The thermostat registered five degrees Celsius in the house--an attempt by better-half and I to save on electricity and tax rates and to experiment on energy conservation to see if we can survive the highway robbery that's coming when Dear Leader, Duh-wite throws the switch on Muskrat Falls. The fact that it is minus twenty outside with a windchill of minus seventy forces us to don our caribou parkas left over from our days in the Arctic. Lately, we have been toying with the idea of scraping off the hair and using the skin for soup.
It was one of those mornings when I wished I hadn't switched on my dilapidated Toshiba laptop. It takes about fifteen minutes to boot up--after all, it is 2005 technology and I can't afford anything better. I took the time to prepare our one meal of the day. Stale coffee grounds, I have discovered, are reusable, though the brew is a little tepid after the third day. My fousty slice of bread from Walmart tasted a little better with a (L)iberal smear of Crosby's black mollasses. Better-half was not impressed with my culinary improv.
After the sumptuous meal, I was ready for my morning routine of surfing my favorite websites for all the fake news and alternative facts of the day. Normally, the People's Network gets my attention first. Bad decision.
"Tensions flare. Minister gets earful at budget meeting in St. John's," read the first headline. A video clip showed an angry Charlene Blake, one of the participants, shouting down high-school-graduate-McDonalds franchisee-cum-finance minister, Cathy Bennett, who is doing an immitation of the faux sincerity-dripping face of Dear Leader, Duh-wite. Bennett assures the audience that there will be no new taxes. (Read my lips) where have we heard this before?
Another participant in this sorry excuse for consultation, Mark Croft, wears a t-shirt with the logo, 'Resign Today. Save Tomorrow.' Voters are beginning to wake up.
"Surely to God, this Liberal gang of crackies, cretins, and carperbaggars, can't bamboozle us once again," I screamed. I waved my fist in the air and a shower of caribou hair fell into Better-half's coffeeish drink.
The whole thing caused an eruption of feverish rage which rose from a fathomless font and flowed furiously through my body. better-half was concerned for my sanity. "Calm down," she said. "It's just a nightmare."
I then began to reflect calmly and philosophically on the nature of rage. For me the emotion reached its peak back in late October, last year when I was driving from the island to the city for medical attention. Unbeknownst to Molly from Mount Pearl, many of us from the outports do undertake such journeys at our own expense.
I arrived at the ferry dock at eight am, only to find that the fare had increased by 130% overnight. Rage started to simmer. Once across the tickle, I filled up my decrepit Toyota only to find that gas prices had also increased overnight and it would cost me double to get to the big city. Rage started to bubble.
I placed a Nora Jones CD in the player. Her soothing voice always has a calming influence on my otherwise volatile demeanor. (Better-half wanted to stay at home.) Rage went back to a simmer.
Just before Grand Falls a huge pothole, containing a smashed-up ATV and trailer, opened up in front of me. I swerved frantically, narrowly missing oncoming traffic. Rage went to a full boil.
In Gander, I stop at Mary Brown's. They have a special for financially strapped seniors--two chicken gizzards, no fries, fifty cents. With this kind of fare along with baloney, the pharmaceutical fiend in the premier's office won't have enough bodies to fill his private seniors' complex.
Nora Jones sang Come Away with Me. I began thinking it would not be such a bad idea. But what about Better-half? I tuned to CBC Radio just outside Clarenville.
Stephen Lewis, famous diplomat, aids activist, and member of the Order of Canada, is being interviewed by Piya Chattopadhyay on Out in the Open. "I have often said to my audiences," he stated, "that my entire emotional range moves from rage to rage with almost nothing in between." He summed up my feelings exactly.
I stop at the Irving to fill up and buy a bag of chips. Wanted a bottle of water, too, but it was $2.00 plus thirty cents tax. Rage is on rolling boil now.
I try to focus on the advice of a favorite storyteller, Rick Yancey. "It isn't fear that will defeat them," he said. "Not fear, or faith, or hope...but rage."
I'll keep my rage for now.