- The Saturday Morning
- Vol. 1, No. 2, Whole No.
2, Total pages 2, February 1973
- STUCK ON THE HORNS
OF A DILEMMA
- By Peggy Dyment
In reply to the letter in the "Gravenhurst News" about
compulsory snowmobile licensing and whether or not one should
license one's ox, we have had so many interesting calls and letters.
People have been so kind, one lady at Kilworthy sent a set of
license plates from a 1919 Ford and a lady from Coopers Falls
sent e reversible fringed with "Charlie" embroidered
on the outside an "OX" embroidered to the inside ,
to wear during the hunting season here, when people shoot at
anything and everything, mistaking them for partridge and squirrels.
A reverend gentleman in Nakina suggested cutting Charlies horns
off completely but I think that would get us into hot water with
the animal patrol. Another man from Toronto suggested that if
we had a horse and a donkey here on the farm, we might try cross
breeding them. He had heard that someone else had successfully
done this and that there were a lot of them around Queen's Park
and in Ottawa as well - - - - A lady in the United States sent
an excellent account of how an enterprising American dealt with
a touchy situation over there. It is enclosed with this issue.
Charlie was pleased with the publicity, to say the least and
in order to keep ahead of things, he has embarked on a course
at the local community college to fill out his income tax forms.
He came home pretty disgruntled after the first session, and
had just about decided that the most sensible thing to do would
be to send all his money to the government, along with the forms,
let them fill out the forms and then they could send twelve copies
to the thirteen pages and whatever money was left over back to
him. However, it suddenly occurred to him that this is probably
what they expected him to do, so he changed his mind and decided
he would deal with the thing himself, even if he had to get help
from Dot. He claims that it will be only a few years, at the
rate things are going until it will be compulsory to send all
your money to Ottawa anyway, and they will send back whatever
is left over. He also says that there are some countries operating
under this system already. He had forgotten what it is called
but it's something like regional government - you know - nobody
knows what's going on anywhere at any time, expect a few of the
top bananas, and they just keep asking for more people money.
Charlie and Dot were both upset for they had had a little run-in
with the police the same day and now he has this big thing about
the judicial system being all wrong, to much concern with the
nitty-gritty because it is the money-maker and not enough concern
with the things that are really important. Anyway, he thinks
the whole system should be thrown out and let's have a fresh
start. Our old ram, Herb, has been saying that for a long time,
but Herb is a pretty cantankerous old fellow ( if you had a set
of horns like his, you could afford to be cantankerous - why
one day, he hoisted one of those young veterinary fellows from
the Experimental Farm right into the manure spreader. Did he
ever look surprised! ) Apparently he questioned Herb's prowess
with the ladies, and you better believe it - that's something
Herb doesn't talk about, even to the authorities - ha has had
a very smug, self-satisfied look for years, but he says there
is entirely too much said about IT ( YOU'D THINK IT HAD JUST
BEEN INVENTED. ) - but that's another story which will be coming
to you after the important issues are dealt with.
Dot and Charlie were coming down the hill toward Controversy
Corners ( you know where that is - will it be an overpass, an
underpass, a spaghetti maze, will there be lights and will the
people now owning the land get a decent price for their property
or will it be expropriated by some of the charm school brass?
) They had just pulled around the corner onto the highway when
a police car whistled up to them and a very nice young man stepped
out and said to Charlie, "Did you realize, Sir, that you
drove through a stop sign?" Charlie bristled up and looked
that young fellow in the eye and said "I did, eh?"
He was careful to keep his distance and kept his head averted
because of the breathalizer thing. Nobody could ever convince
Charlie that his judgment wasn't good under any circumstances.
You've all heard that one - I can drive just as good after six
or eight just as good as I can without, so there - Charlie said
the young policeman felt kind of embarrassed when Charlie explained
about the sign being to high up in the air for oxen. He told
me afterwards that he has been through that intersection at least
a hundred times and never knew the sign was there - and if it
was, why it was - he figured they has a "stop" sign
left over when they were doing Orillia and rather than throw
it out they just stuck it in there - Sound thinking, eh? The
policeman got his little book out and quoted to Charlie from
page 62, Article 191, Section 14 and said he was very sorry,
but Charlie would have to have a ticket. Now, you know when a
policeman makes out a ticket, he does it on the hood or the trunk
of your car ( They learn that in "procedure Class"
at Police Training School. ) Since Charlie had neither a hood
nor a trunk ( the policeman did look at Charlies rump, tho )
he set his pad on Charlies forehead. Charlie has this little
knob on his forehead between his horns - the young veterinary
told him that many oxen nowadays have them and that they are
a sign of superior intelligence or a kind of bump knowledge.
