I should be in a better mood. It’s fall - my favourite time of year, it’s almost election time, and my last haircut is still holding up. But I’m cranky. I need to vent.
Every time I drive through our streets I become more enraged at the money wasted on our new “community identity.” Everything about “Naturally Rewarding” is idiotic. A five year old could have designed a better street banner because a kid would know you never write sideways if you want someone to read it.
And if you do put print sideways, you never put two large words – Naturally and Rewarding - together. It’s impossible, at the normal rate of travel, to decipher what the words are. To make matters worse, the “designers” have used a dense Italic font which is not only difficult to read but is aesthetically never associated with anything “natural.”
Just for the fun of it put the phrase “Naturally Rewarding” into Google, the most popular search engine on the Internet. Contrary to the Council’s boasting that they are hip to using alternative media to get their message across, the Crowsnest Pass does not pop up. Instead, page after page describing how “naturally rewarding” is used in neuroscience to distinguish between addictive drugs and natural highs like food and sex. Oh yeah. That’s exactly what we are all about.
The next thing that rattles my windows is the shameful state of Lyons Creek in Blairmore. Not only has no one repaired chunks of sidewalk near Ben Wong’s restaurant but all along the creek rootless trees hover, shaken loose by the June flood. With no water in the creek now, wouldn’t this be the perfect time for a clean up?
No, it’s probably better to wait for the next flood and let nature park the uprooted trees around the neighbourhood. And why deprive local teenagers of the sport of throwing the parking barriers, meant to keep people off the crumbling sidewalk, into the creek bed? Best not to do anything at all.
And what about the barking dog epidemic in the Crowsnest Pass. Recent “Bricks” in this newspaper have highlighted the problem, but nothing, absolutely nothing – say it again – is being done about it. Last week, our neighbour went to the Municipality Office to find out how he could get some help from the authorities. He was told by the woman at the counter that if the offending dog was barking during the day, the by-law officer wouldn’t do anything about it. Haven’t these people heard of night shift? Or enjoying your patio during the day, not at 4:00 a.m. when Lassie is asleep?
What, our neighbour asked, if the dog barked all night? The lady at the counter looked annoyed, let out a big sigh, and then suggested that the neighbour could fill out a form. What would happen to the form, the neighbour asked? It may or may not go to the by-law officer. Ah, the spectacle of bureaucracy at work.
Soon the leaves will fall and the blizzards will begin. The dogs will be kept inside where they will store up their frustration like walruses do fat, just waiting for the spring to bark to their hearts' content. The Naturally Rewarding street banners will be ripped by the wind and faded by the winter sun. Someone will fall off the broken sidewalk into the creek and we’ll find him or her next flood along with all the trees that now teeter on the edge of the creek.
And so the cycle of incompetency, idleness and crankiness continues in the Crowsnest Pass.