Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's all relative

There's a story out there about Louis B. Mayer, favourite son of Saint John, New Brunswick, and his meeting with Albert Einstein.

Mayer had been briefed by his staff re why Einstein was famous; he'd come up with the theory of relativity.

So when they finally have a face-to-face, Mayer is alleged to have said, "hey, great to finally meet you! I've got a theory about my relatives too!"

I bring that up only because me and the Farm Manager got into a bit of a shooting match today. She'd read something on the internet about Trump going after Canada's dairy farmers.

"So it looks like your pal Trump is going after our dairy farmers," she says.

My pal Trump?

Them's fightin' words.

I owe Trump a debt of gratitude for the same reason every thinking person owes him; he deep-sixed two of America's most toxic political clans!

Beyond that, there's not much of a palship. Besides, who knows how toxic the Trump clan is gonna be. It's an open question.

Be that as it may, I passed over my initial impulse to ignore the FM's provocations and came back with, "don't worry about our dairy farmers. Trudeau already sold those guys down the river with the European trade deal."

And that's true. Under CETA the Europeans will bring an extra hundred tons or so of real European cheese into Canada every year. That's the kiss of death for pretty much every artisanal cheese-maker in the land. Who's gonna buy Canadian "Swiss" cheese at the Metro when the Swiss Swiss cheese is on for half the price right next to it in the deli counter?

Nobody, that's who.

But that's not what got her pissed. No, she's a Trudeau fan from way back. She even named one of her kids after Trudeau the elder. She didn't waste any time coming back against my Trudeau diss.

Next thing I know she's standing there with the Cooey repeater pointed in my general direction.

Ha ha! She doesn't even know how to load the thing! No worries!

"Just back off on Justin," she says.

"Ha ha..." I rejoinder.

She pulls the trigger.

Holy shit! That just missed my head! Did I leave a round in there the last time I was ground-hog hunting?

I made a break for the stairs and retrieved the old Browning side-by-side out of the dressing room.

This is dicey. I've got the advantage in fire-power but that side-by-side is overkill when you're having an indoor gun battle.

Put a .22 slug through the wall and you can patch up the damage with a dollop of drywall mud.

Loose a couple rounds from the Browning, and holy shit!...

You pretty much have to hire in a contractor to fix the damage.

And that's never a good idea. They've always got nosy questions... "so how did you manage to accidentally discharge your shotgun twice while walking down the stairs?" Next thing you know the cops are there enquiring about gun permits.

That kind of thing.

So I knew it was time for de-escalation. Talk her down instead of take her down. After all, in spite of these occasional gun episodes me and the Farm Manager don't actually want to harm one another.

We engage in a protracted debate about the pros and cons of "free trade."

We both heard Dominic Barton on Michael Enright's show last week. Dominic was all about how great "free trade" is and what a great contribution temporary foreign workers are making to the economy.

I knew I could use this avenue to smooth over my Justin diss. "You know," I said, "Irving doesn't really need to hire tree cutters from Romania. They could just pay a decent wage and the local folks would be all over it."

"And maybe if the lobster processors on the East Coast paid a living wage, they'd find help at home too."

She was warming up. Realized I hadn't intended a personal insult on Trudeau the younger.

"See, it's all relative. Eleven bucks an hour may be a shit wage in Canada, but get a guy out of Romania or Bulgaria, or even better, Somalia, and eleven bucks an hour is golden!"

It's all relative.

And that's why temporary foreign workers are so beloved by Canadian employers.

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