Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Life in Orangeville: Median Wars

Life in a small, conservative town is not just stupefyingly dull, it can also be, at times, dully entertaining.

A chief amusement is reading the two local papers: 'The Banner', and the more illustrious and historied: 'Orangeville Citizen'.

The Citizen, being the "olde" paper shares with readers, some interesting news items from years past. Reviewing these stories, one is led to conclude that, during the turn of the century, many, many farmers in Dufferin County regularly axed their family members to death.

Coming in second (as the next most frequent crime) were offences in which a farmer would lay in wait along a country lane and, axe to death, someone with whom he'd argued about land.

Such a history of skilled axemanship chills one at times; particularly when I remembered that most of the good townsfolk herein are descended from those same farmers, excepting of course, those families wherein the entire kin-group had met a bloody demise.

Living here, one can see how the smallest 'offence' might well have led a citizen to abandon Christian principles and walk out to the woodpile to settle matters...

This choleric consitution is still shared, today, by many Dufferonians; particulary those who write letters to the editor. Case in point is the matter of the "median".

Sometime last year, town council decided to raise money to pull up the middle of the main drag and install a "median" which would have all sorts of flowers, statues, fountains etc...in hopes of beautifying the town and bringing in the golden goose of all small towns: more tourists.

However, the 'median' has torn this small hamlet apart.

Firstly, citizens were outraged that the Santa Claus Parade would have to parade only down one half of the main drag and NOT the whole street. Never mind that the "parade" consists, for the most part, of small children, without any semblance of costume, sitting in someone's mud splattered pick-up truck upon which a few streamers have been taped; no, it is an outrage that such a hallowed tradition could be sullied by the 'median'.

Next came the general paranoia that seniors (who seem to be the ones who write these incessant letters) would die en masse of untreated coronaries and strokes, because emergency vehicles would be trapped in traffic jams of apocalyptic proportions, unable to u-turn etc...and all because of the 'median'.

The most recent slate of letters appear to have been drafted when a group of cantankerous seniors got together and decided to drop acid: these letters are just plain weird.

Someone trying to be sarcastic, one supposes, droned on and on about how everyone should take a giant flower pot from their garage and stick it in the middle of the road in front of their home so that traffic would be impeded (and emergency vehicles unable to u-turn to treat the many stroke and coronary victims) just to make the town look nice.

Another writer started raving about how terrible the town's dead ancestors would feel looking at the 'median' and what it had wrought for the downtown...His letter would make any shopowner feel, frankly, cursed by his choice of location.

I could only pray that our writer wasn't referring to the town's axe happy ancestors, hoping fervantly, that in addition to experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs, the seniors in question had not become adept in necromancy.


Blogger Don said...

Hey... I know Orangeville. I used to date someone from there. I liked the town.

8:45 pm  
Anonymous #1B said...

Well, the axemanship puts our childhood into perspective—nothing like it happened around Two Thorndale. But then again let’s not forget the electric chainsaw Dad bought at Canadian Tire. I sometimes wonder about that. The only blood it drew was his own—remember the trail of blood leading from the smug-looking tree to the bathroom sink? But I suppose things could have been much worse. Good to know we’d have been safe if we could outrun him for 25 feet—or did he spring for the 50' cord?

11:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth, I can't believe you haven't compiled your experiences at the Deck into an entry yet... c'mon now!!!
Maybe you've had the same trouble as I and can't think where to begin... heheh.


10:48 am  

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