Thoughtful meditations on the Ottawa protests

“Within the following paragraphs, I will proffer a resolution to the ever-topical, and sublimely-fashionable debate that is, the Ottawa protests. It is in this bookman’s humble opinion that the endless skirmish surrounding this most noble of subjects, has fallen prey to a grave oversight on behalf of the entire…”

At this point in my writing, a loud and sudden noise to my right interrupted my train of thought. Some foreign object had impacted the window of my second-floor study, travelling too rapidly to be identified. I froze at my desk in contemplation of whether or not I should investigate, when a second object ricocheted off the glass. This time, I was able to clearly see that someone was throwing rocks at my house, and I decided to engage them.

I threw open the window, ready to chastise my assaulter with enough vitriol to cause them to self-immolate, and was immediately hit in the face by two new rocks. The first rock scoured the side of my nose, and the second landed in the centre of my left eye with enough force to make me temporarily blind. I knew this would be a horrible inconvenience, as it meant that I was going to have to write the remainder of my political commentary without depth perception. With my good eye, I peered down at my faceless attacker expecting to see some kind of infernal monster, but was surprised to find that it was three young boys who were responsible for all the throwing.

Now, each of these boys was anything but normal by appearance. Their clothes were all reminiscent of a 19th century town along the Mississippi river, in that they all had on overalls, straw hats, crude button-up shirts, and no shoes. These articles were also all rolled up to bicep and calf height, despite the snow-heavy Canadian winter boasting a temperature of minus 15 degrees Celsius. I opted to check my anger so that I could give them some assistance, and maybe enlighten them to the fact that they were less than suitably dressed.

“Do you boys have any idea how cold it is outside?” I asked. I was hit in the forehead by two more rocks as I spoke. My words registered however, and they stopped throwing once they realized they had my attention.

“Where did you even get those rocks?” I continued. “Actually, never mind that. Aren’t you freezing? Where on earth are your coats?”

Completely ignoring my every inquiry, the tallest member of the trio spoke. “Come on out mister! We’re gonna go unhitch old man Morley’s chicken coop so that they all run wild! Sounds fun, don’t it?”

While I hadn’t the slightest clue who old man Morley was, nor any recollection of anyone with that name living in my neighbourhood, nor any faith that raising a chicken coop was possible in such an environment, nor any belief that it was legal to have a chicken coop in the suburbs, it sounded like a tremendous amount of fun. But even so, I knew that my task of writing about the Ottawa protests was of a much greater importance. I couldn’t let my thoughts be fettered any longer, I simply didn’t have the time.

“I’m afraid I won’t be able to join you.” I said curtly. “Well you see, I’m committed to the task of educating the public about the Ottawa protests… You don’t know what that is? Well there is this convoy of trucks… You don’t understand the word convoy? Well it is my civic duty to write about it I’m afraid. Perhaps you’ll understand when you’re older. If you need me, do try the front door. Please don’t throw any more rocks. Try to keep warm. Thank you. Good day. Bon voyage. Chau.”

I closed the window feeling satisfied that I had done everything I could to help. Settling back into my desk, I then made an effort to reassemble my thoughts on my work, but the attempt was moot. I had forgotten the crux of my writings, and had to start over from scratch. Naturally, I was hellbent on making it better than before.

“The immutable, indiscernible public opinion girdling the Ottawa protests can be divvied into two factions. Whereas half the country believes the trailer-truck Phalanx is a temeritous fleet of liberty sent to upheave the so-called malevolent despot governing our nation, the other half believes that their actions are a sepulchral misconstruence of privilege and ignorance that will indubitably result in more harm than good. What both factions have failed to take into account, is…”

This time, instead of a rock, a spherical boulder the size of a beach ball crashed through my window. It plummeted clean through the floor of my study, and my living room, before leaving a heaping crater in the basement. Somehow knowing that the three boys were responsible for the attack, I flew to the window, planning to reprimand them with a tongue so vile that it might stagger a Komodo Dragon. To my surprise, I found them sailing on a shotty raft made by tying a collection of small logs together with rope. They had one sail hoisted in the centre of the craft, made by what I can only assume to be old man Morley’s clothes that had been hung out to dry. They were also floating back and forth across my yard as if the hills of snow were a body of water. For the second time, my rage was dampened, and I decided to forgo blowing up in order to ask some pressing questions.

“Excuse me! Boys! How is your lamentable little raft floating atop the snow as if it were a lazy river? How are you travelling so swiftly on a windless day? Am I to understand that you somehow aren’t bound by the same laws of physics that the rest of us are imprisoned by?” I asked.

“We don’t believe in that stuff mister! That’s why we can throw such big rocks!” Answered the tallest member, as the other two boys turned the sail around to strafe back.

“Right, well I think I’m the one who doesn’t understand this time… Are you not cold yet? I urge you to find coats before you catch frostbite.” I continued.

Again, the trio ignored my concerns, and carried out their own agenda. “Come on out mister! We’re gonna go on an adventure! You’re gonna man the sail!”

While on the one hand, the beckoning call to adventure was like a siren cutting through black tar fog in the night, my need to write about the Ottawa protests was also thumping me in the back of the head like a wiffleball bat. After weighing both options, I decided that my societal duty was more important than this flippant opportunity to rediscover my youth. I leaned out the window with a heavy heart, and informed the youngsters that I could not follow where they would go.

