No, they are getting paid for the fuel they burn. A good deal for them.

Meanwhile, here we are, wasting our waste. I envision a convoy of garbage trucks, each accompanied by a positive swarm of flies, tootling off down the Island Highway, heading off with no destination in mind.

And all of THAT made me wonder…. How much are we paying these suits to come up with these bright ideas?  And WHY are we paying them?  For cryin’ in the night, we lead the entire world in deforestation! We’re chewing up virgin forest at a worse rate than Brazil, and much of it is being wasted to clear the earth so the suits can send in the heavy equipment to gnaw up the tar sands.

Harpy just signed an agreement which as good as puts China in charge of the oil patch. If we don’t bend over and grab our ankles, and let the pipelines and freighters happen, China can sue us for damages and lost profit.

We might as well laugh.

We might get a tad rowdy after the team loses the Stanley Cup, but we don’t really make a habit of getting out of control. We aren’t the kind of people who grab Grandpa’s deer rifle and head out to shoot some politicians. Some of us still vote, even though it means we have to hold our noses and choose the least troubling of a very bad lot, but we do it knowing it isn’t really going to change anything.

We’ll watch the TV coverage of Mike Duffy’s circus act while wondering how it is the lamestream media seems to have forgotten about Pamela Wallin, but we don’t really seem to get incensed. A surprising number of otherwise decent people seem to want to believe Trudeau’s baby boy is the messiah. That idea alone ought to be enough to have us rolling on the floor and guffawing.

So you gotta laugh.

If you don’t, you’ll wind up sobbing.

All that because the damned door didn’t shut properly and someone decided to fix it.

Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.

 

One Response to “#16 Waste not, want not”

  1. theresa says:

    Oh yes. Garbage has become “waste” — and in our community, a whole gaggle loves the idea of “transferring” it down a winding highway to another dump…err, “landfill”. We got rid of the bears by fencing the whole place in with electric wire and we’ve turned the eagles into flying rats. LIke you say, Anne, “you gotta laugh.”

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