Scripturient: Brian the comedian

Following the success of Collingwood’s Comedy Duo, whose act has taken them on tour across the nation on the taxpayers’ dollar, our Deputy Mayor has entered the ring as our jester-du-jour. And since the Duo’s main act was sidelined recently by not being allowed to keep a snout into the FCM trough, it looks like ...

Scripturient: More council Christmas carols

A few preliminary verses for your consideration this holiday season… perhaps my readers might like to offer their contributions or extend the verses below. To the tune of The Holly and the Ivy: The folly of our council, So evident to see Fumble, flail and bumble Of this we all agree. O the rising of ...

Scripturient: Council’s 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my council gave to me: An interim CAO. On the second day of Christmas, my council gave to me: Two tax hikes, And an interim CAO. On the third day of Christmas, my council gave to me: Three sole-sourced contracts, two tax hikes, And an interim CAO. On the ...

Scripturient: Council’s report card: Year 2, part 1

As we reach the end of our Council’s second year in office, halfway through its mandate, it is time again to assess the collective performance and list the accomplishments of our elected officials. To avoid accusations of egregious negativity, I will list council’s accomplishments first. And to avoid further accusations of meandering through overly long ...

Scripturient: Dilbert, Dogbert and Collingwood

I’ve often commented that the cartoon strip Dilbert, by Scott Adams, is closer to a documentary than it is to a cartoon. Not just about the quagmire of corporate life: Dilbert applies equally to the sodden bureaucracy of government. And here are some strips to prove my hypothesis, at least on the local level. I culled ...

Scripturient: What did the former council ever do for us?

TIM: What exactly are the demands? BRIAN: We’re giving Powerstream two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the Collus utility, and if they don’t agree immediately, we execute the shotgun clause. TIM: You mean, cut their nose off? DEB: Cut all our noses off. To spite our collective faces. Show them we’re not to be ...

Scripturient: The raison d’etre

“Why do you do it?” A voice asked me, momentarily distracting my attention from deciding between the firm and silky tofu in the grocery store. I looked up to find a woman close to my own age in front of me. Well, perhaps she was a teensy bit older by about 20 years, but once ...

Scripturient: Bumble, Fumble, Stumble and Mumble

Councillor Cam Ecclestone did an unusual and unexpected thing this week at Collingwood Council. He spoke. Normally, the intrepid but mute councillor is too busy to open his mouth. Like his colleague, Councillor “Sponge Bob” Madigan, he takes seriously his duty of holding his chair in place in case gravity ever lets go, while laboriously ...

Scripturient: Collingwood’s comedy duo

Abbott and Costello. Laurel and Hardy. Pegg and Frost. Wilder and Feldman. Jeffrey and Doherty. Great comedy duos of our time. Such memorable moments they have given us. Who can forget the timeless Abbott and Costello skit, “Who’s On First?” Or Laurel and Hardy’s “Soda Fountain” skit? W.C. Fields and Jody Gilbert doing “The Diner Skit” in Never ...

Scripturient: The accomplishments of council

“You really are negative about our council,” the woman said to me as I stood in the grocery store, trying to decide whether to converse or pick mushrooms from the bin. But she insisted on the former. “Your blog is always about the bad things they do. You ought to try to say something positive ...

Scripturient: Dear Amazon…

Dear Amazon: Hello, it’s me, Ian. Yes, that’s right, the crazy guy who orders all those books. Yeah, the history books, the science books, the philosophy books, the ones on leadership and politics… you know, the guy who spends at least $100 a month buying books from you. Plus don’t forget the pasta maker, the PC ...

Scripturient: The Wolf and the Dogs

Once upon a time, there was a pack of good-hearted dogs who were known for their good deeds, and indeed their good natures. They travelled around the town unmolested, loved by everyone they met, helping with the chores, keeping the town safe from wild animals and intruders. The humans fed and pampered them, the other animals in ...

Scripturient: The Crafty Crow and the Doves

Once upon a time, an old crow lived by the seaside. He had grown fat over the years because he was too lazy to work for his food. He preferred to sit than fly. He followed the other animals to get their leftovers, taking what wasn’t his, and annoying them by begging for some of their ...

Scripturient: The Swimmer

The swimmer stood on the dock, contemplating the lazy current in the river. The warm spring, followed by the sunny days of early summer, had warmed the water enough to make the crossing less a challenge than a few weeks back, when he had first done it. It was still early enough in the day that the ...

Scripturient: The Tribulations of an Evil Mastermind

Some days it doesn’t pay to be an evil mastermind plotting to destroy the very fabric of our community. Seriously. It’s just too damned hard keeping all the bits and pieces together. Take today, for example. Here I was, out with my co-conspirator minions at a local restaurant this morning, trying to come up with ...

Scripturient: Is This Your Bar of Soap?

This is side five. Follow in your book and repeat after me as we learn three new words in Turkish: Towel. Bath. Border. So begins Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him, from the first album released by the Firesign Theater, in 1968 (on later albums spelled as Theatre). Everything in it is a ...

Scripturient: Creating a New Citizens’ Group

Recently, I’ve been told that what this town needs is a new citizen’s action group. I imagine it will be a group of residents concerned that the precedents set by the last council might spread to this one. That’s clearly a worrisome trend to some folks. Like progress, good ideas must be nipped in the bud. What this town needs, it seems, ...

Scripturient: The Story of Chicken Little

Chicken Little was out one morning walking around town. It was a fine morning, and he decided he wanted a cup of coffee. He wanted one so much could even smell the coffee in the air. So he walked into a local restaurant. But then he stopped and his mouth fell open in horror. He saw ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Lobbyist Registry

I was in the local grocery store with Susan, picking over the collection of organic vine-ripened tomatoes, earnestly searching for the best couple of them. A man recognized me as a member of council and approached me, smiling, hand extended.* “Hi, Councillor Chadwick,” he said. We shake. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” ...

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Abusing quotation marks

What goes through your mind when you see words in a paragraph or a sentence surrounded by quotation marks? Like that sign in the image on your left? That they are words excerpted from conversations or written content? Or that they are special; peculiar words, or perhaps used ironically, sarcastically or in jest? Take these examples ...