The Friar versus The Gray-Heads
I’ve recently written a letter to the editor to the Splat Creek Bugle. And (oh, dear) it’s started a whole kerfuffle with a some of the local seniors.
To give you a bit of background, a lot of the local stores here in Splat Creek are just plain fucked. (Sorry, there’s just no other way to put it). Either that, or they just don’t care and don’t want my business.
You see, many of the shops here chose run from 9:00 to 5:00. (Okay, you might think that dosen’t sound so unusual.) But you gotta remember, this is a one-industry town, and we’re surrounded by bush.
There aren’t too many stores in the area. Most of us living here are employed at the Widget Plant down the road. We leave the house at 8:00 AM (before anything’s open). We arrive back in town around 5:00…precisely when a lot of the shops close.
So (unless you’re a stay-at-home Mom or a retiree), good luck trying to get any serious shopping done during the week.
You’d almost swear the store owners are doing this on purpose, just to mess with us. (I mean, what’s preventing them from being open from 9:30 to 5:30 instead of 9:00 to 5:00?) Nothing, really.
But nooooo…that’s “not how things are done here” in Splat Creek.
So anyway, I wrote a letter to the editor, complaining about some of the local store hours, and the lack of customer service, and this is why I go to the Big City to shop.
And Land Sakes Jehosaphat! I inadvertently got the town’s seniors all riled up. (Well, maybe only a few.) But it’s been quite entertaining.
Week 1. Friar’s letter is published.
I get a lot of support at work. I’m told it’s about time somebody stood up for those of us who work during the day.
Within a day, I get a long phone message from a some old guy, who actually calls me at my home because he didn’t like my letter.
He leaves a long-winded message about how I’m “out of line” and how the Cheezi Mart provides good service. Harumph. Don’t I know how to plan ahead and buy milk the day before? Don’t I know how to shop and use a fridge?…Harumph. Gnarr gnar gnargngnnnn…etc. etc. etc. He goes on and on….
Hugh McDepends actually left his name, too, and said he’d call me back later in the week to discuss it.
(Wow…I can just imagine an irate senior in Toronto calling up some stranger, identifying himself, and then giving the guy shit.) How long do you think people like old Hughie would last…?
Week 2. Brita McBatte writes to the paper, saying I’ve managed to insult almost everyone in town. She’s retired, and she sees no problem with how things are run. Apparently I’m disgruntled, and I’m taking it out on everyone, and if I dont’ like it, in so many words, I can just go back to the Big City where I came from.
Friends at work are laughing at all of this. They sympathize with me, but at least they’re entertained.
One of my buddies suggests that next week, I should write about how old people should stay off the road and not drive (just to get them more wound up).
(Hmmm…sounds tempting!) Well, that COULD be a subject for another editorial, but for now, I write a 2nd letter.
Week 3. Friar’s rebuttal is published. Carefully written, well-worded, and I dont’ use any actual names. I sarcastically mock the “trouble” I’ve gotten into for just expressing my opinion. As for me going back to where I came from…. (tsk, tsk). I asked is THIS how people act in a small town?
If that wasnt’ enough to stir the hornet’s next, I implied that people should “get with the times”. I also referred to the “Big City” again, which (heh-heh-heh), always seems to set them off!
At work, more colleagues are taking notice. My friend says his wife and daughter are checking the paper each week to see what “the Friar wrote”. I seem to be gettting a fan club.
Week 4. A bit of a respite. A mild letter from another critic. It was reasonably written, but kind of forgettable.
I’m bored. I’m expecting this will fizzle out, so I decide to let it go.
Week 5. You know the editors are deliberately trying to egg me on, because they print another angry editorial from another retiree. I think it must be Brita McBatte’s cousin, Mayda Mucille.
Ms. Mucille asks why didnt’ I buy milk ahead of time before the store closed? It’s beyond her why someone like me wouldnt’ plan ahead. And maybe I should go back to the Big City for better service if I dont’ like it here. (Ooh, she’s good and mad!)
A month has already passed, but they’re still upset. For Chrissakes.
Some people need to get a life, but since I dont’ have anything better to do….
Week 6. Another rebuttal of mine gets published You know the editors printed it just to egg the seniors on.
Oboy, I’m having fun with this. I point out the irony that OF COURSE the retirees dont’ see a problem with the existing store hours (because they’re HOME during the day when everything’s open).
I also mention that I have to go now, because I’m driving to the “Big City” to buy a deli chicken without having to reserve ahead of time. (Oops…now I’ve done it.) You dont’ ever sacrilege against the Cheezi-Mart around these parts!)
Not all seniors are mad. My friend’s Dad (who’s retired) thought my letter was hilarious. He says it’s about time “somebody said something”.
On of my cubicle mates jokingly informs me that he’s waiting for the town to get out the “tar and feathers”. Colleagues are phoning me and stopping me in the hallway, asking how my on-going battle with the town is going. I’m gaining mild celebrity status at the office.
Week 7 (????). (To be determined.)
Though in the near future, if you happen to read that someone was trampled to death in a “drive-by caning” in Splat Creek, you’ll know why.Small Town Ontario comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.