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Army of one



Sometimes I wish I learned karate, or some variation of the martial arts that would allow me to speak out in public without the fear of being made to scream uncle, kiss someone's shoe or whistle while my nurples are being purpled.

I'm not an evil person. I have no wish to knock out teeth, crush larynxes or rip someone's still-beating heart out of their chest and show it to them as they fall backwards. Although that would be awesome.

But keeping my mouth shut is getting harder to do these days, in light of the kinds of things I'm seeing. I seek only the power to defend myself.

Exhibit A - I'm sitting at a local park having a picnic, discussing Wittgenstein with a few friends, when this guy shows up with his girlfriend, what appeared to be a seven iron and a bucket full of golf balls. They then take turns whacking the balls into Alpha Lake, presumably yelling "F#$k the world!" instead of "Fore" with every tee shot.

I didn't have a phone to call the police, but if I had the power to break boards with my forehead I probably would have used it that evening and sent that guy home with a seven iron necklace. In my mind's eye, he'd be crying so pathetically by the end of the encounter his girlfriend would immediately dump him and start dating someone a little more ecologically friendly.

Exhibit B - That same evening a couple of 10-year-old boys were throwing sticks and rocks at a pair of geese and their goslings, also on Alpha Lake. This time I did intervene, and loudly, and the boys walked away sheepishly. Now I would never break out my deadly cobra strike or stork technique on mere children (unless I was seriously outnumbered by a well-armed scout troop), but I might have been forced to take out their father or uncle, or whoever was supposed to be watching them instead of drinking beer like an idiot by the volleyball court, with a well-timed foot sweep and an elbow to the solar plexus.

Recently, with the fire hazard through the roof, I've seen a lot of idiots throwing lit cigarettes out the windows of cars or around our bus shelters, potentially starting the Great Whistler Fire of 2009.

I have little patience for smokers that treat the world as their ashtray to begin with and litter our streets, parks and beaches with butts. But to do it during a drought?

Last week in the village I saw a well-dressed woman, likely here for a conference, casually drop her butt down one of those storm drains with the etching of a fish on it. Where exactly did she think her butt would end up?