Monday, January 15, 2018


My dear Mr. ...,

I understand you are our new Minister .... Congratulations on your new position.

Are you over the age of 15? Your photo makes you look very young. Not that there is anything wrong with that…. I’m just saying. The human brain apparently carries on developing until the age of 25 so perhaps I need to structure this letter to you based on whether or not you are over or under that age. I’m going to wildly and irrationally presume that you are over the age of 25 and just extremely photogenic. You lucky man you. And bilingual. Hence the les maudits English.

Okay that’s not right… I’m just projecting the misery of my old age onto his young whippersnapper fresh with his whole life in front of him thing. Not good. Scratch that.

My dear Mr. ….,

I understand you are our new Minister .... Congratulations on your new position.

I’m writing to ask you to please verify what has happened to Chelsea’s request for traffic lights and/or stop signs at the the intersection of Highway 105 and Old Chelsea Road. Please understand that this is not a request so much as a “what the hell is wrong with government bureaucracy that it should take decades! I mean decades! To actually accomplish something as simple as putting in a stop sign.” I mean I’ve seen people grow old and die waiting for it to happen. I have. I can give you their names.

Okay, scratch those last sentences….

As I understand it our Council and Mayor here in Chelsea, Quebec. (We’re near the border with Ontario in case you’ve not been, although I’m fairly sure you have, given that we are now being touted as the Gem in the Hills with all sorts of pride and pleasure and tourism and rinks and gateways to parks and organic farms and oh yoga.. lots of yoga… ) our Council has requested this of you and is seriously blaming your department for your abject failure to do that which is needed to be done at that intersection. We find this very very very sad. We are your favorite place to be. The provincial and federal representatives--they're always here having their picture taken and drinking coffee and doing the spa thing. You love us. You however have neglected us. You're just taking us for granted now.

Please understand, this intersection is busy sometimes and there are children (CHILDREN! Little children! Wee little bairns!) and old people (OLD LADIES EVEN WHO COULD BE YOUR GRANDMOTHER! Your BELOVED grandmother on your father’s side) who are trying to cross that very intersection on an irregular basis. Turning left is challenging. The snowbanks are challenging. The speed of traffic is only getting worse. The density as well. Everybody is texting and driving and drinking and swearing. Does your department really want to risk all the madness and mayhem that could be inferred by not properly handling this intersection? We are not amused.

We would like at least for the moment a stop sign to be erected at this intersection. We might get all uppity and demand a roundabout or lights even.

I have been unable to reach the person who actually puts up stop signs so I am hoping you have that number handy. A quick call and we’re all set. No need to fill in any forms or check with anyone. We won’t tell anyone if you won’t. Otherwise, please advise as to why this matter has not been handled as requested and where in fact the matter is in this bureaucratic maze of pass the buck… We are at the point of putting in our own stop signs. We hate that shit. It’s cold out there. Don’t make us go out there in a blizzard to do the job your department should have done a long long time ago.

Just do it please. We want traffic lights but we’ll settle for a stop sign just for now. We would like this done before spring thaw. That’s when the bicyclists come out. And they’re insane.

Now, not that I want to say it officially or anything but the people at Tulip Valley want to donate their traffic lights to the cause because they don’t really use them. Oh hell. They never use them. Who the hell stops at that intersection for the lights? Lord thundering Jaysus Bye… You gotta wonder what on earth life has come to when you’re sitting there in the middle of nowhere waiting for the light to change when there is not a sole vehicle to be seen for miles. It just depresses us all. Makes us feel caged and insignificant in the whole scheme of things. We get depressed you know. It’s like stopping at that stop sign on the 105 at the foot of the Meredith Road. The horrible meaninglessness of life. We just stop. For no reason. We do. We all do. Because that is what we were taught to do. We don’t even question why anymore. We just… We just sit there like chickens at a ER waiting room clucking and waiting for someone to care. I know. I know… But anyway….

We don’t ask for much you know. We give you so so much! SO MUCH! And what do WE get? Oh yeah, all that tourism stuff and rinks and everything but at the heart of it all… we just want our old ladies to be safe at that intersection because we want our old people to enjoy their final years spent in taxation and misery.

Sincerely yours,
S. Shawcross, from the beleaguered town of
Chelsea, Quebec aka the jewel of the hills

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