That young man has since gotten himself a fine job at the Ontario
Agricultural College, where he goes around to the country swatting
warble flies for six months of the year and the off season he
spends putting the flies back together again. They tend to loose
their legs and wings and other things rattling around in the
specimen bottles. This is called a Research Programme - but that's
another tale, or is it tail?
To get back to the ticket business, Charlie will do anything
to get that little knob scratched, so he thought the policeman
was just being friendly when he set his ticket pad on his forehead.
While the policeman was trying to write out the ticket, Charlie
kept moving over to keep the little bump under the pad and the
policeman kept moving over because Charlie was almost standing
on his foot - finally they were well out onto the road and turned
almost sideways. Well, the traffic was whizzing around them in
both directions and it was beginning to look like one of those
busy Distressways they have in the larger centers. Dot said she
could have crawled under the seat she was that embarrassed but
she didn't want to crush the daisy on her hat. Just then the
situation was saved by another policeman who came along and after
consultation with the first policeman and referring to the little
book, he directed the traffic until Charlie got back off the
road. By this time Charlie was ecstatic, he had his head right
up under the policemans arm, rubbing away and looking blissful.
After discussion with the second fellow, the first policeman,
hung the ticket on Charlies horn and drove away. Dot was furious.
How could she ever explain when people told her about this stupid
old ox who was crosswise on the highway at Controversy Corners.
Besides that, it just occurred to her where Charlie had been,
besides to the course on the Income Tax thing. They drove home
in silence, ate in silence and Charlie by this time was beginning
to simmer just a little.
He simply didn't feel that he'd done anything so terribly wrong.
He'd looked both ways and the highway was clear, so he decided,
he'd go to court - just like the ticket said, "You are hereby
summoned to appear and so on and on the back it says you may
settle out of court if you wish by remitting to such and such
an address. That part got Charlies back up because once again
he figured that was what the system wanted him to do.
So Charlie ambled into court at the designated time on the designated
day. He had never been there before and he was certainly surprised
at the set-up. The first thirty people who appeared pleaded guilty,
paid their fines and Charlie was keeping track. He quit school
after eight years in Grade Three but he can add in his head like
anything - he has a strange affinity with computers. He said
in an hour and a half they had made enough money to buy a boat
and a couple of snow machines. then they cut it off and a few
fellows had their cases dismissed and then it was Charlies turn.
The judge asked Charlie to tell his story, he obliged. The judge
referred to a very important looking book behind him and had
an aside conversation with a clerk and declared a recess. Everyone
disappeared and they didn't all go to the washroom, either. When
they came back one half hour later, Charlie took up his position
and someone bawled out "Has the accused any previous convictions?"
Another conference, and the clerk said "No, Sir." so
the judge handed down his verdict, "Twenty dollars and costs
or ten years in jail." Well, sir you could have knocked
Charlie over with the broom - the way they had been carrying
on - to be so lucky - he expected they would hang him and possibly
without a day or two to make his will and put his affairs in
Anyway, he was escorted away to another room to pay his fine,
by several young policemen who helped him carry upstairs six
bushels of oats, two bales of straw and nine turnips in the amount
of $23.50. There was lots of laughing and jostling among the
policemen about who was going to get the turnips. It turned out
that one policeman took the straw for his dog house, another
one took the oats for his chickens and the judge got to keep
the turnips. The court-house grapevine reported that Charlie
left something else upstairs besides his fine which the judge
took home for his rose-garden but I don't believe that. Charlie
isn't that kind of an ox! He thanked the young policemen all
around and declared that they were a good group - only doing
their job while the system neither backs them up or down. He
also offered to meet them down at the corner ( not Controversy
Corner ) but the other one ( where THAT OTHER PLACE IS ) at lunch
time. I never heard how that came out. He went back to court
in the afternoon just to see how the rest of the "prisoners"
made out and he said it was most interesting. There was an old
fellow there whose boar had gotten out of a crate on his truck,
went across the highway and hit a lady tourists car. Mercy! Was
she mad!! Dot sat up front, very prim and straight and she never
let on she knew Charlie. She said afterwards that she thought
the judge was very fair in all instances, but the time wasted
on the operation was all wrong. She said it was too much of a
money-making thing and the whole business smacks of "Hit
'em in the pocket-book, that's where it hurts." And she
also wondered who was keeping the store down at headquarters
while all twenty-one of those policemen spent the day in court.
