Thursday, October 27, 2011

Slowly, the multitude (people and assorted Canada geese)--gathered at the lake

Slowly, the multitude gathered.

...Well, not quite a mutitude, say a baker's dozen, as it was a cold and rainy day in Newmarkt on Oct. 17, 2011 where Regional Councillor John Taylor and I spoke on poverty issues not only in our York Region, but the world, as this was a U.N. sanctioned event. It was organized by local PACC chairman Tom Pearson.

Since it was a small crowd--augmented in fact on that day by a brace of wild Canada Geese( the geese for me were a lucky symbol, certainly a cue to what I was going to say next, for I had no real idea of what to say at this anti-poverty gathering). The honking geese brought back the days when I was laid off at Seneca Colllege, myself an untenured professor, and in my frustration and idleness, would very nearly lecture to my webfooted friends as I illegally fed them out of my tote bag.
So I talked of my poverty experience.

John Taylor spoke of the need to sometimes be our brother's keeper. He spoke very well, no surprise, as he has a PhD in education.
(Myself, I got into education with a slim Master's degree in something like basketweaving, for there was no way to handle the math in some really serious field). But I got the paperwork, though certainly short of a doctorate. I was however, allowed to teach english.

I guess I could say, in a way that John Tayor and I were a pair-o-Docs, though his doctorate was for real.

Anyway we spoke of the plight of the poor here in whitebread York Region. Hardly anybody notices them as today nobody walks around ragged. But hunger is certainly an issue judging from the empting cupboards of the local food bank and the high turnout at the local Inn From the Cold, the free dinners and the church basements.

So we addressed the poor, the real Doc and I the buckshee one.

John Tayors' job, of course, is one that Americans would call a Third ward bigwig.
Myself, I'm balding, unemployed and am certainly considering a hairpiece.

But it was so nice to have a gig of some sort.

Sometimes all we need is a pat on the back for our efforts.

I guess the audience liked my wild goose story.

There was applause.

The geese honked.

In my solipsism, I thought they were honking for me. They had enjoyed my past "lectures" to them out there at Fairy Lake?


Chris Benjamin said...

Geese are very loyal once you win them over - which is of course the hard part. You must have been most eloquent! And a worthy topic, too.

Just don't ever say, "Let them eat geese." said...


The one thing I remember of my sociology classes is that the guy who lives in a corner house is always a deviant. I live in a corner house.
There is something about the flapping of the wings on those geese. when they are about to land :)

eric1313 said...

We have our share of them here too. They soil the walkway up at the college. The middle-eastern girls sometimes run from them and it even looks like the geese are giving chase! Angry geese are nothing to mess with, I'm sure you've heard of or seen that.

Hopefully they cut you a nice little check for your efforts. And indeed you should know well what to say at such an event. You've been there and you know.

eric1313 said...

They as in the UN, not the geese. Never take a check from a goose, especially a Canadian one lol. said...


As I said somewhere, I live in a corner house. Gotta watch myself. Have to restrict myself to one species.

My former Edito of the Georgina Advocate, John Slykhuis, says beware!

Geese are monogamous. said...

I think I been hanging with the geese and the homeless for too long.

And this guy with the wetsuit top for a jersey called me a silly goose.

I held back from using that line out of Sophie's choice. "Oh, you are wearing your...."

Anonymous said...

at least Frank Klees wasn't there screwing things up...he'd have over-ruled you,as a theoretical speaker of the was good of you to do the needs talking about...first you take the lake,then you take the town...cheers... said...


I am compromised.
Frank Klees wrote in to tell me that he liked my book, as far as he had read it. Said it had local colour.

Excellent Quotations said...

Nice Read!!!

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

will never catch up with the demand for it. An oppressive government is

more to be feared than a tiger. And remember, no matter where you go,

there you are. Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. ~ Confucious

Thanks!! said...

Hi EQ,

Got one for you:

Confucious say man who make love on hillside-- not on level

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm glad you got a little goose! said...


Oh, I'm just all feathers. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

Some events and new material:

1) On Saturday (Nov. 5) at noon I'll be signing copies of Eco-Innovators at the Coles bookstore in County Fair Mall, New Minas. So Nova Scotia people, please let your Valley friends know - these things get very lonely.

2) On Sat Nov 12 at noon I'll be signing Eco-Innovators at Chapters in Mic Mac Mall, so proud Dartmouth people please pop by and say hello.

3) On Sunday Nov 20 I'll be doing two signing sessions, the first at noon at Chapters in Bayers Lake, and the second at 2:30 pm at Coles in the Halifax Shopping Centre, so Haligonians please show some love.

4) On Tues Nov 22 at 7 pm the members of my writers group are doing a joint reading at the Spring Garden Road Library in Halifax - several of us have new books. Details at So again, Haligonians please come on out - should be a fun evening.

5) Here's an article I wrote about Nova Scotia's new water strategy, which is pretty good in principle but lacks teeth and a budget: [A note on headlines: I rarely write them, which is why they often have little to do with the article I've actually written.]

6) Here's an opinion piece I wrote on the Occupy movement, taking a look at how wealth is really distributed and why the middle class aren't 100% behind the occupations:

7) And here's a piece I wrote on meteorologist Richard Zurawski's new book about how poorly equipped the media is to deal with science-based stories:

Enjoy the words,
-- said...

It's gettin 'er done, Chris!

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