Better fashionably late than never: Happy belated Independence Day to my American friends!
I’m sorry, it’s just that my head has been elsewhere lately.
While I was waiting for my regular lunchtime installment at It’s a Wrap the other day (King and Atlantic, highly recommended!), the guy grilling the wrap started into some small talk. Naturally we got to talking about the War and I asked him how the strike was affecting him. He lamented that he was paying upwards of two-hundred dollars every week to have his trash hauled away, and then he started in on his idea about the true origins of the strike. I listened thoughtfully; you don’t argue with a man armed with a spatula, cooking oil, and a conspiracy theory. You just don’t.
He believed, quite firmly, that General Miller allowed (perhaps even instigated) the War in order to save the city some money. The battle would also go on for some time, continued spatula guy, until General Miller was satisfied with the cash he raked in.
“Think about it!”, ended spatula guy, pointing his silver flipper at the spot on my forehead where the bullet would enter if I didn’t.
So I did.
But it seems a little far-fetched.
I think that the brass at city hall have their noses too deep in the conflict to see creative ways out. Curmudgeonly prodigy Bill Carroll had the interesting notion of firing ten random people a day until the union caved. The scene painted, in my mind, had a casual Bill strolling out into a crowd of strikers and calmly calling out the names of the people who were getting axed that day. He’d then roll up the list, cool as a cucumber, and strolling a few feet into the crowd — casually like he was window shopping for strip bars, proceed to have the shit kicked out of him by anyone standing nearby. What an ironic daydream.
Bill has since changed his tune. He says it’s for legal reasons but I think he and I shared the same vision. I wonder if the crowd was naked in his too.
There must be better ways. Take this guy, for example:
He’s about to stick something to that pole, I just know it.
I’m pretty sure his company’s not renting pole space from the city and it has to pay for removal. If it were illegal to poster like this (and presumably it is), why not have the removal guys collect fines instead? Every poster carries a phone number, website address, physical address, etc. Finding the culprits would be supremely easy; you could bring a picnic basket and plan a day trip around it!
There’s a derelict store on Queen Street that demonstrates how rich and profitable this could be. Just look how far those layers go … it’s a gold mine! (clickable too)
With the fine money collected from all of these posters, the city could afford temporary private trash patrol service that could give everyone a reprieve from the War. And why not charge per poster? Stick it to ‘em!
There was one theory floating around (not sure where I heard it), that Toronto was just getting what it deserved. That the trash strike is just karmic retribution for being a bunch of jerks. Shibaten might disagree, and he eats karma for breakfast:
I continue to believe General Miller’s doing the best he can, but he needs to stick his head out the door once in a while. Get some fresh air, new ideas, fresh perspectives. Smoke a bowl. Watch the clouds.
Now, on the verge of day 16, we’re breaking into uncharted territory (the 2002 strike ended after 16 days). This struggle needs needs a refreshing breath mint.