“As nice as an adventure would be, I still have this obligation to write about the Ottawa protests. You see, I have a brilliant idea on the matter everyone seems to have neglected… You don’t understand me again? Well perhaps when you matriculate… You don’t know that word either? Well you’ll hopefully understand when you’re older. It is very, very important. I can’t waste another second. Please use the front door if you need me again. No more stones if it can be helped. My house already needs a great deal of renovation. Thank you. Farewell. Au revoir. Hasta luego.”

I slipped back into my study, now unable to shut my freshly shattered window. The frigid outside air was pouring inside, which made the indoor temperature far too low for any political reflection to take place. As such, I clad myself in the warmest North Face coats and snow pants that were available to me before returning to work at my desk, and only once I was warm did I try to recollect my thoughts.

At this point you should be wise to the fact that my encounter with the boys had wiped my memory clean, meaning that I had to scrap everything I had written down again to start over. It was a setback to be sure, but an inspiring one, as when I finally did start writing, I had lightning in my veins. I decided to really “go for it” this time, to truly give my endless array of thoughts on the Ottawa protests the justice they deserved.

“The ostensible, veritable, unequivocal Ottawa protests are as benevolent as they are serpentine. It is indeed, a subject free from the byzantine confluence of circumlocutions, and a tenebrous, legerdemain-imbued, societally…”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that a third object of interruption was inbound. Not willing to tolerate any more interference, I darted to the window ready to lambaste the three boys with a monologue vile enough to wound the pride of a spice merchant. When I reached the window however, I looked up to see a new spherical stone just under two times the size of my whole house about to land on my roof. In a moment of pure survival instinct, I dove out of my second-story window to avoid being flattened. The snow cushioned my fall enough to save me from injury, but the same could not be said about my house. It was crushed instantly, to the heartbreaking point that it was no longer a house at all in the platonic sense of the word. All that remained was a colossal boulder in its place, sitting in the foundation of where the house once lay. Bits of wood, glass, and brick were scattered all through the yard, and the sight of damaged electrical fixtures and plumbing beneath the boulder running amok made me miserable, as I knew it meant my water and hydro bills would be higher than normal at the end of this month.

The three boys pulled up next to me on the raft, marvelling at the ruination of my home. The tallest member hopped off into the snow beside me, and said the following.

“There you go mister. Now your house is gone, and you can stop writing about the… um, the Ottoman projects.” This was a close enough effort that I felt it didn’t warrant correction.

“You’re free to come on an adventure, and man the sail! We’re gonna call ourselves the Jolly Rogers!” He finished.

Seeing that I now only had one option, I caved, and told him that I would love to join the crew if they would have me. Quickly putting my current housing situation aside, I looked as optimistically to the future as I possibly could. I realized that I was now comrades with a formidable bunch, as each of them could apparently throw two-hundred-ton stones into the air without sure footing or proper grip, and they could seemingly do so with minimal effort. Surrounded by company as impressive as the Jolly Rogers, things were already looking up. My only remaining sadness was that our upcoming adventure had pried me away from my task of educating the public about the Ottawa protests, but that painful burden is one that I actively try to repress from my memory even to this day.

We all hopped aboard the raft, and the boys told me that we had to become blood brothers for the adventure to begin. I asked what that entailed, and they told me it involved pricking our fingers with pins, and pressing them against one another to create a transfusion. I told them I would do no such thing, and I asked them how they knew a word like transfusion without knowing a word like convoy. They told me that it was necessary for the adventure, and completely ignored the question about the word convoy. They then gave me an ultimatum saying that if I didn’t become their blood brother, that I would be promptly ejected from the raft.

“A thousand times pardon, but I simply won’t do it.” I began, thinking I could talk my way out of it. “Why not? Well frankly, I find it foolish and ridiculous. But do know that I’m filled with remorse by this decision, and our adventure is… Ah, I see you’re pushing me off the raft. Very well. I know when I’m not welcome. I hope that your escapades serve you well. What’s this? You’re throwing me off the raft? Very well. Probably for the best. Thank you. Godspeed. Sayonara. Cuídate.”

They launched me 50 feet through the air, into a snowbank on the other side of the yard. But they could have very likely thrown me into the stratosphere if that was their intent. They then unfurled their lone sail, and gave me a heartfelt wave goodbye, before hovering off into the cusp of dusk, where they haven’t been seen since.

Months later, I can say with confidence that what transpired after these events was nothing short of a human spectacle. Every able-bodied neighbour I had within a five-mile radius came to my aid after hearing the crash of the giant boulder upon my house, and immediately got to work on creating me a new one. They brought pickaxes, regular axes, jack hammers, sledgehammers, regular hammers, chisels, food, and water. And not a single one of these individuals strayed away from the premises to even sleep, before they had hollowed out a 3-floor domicile inside of the great boulder. I am proud to announce that my new home is outfitted with couches, beds, toilets, mirrors, and a woodfire oven, all carved out of the solid rock that had existed there prior. It is dreadfully uncomfortable, and completely non-functional, but their level of care and attention to detail was so immense that it is not to be understated. One talented old man from down the street even went as far as hand carving each of the family pictures I had out previously, and my various living quarters are now riddled with electrical outlets and faucets there isn’t a hope in the world of water or electricity ever passing through. I no longer have the will to ponder the Ottawa protests from within the depressing corridors of this dismal house, but I cannot betray how grateful I am to all those who helped to build it. Coincidentally, if you are currently in the market to buy a house, and have always had a childlike dream of living in dwellings similar to that of Patrick Star, please contact the author or publisher for a bargain like no other.

(Thank you to Samuel Langhorne Clemens for the inspiration)

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