Hello neighbor and welcome back to the Blotter, and oh, what a week it’s been. As I write this, there are still over twenty sleeps left until Election Day. I’ve been going door to door and have been getting quite the education. As a result, I thought that I would share a dollar’s worth of this education with you. These lessons have come my way via the “School of Hard Knocks.”
Lesson one: never believe statistics. They will be twisted, turned and tormented until they say whatever the presenter wants them to say. Let me give you a for instance. In Canada the “average” person has 1.9999 legs. Some people only have one leg, some people have no legs but no one has three legs. As a result, most people in Canada have more legs than the national average. The same extrapolation can be made for hands, arms and in special cases, brains. When some pollster tries to sell you a load of twisted “facts,” count your legs and make your own decision.
Lesson two: It’s a bad idea to insult a potential voter. I was out in the rural area when my truck stopped. I popped the hood and was trying to diagnose the problem when a cow walked up behind me and said, “It’s probably your carburetor.” Startled and began to run away from the cow and soon met a farmer. I told the farmer what had happened and he said, “Was it a large black cow with white spot over its right eye?” “Well, yes it was,” I responded. “Oh! I wouldn’t listen to Bessie,” said the farmer. “She doesn’t know anything about Fords.” “That’s what I thought” I responded. The farmer looked at me stated, “Just be careful what you say about Bessie, after all she was just trying to be helpful.” Got it.
The final lesson: you never get a second chance at a first impression. Just about 28 years ago I arrived at the RCMP Training Academy in Regina with my suitcase in hand. I was a wide eyed 21 year old and was wondering what I had done, and how was I going to survive six months of intensive training. The very first thing that we did, as a troop, was go the barber shop on base. Recruits had to have short hair, and soon it was my turn to get cropped.
Back in the 1980’s I had collar length hair that was parted down the middle. It was totally cool, and by extension, I thought I was too. Since I had never spent a whole lot of time in a barber shop, I really didn’t know how long it took for a “trim.” The first 10 guys had their hair cut and it took about a minute for each guy. For whatever reason, I didn’t realize that everyone had gotten a brush cut, and not by their own choice. When it was my turn, the old barber with shaky hands and alcohol on his breath pointed to me and said, “You’re next, boy.” I dutifully sat in the chair and he asked me, “How would you like your hair cut?” I thought that he was serious so I said, “Just a little off the top please.” He flashed a small grin and the wild man began to employ his trade. Those industrial clippers sounded like a bulldozer as they made circles around my cranium. Well, let’s just say that he took off a little more than I wanted.
It was then off to the barracks and time for a shower. As I was in the shower, I could hear rain falling on an umbrella. I turned around and looked, but there was nothing there. I began to shower again and I heard that same sound. This time it sounded like rain on a tent. I looked for the source of the noise but was still out of luck. The third time I heard the noise, I finally figured it out; the sound was water hitting the back of my ears as I stood in the shower. It was at that moment that I realized I looked like Howdy Doody, and probably would for the rest of my career. Whenever someone says “Howdy” to me, I immediately become suspicious
So there you have it, lessons for the wise. From my perspective, I think you got a good dollar’s worth of education. You’re welcome. We’ll talk again next week. Until then, keep it between the ditches.