Something Smells

Posted on November 12, 2013 under Storytelling with no comments yet


The call for help appeared on Facebook.  A skunk had somehow found its way into the window well of a home and a request went out for solutions to extricate it.  Suggestions ranged from the practical to the outrageous.  A grenade… really?  Eventually laying a few boards at an angle in the window well did the trick and mister skunk made his triumphant exit.

There has been a preponderance of skunks this fall for some unknown reason.  They seem to be everywhere.  Upon exhaustive research, I was able to glean that this is mating season for skunks.  They engage in what is known as the “fall shuffle” and voila; they give birth in the spring.

Skunks have very few natural predators, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise.  What self-respecting coyote or vulture would want to chow down on a skunk carcass?  Most skunks meet their demise trying to cross  highways and bi-ways.

When I saw the “request for proposals” from my friend, I gave it some thought and discovered a fool proof solution: offer the skunk a Senate appointment.

For those of you not familiar with the Canadian federal government system, we have two chambers at the federal level.  One is elected (Parliament) and the other in non-elected (the Senate).  If you count the bathroom, then there are really three chambers.  At least with the washroom, there is a convenient way of eliminating waste.

The Senate represents the ultimate in patronage, rewarding foot soldiers, hacks and major donors.  Star appointees are also extremely useful as fundraisers for the party in power. The sitting Prime Minister fills vacancies as senators are forced into retirement … at age 75.

The goal of any government is to have a majority in both houses.  The Senate is often referred to as the chamber of “sober second thought.” Another reason Toronto mayor Rob Ford is not likely to get one of these coveted appointments. They can technically stall legislation, but often they merely rubberstamp bills that have already passed in Parliament.

Our Senate is currently mired in controversy with claims that certain members have been receiving expense reimbursements and allowances to which they are not entitled.  It has turned into a three ring circus.  Why?  There can be only one reason – global warming.

Global warming is a remarkable phenomenon.  Tropical fish have been spotted as far north as Newfoundland.  Perhaps the common hog-nosed skunk, a native of Texas, has made its’ way to Ottawa.

When skunks are threatened, they squirt a fine spray of foul smelling irritant liquid from their anal gland.  It appears that skunks are somehow related to politicians of all stripes, who exhibit similar patterns of behaviour.  And, like senators, skunks don’t truly hibernate but tend to sleep a lot.

So how will Canadians get the foul smell out of Ottawa?  Many have suggested abolishing the Senate once and for all, which would save Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars a year.  But that would require all the provinces and territories to agree to change the rules of the game.  Don’t hold your breath – we’re still waiting for them to cooperate on a national securities regulator.

We should put our elected and unelected politicians to work, and ask them to earn their money.  Maybe they should be forced to scrape up some road kill, after they have cleaned up their act.



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