I did too - - - -
- A READER'S LETTER
To the editor
Saturday Morning Press
24 Colborne Street East
As a member of a local group, "concerned for the politicians",
we felt it important that we respond to your editorial in "The
Saturday Morning Press", dated January 1973.
We support your stand regarding the snowmobile issue and are
able to identify with the many problems created by the Press
in respect to your 2 oxen, Dot and Charlie.
We would like to suggest some positive alternatives ( legislative
changes and sound fiscal plans ) that have recently come into
being in our area and have helped to reduce taxes at the local
We also felt it would be helpful if you were to have more background
in the field of Political Science and Economics and a broader
understanding of the many problems facing our governmental officials,
particularly those dedicated to serving the needs of the people
who elected them to office.
Just recently, we had some terrible problems in our area and
I would like to take this opportunity to explain how the Governor
handled the situation.
Some time back, the local press carried some very nasty headlines
regarding the Governors purchase of a two million dollar airplane
for his own personal use. The Auditor General had determined
that the plane had been purchased with governmental funds, illegally
transferred through our State Treasury. The auditor General is
the kind of fellow that always has his nose in other people's
business and is always bogging himself down with petty issues
such as money, accounting procedures, etc. At the same time,
The Attorney General threatened suit and the news media termed
the whole thing a scandalous affair.
However, i personally spoke with the Governors wife who had a
perfectly logical explanation for the whole affair. It seems
that the Governors sister-in-law, just recently divorced, had
been unable to collect her alimony payments. Rather than have
her live on public assistance, the Governor invited her to live
in residence at the Governors mansion. This necessitated the
construction of a 32 room addition onto the mansion. This was
financed with Federal Funds through the office of Economic Opportunity.
lack of public transportation facilities made essential the rental
of the chauffeur driven Cadillac convertible also to be utilized
at political conventions, parades, etc. Since the 32 room apartment
had 9 bathrooms it was necessary for us to provide some kind
of domestic help. Therefore, we staffed the apartment with 2
doormen, 1 personal secretary, 1 social secretary, a French chef,
, a hairdresser, 6 cleaning women and a partridge in a pear tree.
There were also 2 maintenance men - we had to change their job
category and call them engineers because the union within the
mansion had felt to negotiate into their last contract, any provision
for additional services within the Governors residence, I feel
the Governor handled the situation very well, thus avoiding any
upset with our labor officials.
Two months after the arrival of the Governors sister-in-law,
problems began to arise. Her 33 year old son, a fine boy and
a drop out from Yale started booking numbers to support "his
habit".This is certainly preferable to stealing from the
local drug stores. The boy was also suffering some emotional
trauma as a result of the loss of his jobs head of the Treasury
Department. It should be noted that the individuals responsible
for his firing were neither relatives of, nor friends of the
- ( it was the Auditor
General and the Attorney General ... again! )
To get back to the problem there was such a large influx of incoming
calls to the mansion, as a result of the booking operation, that
even the President and the Governors mother-in-law couldn't get
through to the Governor. The only solution offered by the telephone
company was to run through all new telephone cables, which would
be very expensive. This in turn, would create drop in telephone
stock ( of which the governor is chief stockholder ).
Therefore, it seemed more economically sound to purchase an air
plane and move the problems out of the mansion. The Governors
wife, sister-in-law and nephew have agreed to spend most of their
time, especially during business hours at one of the Governors
country estates, thereby totally eliminating the phone problems
at the mansion.
This in our opinion is sound economic policy:
(1) We have taken two people off the relief roles.
(2) Improved the job markets by staffing the apartment.
(3) Improved relations with the Labor officials.
(4) Helped private enterprise, and stimulated the economy through
the purchase of the plane.
(5) Stabilized the Dow Jones Averages.
(6) Improved inter intra personal relationships between the Governor
and his wife ( they never did get along too well ).
We hope the above information will be helpful and would also
like to suggest that you remind your ox Charlie of the famous
George Orwell quote that says - "All animals are created
equal but some animals are more equal than others."
I. Ben Hadd
- This uncopyrighted article
may be reproduced, filched, stolen, copied or quoted, in whole
or in part without permission of the author or publisher "her
- Originally printed
by John Dyment, the publisher, at 24 Colborne Street east in
Orillia, Ontario, Canada, at his own expense (because he is the
husband of the author) without any permission, or grants from
any government department or agency. Circulation (if combined
with the Toronto Daily Star) would be a fantastic amount.
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