Always One

Hello
again from Mountain Mecca & Hippie Heaven!

Immigration
elation! Yes, we received news that we have been, at least verbally, approved
for our job in the Cook Islands. Hooray! Now begins the “Getting Into Long
Drawn Out Arguments About What to Take and What to Put Into Storage and What to
Throw Away” phase of the move. Always exciting. I have a stack of books which I
know I will have to cull but I just can’t bear the thought. (Thank goodness Air
New Zealand takes excess baggage…for a small fee…don’t tell Prez I mentioned
this).

And our passports arrived on Friday. Hooray again! Do you know I have kept every passport I’ve ever 
owned? Looking at all those stamps makes me feel like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when
he’s describing the suitcase he wants for his travels: “Big –– see! I don't want one for one night. I want something
for a thousand and one nights, with plenty of room for labels from Italy and Baghdad, Samarkand . . . a great big one.
I was sad to see the old passport go, though; I finally had one with a decent picture. Now, with these 
new regs – no smiling, neutral expression, no teeth showing (because we all know how terrorists like to
smile; what a bunch of jokers) - I look like I just escaped the women’s maximum penitentiary or
something. My old passport photo says, “Hola! Beinvenidos! Bonjour! I am a happy, peaceful, Canadian traveler
eager to learn about your culture!
” My new passport photo says, “I’ve got a shank I made out of a toothbrush and
I know how to use it! Now hand over the wallet grandma!

Life,
however, does not stop just because we are approved my friend. Oh no, life – to
quote my Ex – is not all fun and games, (now you know why he’s the Ex).

OK, I
lied. Life is all fun and games. So sue me. (For my American readers, that bit
about suing me was a joke). Last Sunday we co-hosted a big sushi party at the
Ripster’s chalet. The whole Kootenay gang was there including the Fullpots, The
Naked Barista of cable car fame, and Tim II who shall, from this moment on, be
forever known as ESP Tim (Evil Sake Pouring Tim). Prez was
our sushi chef extraordinaire, Carrie provided us with beautiful &
authentic Japanese tableware, BJ cooked up some yummy miso soup, I think almost
everyone brought sake (which was then poured, mercilessly, by ESP Tim), and I
was there to…um…well, I did have a rather nice nap in the afternoon, does that
count for anything?

The
party was worth the sake hangover the next day. What an amazing group of
friends we have been welcomed into. Well, I think we kind of barged our way in,
but I like to imagine we were welcomed to barge in.

Somewhere
in all the merriment, we have also been working. Yes, that thing we do that
cuts into our social activities but pays the rent. And the project we’ve been
working on is a condo complex with four solid, vinyl decks that were in need of
repair.

Now let
me tell you what I think about vinyl decks…pain in the caboose! The thing about
these decks is, if you get a tear, or if water somehow gets underneath the
vinyl, you can’t just do a quickie repair job. No, often you have to rip off
all the vinyl (not fun), replace any plywood and/or other wood that is rotten
(even less fun), sand the whole shebang smooth, (fun? no), and then hope the
next vinyl layer guy does a better job than the first one! And vinyl ain’t
cheap sweetheart.

The
problem with the decks in this condo complex was a mixture poor workmanship and
terrible, terrible design. Basically, the decks resemble swimming pools. The
design is so bad, in fact, it is no longer allowed by the building code. Two
decks were rotted right through in spots and the other two were not far behind.
Any logical person, such as yourself, would look at them and say, “These
decks are not only diminishing the value of this complex but are also safety
hazards. We must fix them before the damage gets any worse!

And
that’s just what the strata council decided to do, with the approval of all the
tenants, who would bear the cost…except one.

There’s
always one.

One guy
is not happy about it, he thinks the repair is unnecessary, and he’s quite
vocal about it. Ironically, he’s the condo owner who makes the most money, who
can most afford the repair. And, his is one of the affected decks. Go figure.

Why is
there always One? Why do some people insist on ignoring logic, insist on causing
trouble? Yes, there’s always that “voice in the wilderness” defense and, yes,
sometimes that one person is right…but not very often. Think of any group or
organization you’ve ever belonged to and I bet you can name exactly who the One
was. Sometimes the One recruits a follower, then you have real problems, but
usually they remain solo.

Our
friend Miz Liz has told us some funny One stories from her days on City
Council. There was always One guy, always the same guy, who had to stand up at
each public meeting and ramble on and on about meaningless gibberish…and
Council, by law, had to listen to him. But Miz Liz had creative means of
ignoring the fellow and getting him off the stage as speedily as possible, (she
may be tiny but I wouldn’t mess with her if I were you).

When I
owned a condo I had a One to deal with. When I began shopping for a condo, I
specifically told my real estate agent that I would only look at places which
allowed pets, as I had Emily and the late Buddy Junior, (I miss you Buddy), in
tow. You all know how I feel about giving up pets. Anyway, I found a place,
read the bylaws, saw people with pets walking through the building, and bought
it. The day I moved in the felines, my elderly next door neighbour suddenly
sprang out of her door. “Are those your cats?!” she demanded to know. And,
having no reason to lie, I told her they were. She then informed me pets were
not allowed, and I, quite cheerily, explained that they were.

Long
story short, I’d accidentally been given the “old” bylaws. Existing pets could
stay but no new pets were allowed in the building. Frantic phone calls to the
real estate agent, and a lawyer, ensued. Their advice was to not worry;
probably no one would ever say anything. Relax. Oh, someone said something
alright; the senior snitch next door ratted me out the day I moved in, and
continued to complain for almost five years. Despite my explanation to her that
it was all a big misunderstanding, that I was a veterinary assistant and my
cats were clean & healthy, that if it weren’t for the fact she’d been
spying she would have never even known I had cats, she insisted on being that
One person who just couldn’t let the injustice of me having two cats in my own
home go unresolved!

Of
course, our condos turned out to be of the infamous “leaky” variety and we all
lost our shirts. People fled like rats on a sinking ship and the building
declined into a slum…but me and my cats, now that was a real problem!

It’s
almost as if some people can’t bear the idea of being part of a majority. As if
they view themselves as that lone juror in “Twelve Angry Men” who holds out his
‘not guilty’ verdict against a room of, well, angry men. But getting rotten
decks fixed and living next door to two cats that do nothing but sleep 23 hours
a day is not the same thing as saving an innocent man from the gallows. If ever
the phrase “Get a Life” applied, it is to these Ones whose misguided outrage
causes nothing but headaches.

And you
can’t escape them. In Nelson, in the Bahamas, in, I suspect, the Cook Islands,
wherever groups of people assemble, there will always be One.

Oh well,
as long as the cheque clears.

Hey,
this is off topic but I’ve been meaning to slip this in: My niece, Reva, is a
struggling student on her way to design greatness but she really needs an
industrial sewing machine. Apparently they are pricey and she is, like I said,
a struggling student, so I’m putting this out into the universe in the hopes
that maybe this will find that One special person who can help!

Enough
for now, I feel Prez’s cold taking hold so I must retire to the drug cabinet
for some Sudafed. 

QUESTION:
Who’s your One?

Until
next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy, & lovin’ life!

The
Princess

This entry was posted in Life. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Always One

  1. Cindy says:

    I remember those ONES from when I used to work.  Those people who had to be upset no matter what was going on.  Sheesh!
     

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