#42 – Fall is more than the colour of leaves in Babel.

It’s a busy time in Babel. Fewer tourists mean that it is mainly locals who get lost on Babel’s confusing streets. Those fishermen are back out on the bay. You hardly care about those fishing from shore. They might need dinner. The ones out on the bay are the ones you watch, wondering if they are going to drown today. They even stand up in their boats to fish knowing that the minnows they catch are unlikely to pull them overboard.

Our flocks of Canada Geese have already formed their squadrons for their flight south to annoy the Americans in their winter homes. Nobody has told these perennial snowbirds that there is going to be a bounty on their beaks if they keep defecating in the wrong places down there. Southerners understand where poop belongs.

Here in Babel, we need to get our poop together. Since early spring the wife and I have been giving our city councillor what for because of all the crap in our front yard. Let me explain: we have the poop works being extended south of our habitat for the past two years and that is coming along well. The general contractors’ people are nice guys and they try to maintain friendly relations with the neighbourhood.

Not so the people hired by the city to put in the main sewer line, fix the creek routes and move the roads. These bozos are slobs. Complaining has done us little good. They must think they are doctors who can just bury all their mistakes. Throw around pop cans and bottles, discard your lunch wrappings, detritus from work such as pieces of wood or pipe, whatever, they have a solution: they bury it.

The other day, doing their final clean up in front of our place, they actually had the nerve to run a huge Caterpillar excavator through their laydown area and bury everything that they did not want to take home. It was a shallow grave and we will be having that garbage and methane leaching their way to the surface for years to come. Mind you, none of the workers gave a damn about all the crap they had just thrown into the bushes. Probably from ground level, you cannot see it too well. Just look from the 15th floor.

And yet we even saw the blue heron the other day. It looked like he just stopped for a bit of rest and a snack in our pond. The muskrats must already be in hibernation because they do not believe in flying south for the winter. Either that, or the hawks got them.

Babel turned off the Centennial fountain the other day. That means summer is really over. Christmas is coming. The city has finally replaced our eight-metre Christmas tree that used to sit on the triangle at the corner of Tiffin/Bradford/Essa/Lakeshore. Mind you, they have replaced the one beautiful old fir tree with three three-metre shrubs. We are waiting to see if the city decorates all three or arbitrarily picks the tallest?

Babel’s councillors will be out ingratiating themselves with their voting public this winter as they launch a year-long fight for council positions. The contest that promises to be most interesting will be to see who can oust the guy currently occupying the mayor’s chair. There is even talk of bringing back Babel’s biggest loser. The characters in the diorama of city hall remind me of a chapter from The Wind in the Willows. (My wife forbids me to tell you which one is the Squire from Toad Hall.) We will have to see if Ontario Lottery and Gaming wants to take book on the outcome in Babel. It would be illegal for this space to do it. I am going to vote for the tallest candidate.

Do you have a better way to choose?

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