Blaise Cendrars Speaks

A Victoria imprint releases a collection of interviews with the extraordinary, one-armed, under-heralded, Swiss-born, French writer who travelled the world and brought modernity to French literature. FULL STORY

#70 The Year of the Mice

June 11th, 2017

Hi darlin:

I notice there’s a photo of Wade Davis on BC BookLook showing that he once caught two mice at one go in a snap trap. Intrepid hunter, Wade! We’re using the same brand of snap trap. I’d like to know what he used for bait.

And I’m not alone. Seems as if ‘everyone’ in Tahsis is being invaded. Some of us are calling this The Year Of The Mice.

I don’t mind having a lovely, big spider who lives in a particular corner in my living room. She is, of course, called “Charlotte” and the Pug, “MerryMary,” is not allowed to in any way bother Charlotte. A few visitors have reacted somewhat negatively when Charlotte shows herself, but I have no problem at all co-existing with her. She eats mosquitoes, flies, and those annoying little wood bugs and, as near as I know, Charlotte has never pooped in the house.

Mice, on the other hand…

I would possibly contemplate co-existing with them, as well, but they leave poops and urine stains all over the shelves in the cupboards and even in anything they can gnaw into, like packages of pancake mix or barley or… Increasingly, I keep stuff in jars with tight-fitting lids, and I have snap traps set, baited with peanut butter, which seems to work better than anything else.

I’ve been getting at least one, often two mice a day. The Pug isn’t much help at all. She might condescend to open one eye and watch, but she’s not going to actually DO anything… Maybe she thinks if Charlotte gets a pass, so do these others.

Meanwhile, does anyone understand anything that Justin is pretending to do these days? Does even HE have any idea what it is he’s up to? Now our Defence Minister Harjit is saying we’re going to spend some sixty billion to upgrade our military. Not long ago our vets had to take the federal cabal to court to get back their proper pension benefits, but suddenly it’s rah rah three bags full and sixty billion for drone bombers and who can even guess what-all else.

I can’t envision sixty billion dollars. Hell, I can’t envision one billion dollars. What does “one billion” actually mean?  You start tossing around numbers like that and it all becomes meaningless.

Why not put that sixty billion to some real use? Instead of buying stuff which will, after all, be destroyed as soon as it’s used—explosions mean, gang, bang, and it’s rubble—why not build some affordable housing so the poor devils currently sleeping in alleys and under bridges can at least get in out of the rain? Maybe contribute adequately to food banks. They are now estimating that one in every three people who use food banks are children.

Children?  In food bank line-ups?

If we have any children going hungry in this country then obviously we cannot possibly afford to waste sixty billion dollars on bullets and bombs and things which go bang when used! We can’t afford those war toys. We’re a big geography with a small population. We couldn’t reasonably be expected to defend ourselves against our “friends,” so what luck will we have against our “enemies”.  And WHO are these “enemies”? From where I sit, those who think it’s okey-dokey that kids go hungry or shiver with cold are our enemies…

By the way, I spent several days in hospital in Campbell River recently for what most of us might call a minor stroke. Not much by way of damage… Speech is slower and I have to pause at times to try to dredge up a word I want. Slight weakness in left hand, and my left leg is a bit hinky, but you know the quote, every day in every way I get better and better.

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.

 

 

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