December 15 1937


December 15 1937


MOST EDITORS are feeling pretty low in their minds these days about the goings on of Premier Aberhart of Alberta, but not us. It isn’t because we are just naturally contrary minded about things, either. The reason is that without good Doctor Aberhart and his goings on, there would be times when we would hardly know where to turn for authentic material with which to pack this page. Aberhart may wear horns and wave a tail for the vast majority of our editorial contemporaries, but to us he is just clean fun.

Thus we find in the issue of the Calgary Herald for Tuesday, October 26. the following quotation from good Doctor Aberhart’s broadcast of the previous Sunday:

“I have read of the bullfights of Spain, where people go and sit, while a dozen or more troubadours molest a bull in the full vigor of his virility; and, finally, 1 have read that they applaud when the troubadour plunges the sword into the heart of the poor animal deprived of all dangerous resistance.”

To us it seems like a rather dangerous analogy for good Doctor Aberhart to link himself up with a bull, but the problem that really keeps us awake nights is this: While the troubadours are dashing around molesting the bull, sticking swords into his heart and all that messy sort of business—what on earth do they do with their gondolas?

While we are running on in this political strain, the thought occurs that men prominent in public affairs are always getting themselves into spots. They don’t even have to mix metaphors, or get themselves all tangled up with unfamiliar words. If they are sufficiently exalted they can acquire notoriety, simply by doing nothing at all. All this sounds sort of cockeyed; but a Parade operative, working under cover in the Prince Edward Island zone, reports an incident in connection with the recent visit to the Garden of the Gulf of the Right Honorable Richard Bedford Bennett, that illustrates our point perfectly. In case you are one of those who take no interest in politics, we might as well remind you that Mr. Bennett is a former Prime Minister of Canada, and presently the militant leader of what remains of the Conservative Party. We mean to say, a man fairly well known.

Everyone who has ever had contacts with Mr. Bennett knows that he enjoys a quiet stroll through the streets of whatever town or city he chances to be in at the moment. He walks slowly with his head down and his hands behind his back, communing with himself on world affairs. It appears that he took one of these thoughtful perambulations through the busy downtown streets of Charlottetown, just at the noon hour. Store clerks, stenographers, shoppers, accountants, salesmen and office boys jostled him as they hurried out for lunch, or about other matters. Nobody gave the former Prime Minister of Canada the faintest sort of a tumble until, near his hotel, a dear little old lady approached him and said :

“Please, can you tell me the way to Mr. Peter Sinclair’s office?”

Mr. Bennett raised his hat, and regretted that he could not assist the lady. He was, he explained, a stranger in town himself.

What he did not say was that, in any case, he could hardly be expected to know anything about Mr. Peter ■Sinclair's-office, because Mr. Peter Sinclair sits in the Dominion Parliament as a representative of Queen’s, P.E.f.^dn the Liberal side of the House.

Most recent example of why editors tear out their hair by the handful:

At the same time it (the co-o¡>erative movement) gives a place of honor to the collective idea which is one of the most striking pneumonia of our age, and which is exerting itself in innumerable ways in all domains.—Sydney (N.S.) Post-Record.

A Saskatoon correspondent tells us that William and Albert Wright, aged 79 and 76 respectively, bachelor farmers of the Vanscoy, Sask., district since 1910, packed up their belongings a few weeks ago and left for Smithers, B.C., where they will start in the ranching business. The brothers figure on being independently rich in the next fifteen years.

Go West, young man! They’re still doing it.

This item doesn’t exactly tie in with politics, but it has to do with Customs, and Customs has a lot to do with politics, sometimes, and—but this isn’t getting us anywhere.

The information comes from an overseas scout living in Wick, Caithness, Scotland, who assures us that it is an old Scottish custom for the folks at home to ship to exiled relatives and friends across the water a bundle of peats. Peats, as you ought to know by now, are those combustible slices of dried earth, commonly used for fuel by Scots in their ain countree. Nothing, our Wick correspondent assures us, recalls the atmosphere of a Highland home better than the pungent smell of peat smoke.

It seems that recently an affectionate family of Caithness, shipped two peats by parcel post to relations living in Orange, New Jersey. The parcel was opened and appraised at the Port of New York. It gave the entry clerks no end of trouble. They just couldn’t figure out what these two unattractive lumps of something hard and dark brown could possibly be.

Somebody at last—no Scot, you may be sure—had a brain wave. He simply rewrapped the parcel, wrote “SCOTCH BREAD” on the various forms necessary to pass the entry, and sent it on its way, undoubtedly with the mental comment that the Scots are a hardy race.

Mr. Norman Holland, of Montreal, who always wears a carnation in his buttonhole, and goes up and down the country looking into his friends’ hats to see whether or not they are Made in Canada, is disappointed in Parade on account that we said, in the November first issue, that “no red pigment has yet been developed to withstand the ravages of the weather and still retain its original color.” Mr. Holland denies this, and since Mr. Holland is a paint manufacturer and an authority on pigments he must be right, and we are sorry we got mixed up with our paints.

Mr. Holland doesn’t think much of Ontario’s 1938 auto license plates, which started all this rumpus, or of our description of them as having orange numerals on a blue

background. In fact, he’s inclined to be pretty snarky about the whole business. He says: “The name for any color is a matter between a man and his Maker, but these are absolutely the wrong colors to use;” and then he lists six of the right color combinations to use, in the order of their visibility. Here they are:

1. Black on yellow 4. Blue on white

2. Green on white 5. White on blue

3. Red on white 6. Black on white

Orange on blue, it seems, flunks out with a zero minus marking.

It seems only fair, since we are having so much fun at the expense of prominent citizens and Customs officials, to drag in this one about an Ottawa Valley editor who got himself out on a limb without knowing it, a few weeks back.

Radio reception in his immediate vicinity was so jammed with static that even his hair, when he brushed it, emitted loud sounds like an elephant walking on a carpet of peanut shells. Our editor worked himself into a considerable lather about this unwarranted disturbance. He ordered a special bottle of vitriol for his fountain pen and produced an editorial so utterly scathing in its blunt and straightforward allusions to officials of the Department of Communications as incompetent nincompoops, slothful timeservers and other unpleasant things, that the Department hustled an emergency platoon of inspectors out to the troubled area, with instructions to return bearing their shields -or on them.

The experts nosed about the bitter-minded editor’s plant, during his absence. They left written instruct’ons for his immediate attention, not forgetting to remind him of certain penalties duly provided by law.

It cost him just $12 to install, in and about his own machinery, the condensers that restored peace and harmony to radio sets for miles around.

Parlous state of affairs item from the Orillia Packet and Times of October 21 :

Want'd—Good used scalping knife. Also would like to hear fro n H.C.A., who started the idea of a log-cabin museum for Orillia.

Wre hope to goodness that II.C.A.’s life insurance hasn’t been permitted to lapse.