The Saturday Morning Press
Vol. 1, No. 2, Whole No. 2, Total pages 2, February 1973
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 order.
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 - - - -

To the editor
Saturday Morning Press
24 Colborne Street East
Orillia, Ontario
Mrs. Editor:

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 level.
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 Governor,
( 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."

Sinverly yours,
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 words"
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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