THANK YOU to Kevin Krueger (ex-Liberal MLA) for pulling me out of the fire and giving me something quantum (measurable) to write and rant about for this week’s column.
As usual for a grumbly old retiree (me not Kevin) past his prime but still cogently (I think) ahead of the curve, I slept in this morning, alternately slumber-dreaming quantums and not knowing if I was deceased or alive.
No time for my breakfast, down to Motivos, curse the new parking meters with language fouler than Beelzebub’s (Satan’s sidekick, stokes hell’s infernos) and bite into an underpriced five-dollar muffin swirled down by dark roast a la Motivo.
That’s when I chanced to strike up a short conversation with Kevin Kruger, who told me he was not having a good morning.
“Why ever would that be on such a stunningly sunny day,” I asked.
I had just finished reading that those ‘dirty’ pinko communists had been asked by Ms. Guichon to form up the new Sultans in Victoria. You know the ones I mean, the ones more powerful than God himself. (God, can I not get through one column without taking his name in vanity?)
Never mind, my brief conversation with Kevin Krueger is more important.
He explained to me that having the NDP in power in Victoria meant (he didn’t use these exact words) resource companies and businesses were going to leave the province, taxes were going up on the middle class and the rich and, basically, that the whole world was going to join Beelzebub in a hand basket very soon.
He added he was very experienced in British Columbia politics and had seen it all before whenever the NDP got into power.
I responded , “The middle class and the rich ought to pay their damned taxes rather than squirreling it away in offshore accounts, lazy dead money that slows down the economy for all but the greedy.”
I hastened to add that those resource companies and businesses that were now preparing to leave the province were just feeling sour grapes in refusing to work with an NDP government.
Comey-like, I got this conversation typed out and saved toot sweet.
It is instructive how our pithy conversation ended.
“I don’t think we are going to agree.” said Mr. Krueger, walking away.
“Oh, well,” I called out, “We should keep talking anyway.”
I love my mother, who went to heaven a few years ago, and I know she loved me in spite of the fact that she complained I licked my fingers when I finished a plate of her delicious fried chicken.
Yet her spirit was not sitting on my shoulder when I had this exchange with Kevin.
In my early teens (about 12) when I was still living in my parent’s house in Oliver, I had the independently minded audacity to join the Youth Wing of the New Democratic Party. I think I was the only male member but maybe that’s because I was only interested in the girls.
We were not, at the time, politically precocious.
I confess unashamedly now that although I had ‘leftist’ (read kindness and sharing) sympathies the real reason I joined the Youth Wing of the New Democratic Party was that after we completed our brief but somewhat callow political analysis, we played ‘spin the bottle’.
That’s a game that must be played after dark when your parents are not home. You turn out all the lights and sit cross-legged in a circle on the floor. A bottle is placed in the middle and given a good spin.
Of course, guys can’t kiss guys and girls can’t kiss girls, so if the bottle ends up that way, it has to be spun again.
Which ever two opposite sex ‘party members’ the bottle ends up pointing at, have to, get to, kiss. Then the light comes back on and the bottle is spun again. A very exciting way to cap an evening of juvenile political analysis and education.
I was hungry for a good kiss that was not going to be a good night kiss from my mother, who of course was not in attendance. I was still getting those and I was starting to think I was getting too ‘big boy’ for that sort of salutation.
Problem was, my uncle, my mother’s dear brother, Frank Richter, was a cabinet minister in ‘Wacky’ Bennett’s Social Credit government.
I have never been able to understand the difference between those Social Credit mandarins and these illiberal Liberals who have held Shah-like control of the province for the last 16 years.
Understandably my mother always voted for her dear brother Frank. After all, if he was a sitting member, that must be the right party to vote for.
After I returned from my first ‘pinko’-New-Democratic-Party-spin-the-bottle-party and I was, as I had always been instructed to, sitting up in bed with the light on waiting for my mother’s good night kiss. The door opened and my mother took no further steps into the room.
Her terse words were: “Good night you dirty communist.”
There were no more good night kisses from my mother.
Thankfully, she never called me a dirty communist again.
Yet, I am still trying to understand what it is about communists that makes them so ‘dirty’. Do they not know showers or soap?
Or is it that these ‘pinkos’ try, through tricky political fund raising, unethical advertising and untrustworthy election promises, to deny B.C. citizens social programs that work for the people of the province. I think that description applies to the former government. Trickery like that, is dirty.
To my mother’s loving credit she must have realized teenagers grow up and outgrow such niceties as good night kisses. I am, after all, her only son.
So, Kevin and all you head office resource moguls, let’s kiss and grow up. Call those moving van companies and cancel your plans to move to Ontario or wherever you think cash heaven is.
Let’s spin the bottle and keep talking.
Elon Newstrom is a Kamloops resident and sometime university student.