Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Writ Has Dropped…. Anyone Going to Pick It Up?

By K. Taylor, Aurora ON.  Ah the heady, golden days of August. The garden has peaked; there’s enough summer behind us to have long forgotten that nasty thing called winter, enough of it ahead of us to be mired in a hazy bliss. Somewhere outside a lawnmower hums, bees hover around the black-eyed Susans; the daisies sway in an almost imperceptible breeze. I’ve given up red wine for the summer and lazily sip my favourite strawberry zinfandel spritzer, the biggest output of energy is the languid turning of the page as I read my book with droopy eyes.

This, I must say, is summer. It can also be barbecues, sandcastles, dripping popsicles, dropping of the election writ….

As Big Bird once said (or was it Ernie?) one of these things just doesn’t belong.

“An election call? Now? Really? The election writ.”

Much has been made lately as to the timing of this election call. Though I’m not sure anyone is bothering to listen. The Sunday of an August weekend (a long weekend for many Canadians) may produce a call for another beer, a call to an impromptu party, the call of children after the ice cream truck. But rarely, at least in my hazy recollections, does summer scream for a call to ramp up the rhetoric and hit the hustings.

Aside from the economics, aside from the possible political gains which are just too vague for my sun-addled brain to pick through; the bottom line is…well…c‘mon, it‘s summer. An elections call? Now? Really?

Now we all knew it was coming. The elections campaigning started way back, but why make it official? Couldn’t we wait just a while longer, press the snooze button on this campaign, as dreary and bland as a Monday morning?

This, I must say, is summer. It can also be barbecues, sandcastles, dripping popsicles, dropping of the election writ….

We Canadians are a hardy bunch. We work hard and heaven knows how we suffer for our country. Think: springs that never seem to come. Think: two feet of fresh snow when you just finished shoveling the last batch. Think: wind chill. And if that’s not enough to make you shudder; think: The Leafs.

“We will be good citizens, I promise. We will engage, we will listen. Just please, give us our summer back.”

We have our crosses and we bear them with grit and grace. But is it too much to ask for just two blissful months that we may put aside the drudgery of life, throw some burgers on the barbecue and forget for a moment about Action Plans, Justin’s hair and the middle class? The middle class is at the cottage; at the Jays game; on the patio calling the waiter for nachos. They are not watching the 24 hour news cycle desperate for a call to arms from Ottawa.

The middle class; that elusive brand that we all seem to ascribe to, though certainly some of us must be affluent or working class, are grasping at our few weeks of joy. We’ve had plenty of elections photo ops and sound bites to be getting on with thank you very much. We know what is lurking around the corner in September.

And just think of the photo ops for a summer campaign: Trudeau prancing through the sprinkler? A sweaty Mulcair pedaling up to the camera in a Lycra cycling suit? Harper swaggering along Cherry beach in his Speedo? Sweaty politicians kissing sweaty babies? Shudder. Far better to wait until September if you ask me, when everyone can wipe the sand from between their toes and other places I’d rather not think of, step into a well pressed, statesmanlike suit, and greet a public whose brains are tuned to on. Sweat free.

We will be good citizens, I promise. We will engage, we will listen. Just please, give us our summer back. And pass the zinfandel.

K. Taylor
Aurora, ON

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