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Friday, December 1, 2023

Letter to the Editor – Michael Dillon

Dear Editor,

Over the few years I’ve lived on Denman I’ve written but never sent letters-to-the-editor in a volume at least equal to the length of the novel I’ve not written, so I am most appreciative of the recent work The Island Grapevine (TIG) has done to remove that particular writer’s block.  (A gentle side note here – the writer’s style manuals unequivocally insist one write an organization’s name in full prior to using acronyms, otherwise things get a bit incestuous when only one’s intimates know the secret. I‘ve met people from Saskatchewan. They know about that stuff.)

I’m curious about a number of things, but starting the list with asking how long it was before you stopped laughing about the appellation “Team TIG” before you appended it to your article seems rude. Instead, I’ll get to the heart of the matter. Will there be t-shirts?

I’m pretty sure if I was to look into the family closet amongst the skeletons, I’ll find Team Edward and Team Jacob t-shirts despite my in-laws’ protestations. Near as I can tell, the controversy then was either forbidden love or Vamp night at the high school. It was equally confusing, but I do know Edward got all sparkly whereas poor Jacob just got furry. The sparkly bit was much easier on the wardrobe.  Ed even got the girl in the end. Seems to me that with a few belly rubs she could have kept the dog too, but relationships are complicated.

The moniker Team TIG (henceforth Ttig as on Denman we acronymize everything) bestows about as much anonymity as Donatello’s mask. I’m no smarter than the average bear, but even I could tell he was a turtle. Even so, your move toward anonymity is still concerning. I have enough problems without the local paper encouraging my neighbors to throw rocks at me from behind their shrub.  Just doesn’t seem very sporting in my book.

That the Ttig attributed articles may have been written by a committee is not belied by the evidence, but even then, I’d urge courage. “Claim your own!” is the cry. Of course, the lady was pointing at her children at the time, but it’s the same idea. Sort of.

This being the Island Grapevine, it’s entirely possible Ttig is actually a guy named Klaus who you’ve warned us is behind every single nefarious plot on the planet. I note that Ttig doesn’t rhyme with COVID, so that’s reason to be suspicious right there.  I’m just a confused little primate, but between imaginings of wicked, syringe wielding “health professionals” and fears of being EMFed all night long by someone with a really big, pointy antenna, it’s just hard to get a good night’s sleep sometimes.  (See, I do so read the paper before I start the fire.)

Honestly though, speaking for the vast number of Islander’s I usually ignore on the ferry, it could be that this whole affair of bent egos and stubbed toes might have ended well when Ms. Schuster publicly fell on her sword point right there in the Island Grapevine in front of everyone. I fell on my front porch. Nobody was around and I’m not sure there was a point, but it still hurt.  I’m certainly not going to try harder next time.

However, this could be like second grade. I had everybody else’s favorite teacher, Miss C, that year.  She was constantly giving me advice. Loudly and with feeling. Usually it was, “Stop hitting Billy!” Being a second grader, I immediately interpreted that as “engaging in conflict for purpose of attention might be considered a poor executive decision. Please reconsider.”  She was backed up by Mrs.Leadbeatter down the hall.  In the office. Let’s just not go there. Not again.

Ttig is smarter than I. If not, we need to warn Billy. He’s dead now, so the warning won’t help much, but his mama would have appreciated it. She thought he was a bit thick and needed all the help he could get, but she still had such high hopes of Billy and me becoming gentlemen. (Sadly, but as you might expect, she died a disappointed woman.) She used to say that a gentleman does not do what he wants, but rather what he ought. Perhaps Ttig and some other fine folks might spend a stretch of time thinking about the meaning of the word ought instead of traveling further down this pitted road together. I suspect the meaning has something less to do with righteous indignation and more to do with an open heart. A rather contented friend of mine says the key is to just be kind. Everyday. It’s a tall order I know, but seems it’s worked well for him. Now, of course, one can always continue to fuel blame and feel put upon because others are fueling blame and feeling put upon. My dog chases his tail too. I do wonder what he’s going to do when he finally catches it.  

I’d hate to pass on advice from my imaginary Uncle Bob (relations are relative), but what he used to say about his time as a cook down in the bayou was “if you ain’t on the menu, don’t climb in the pot.” He liked my mother’s gumbo recipe, so his wisdom is suspect, but there’s a bit of truth there anyhow.

That’s what I think. I think. Caitlin’s got both of me so confused we’re constantly looking over our shoulder. Reading dirty minded narratives can do that to you I’m told, so I can’t be sure I’m sure. What do you think? Here’s a quarter.

Sans wax,

Michael Dillon

PS – I don’t know any of the parties involved. I think Mr. Van Santvoord takes rather nice photos. Ms. Schuster has a first name I’ve never actually heard pronounced. I’m sure it’s pretty. Anyone else involved might as well be yet another unnamed co-conspirator. I do know if you’re wrestling alarm clocks you might just need to sleep in. 

Author: TIG

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