There is no doubt that elections make pulses race in the City of Mariposa and surrounding areas. Ever since the Great Election in Missinaba County in 1911, where it was decided whether Mariposa should become part of the United States, and whether the flag that had waved over the school house at Tecumseh Township for ten centuries should be trampled under the hoof of an alien invader, and whether Britons should be slaves, and whether Canadians should be Britons, and whether the farming class would prove themselves Canadians, and tremendous questions of that kind, matters which were resolved to such thunderous applause and stupendous effect. Since then the riding has enjoyed 30 more federal elections, along with myriad provincial and municipal ones, sometimes surging one way and sometimes another, but always in the certainty that elections ought to be festive occasions when the electorate is always the winner, occasions worthy of community-wide celebration in that spirit, simply because the event took place and regardless of which party or individual comes out on top.
The constituency now has a hyphenated name, as is the current custom: no longer simply Missinaba County, but Missinaba-Mariposa-The Lakes, to be inclusive.
Mariposans believe, quite possibly unfairly, that elsewhere in the country the election in 2019 will be fought on whether the sitting prime minister is a villain and a fool, or whether the leader of the opposition is one of these or both, or whether any other party leader is, or whether it’s time for a change, or whether it’s too soon for a change, or whether the country can afford the continued presence in public life of person X, Y, or Z, or whether the country is bankrupt or will be or can afford to exist at all, or whether the economy is strong, or whether the land is being systematically destroyed, or whether the middle class is getting a fair shake, or whether the rich are poor enough or the poor are rich enough, and tremendous questions of that kind. Not in Mariposa, however. Perhaps in the past its electors might have indulged in such grotesque over-simplification, but since the Great Transformation into a City of Literary Refuge nothing but the loftiest in political deliberation will do.
But not yet. All that lies ahead. Summertime approaches, when the watchword is recreation, and the song on everyone’s lips is:
Stephen Leacock’s Song for Summer, sung to the tune of the Policeman’s Chorus from Pirates of Penzance. The entire song is too long for this medium. The first and last pairs of verses give the flavour:
Let us sing a song for summer, when the weather waxes warm,
And the worker wobbles, weary with the strife,
When the busy man is wishing that he had more time for fishing :
Let me sing to you the Vanity of Life.
Let me lie among the daisies with my stomach to the sky,
Making poses in the roses in the middle of July;
Let me nestle in the nettles, let me there absorb the dew
In a pair of flannel britches with the stitches worked in blue.
… (16 verses in between)
Let us gambol, let us ramble, o’er the flower-embowered lea,
O’er the meadow in the shadow of the elderberry tree;
Let us dress us as may bless us, with no public there to see–
Care not which is proper breeches for a summer negligee;
Or array us to display us in a pair of flannel pants,
Taking chances on advances from the enterprising ants;
Then at even when the heaven reddens to the western sky,
All together in the heather sing a summer Lullaby.
And there we will leave them until September. Your humble scribe is taking a brain break. Or a brain braik. Or a brean break. Whatever.
Have a good summer!