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SO MUSKOKA - what you've missed
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January, 2003

January 2003 Edition

The difference between Bracebridge and Toronto? Outside of culture, crime and shopping after 5 pm? At New Years most places make a big deal about the first local baby. Here in Muskoka I like to look at the first accident caused by impaired driving. This year it took place at 4 a.m. Jan 1st when a gal from Sundridge rear-ended a cab in Bracebridge. It's amazing she was out on the road, really. It's not a question of how drunk she was - it's just that she was driving a Hyundai Pony! One can only hope the vehicle was a write-off.

For those of you who DO care about that first baby thing, Holden Bryce Donaldson ended up in this year's winner's circle after arriving on Jan. 20th. When you wait 20 days for the year's first baby the time of day is irrelevant.

Still humble after a hell of a promotion: Dr. Ric Humble is now the acting chief gazunk at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital.

Speaking of new and improved, if you were putting off visiting Bracebridge's brand new sex shop you're too late - it went pasties up. Ironically the storefront is now occupied by a used children's wear shop. Hopefully the renovation included new carpet.

How cold was January? Colder than a mother-in-law's kiss, that's how cold. And it stayed that way all month. Weather keeners say that it's nothing to worry about though - this is how winter is supposed to play out. Still... day after day of waking up to temperatures south of -30C can really get you down - especially when the national forecast shows that it's warmer in Yellowknife!

'Zamina headline of the month: Boy Injured in Accident. No details on how Tarzan fared... The Ads-vance carried the same story only with the added kicker - they claimed the seven-year-old boy was DRIVING at the time. They later retracted that bit of info as a misprint but it looked okay to me - most people around here drive like they're about seven years old.

It's winter in Muskoka and that can only mean one thing - you'd better chain that snowmobile to the Canadian Shield or it won't be there come daybreak. It's not safe in a garage. It's not safe on a trailer. And if you just left it out front in the open - you might as well have left it idling with a cooler of beer strapped to the back.

A man from Oro-Medonte is in jail after dropping by to see his estranged wife at her cottage - drunk and toting a loaded shotgun! Various in-laws were threatened with 12-gauge ventilation and a wall was antiqued with pellets when the gun discharged during a scuffle. Police arrested Mr. Congeniality on the same property when he got his truck stuck in a ditch on the way out.

The Doctor is OUT. South Muskoka Memorial Hospital's emergency room was closed over the holidays - they couldn't get enough doctors to staff the place. Seems our emerg doctors only get $125/hr. They can get a few bucks more than that down the highway

This may be 2003 but Bracebridge is still fighting the battle of 1983 - namely whether or not to 'beautify' the downtown core by adding trees, planters and other Mayberry-esque props. Quaint, maybe but pretty impractical - the number of curbside parking spots would be reduced from 146 to 85. I smell Unilock pavers, too.

How do you tell if a motorist is impaired? Erratic driving is one way. Driving way too slowly is another. And then there's Keystone Cops piloting. The OPP recently followed a car as it wound down a street, turned into a driveway and ran into the side of the house. Now that's a drunk driver. Or someone practicing to be a suicide bomber. Both are arrestable.

The only thing more dangerous than a drunk driver is a drunk snowmobiler. The up side here is that drunk snowmobilers usually only mess up themselves. They hit trees. They roll their sleds on corners. And even in the thick of winter they frequently manage to find open water or thin ice and deep six themselves in frigid water. And the only thing harder than swimming in frigid water is doing it when you're blasted. That's usually the time when it occurs to people that it might have been prudent to have scored a floater when they were out shopping for snowmobile clothes. That custom leather wear might have looked quite dashing in the store but it's only making your bloated corpse look more like a seal when they finally gaff you back onto the ice.

Aecon Canada laid some serious cable on Kimberly Street in Bracebridge - the new conduit will be able to handle 2400 telephone lines! Apparently Kimberly Street is going to get busier. Maybe with an office tower or two...

George Bush may be fighting The War on Terrorism but in Muskoka we're fighting The War on Wasted Meat. Several hunters were fined this year for 'abandoning flesh suitable for food' after they left moose kills to rot in the field. Apparently there is no penalty for 'shooting flesh suitable for wildlife'.

A Gravenhurst 'yute was recently given 16 months as a guest of the Crown after fracturing his room-mate's skull with a baseball bat. I always hated it when my room-mate ate my Jello, too. When police searched the apartment they found 17 sticks of dynamite in a chest freezer. Maybe the room-mate got off easy.

The Bracebridge OPP detachment learned a very valuable lesson this month - never park your cruiser in the handicapped spot in front of the 'Zamina office. Small town press barons never miss an opportunity to stick it to rival authority figures. The OPP countered that they parked there because of a dire emergency. Replenishing the Community Service storefront with Honey Dips maybe. The Purolator truck got nailed too. Hopefully it wasn't picking up at the 'Zamina - that might be grounds for entrapment.

A local gal is up on forgery charges after altering her paychecks - very few housekeepers make three hundred THOUSAND dollars a week around here. She's lost her job at Molly Maid but probably has a big future in the photo-retouching field.

Washington had its sniper... Bracebridge has its lug nut loosener. As bizarre as it may sound a $1000 reward has been posted for information leading to the castration of the wing nut who has been loosening lug nuts on the wheels of vehicles parked in Bracebridge Plaza. Numberous vehicles have suffered spontaneous wheel separation at the hands of this terrorist. With freelance writing paying what it does I have now erected a duck blind on the roof of the Canadian Tire store and am hoping to ease the strain on my VISA by bagging me a 15-year-old malcontent in the very near future.

The Huntsville Town Council is looking for an architect to design the new Civic Centre. Maybe the 'no two roof-lines alike' genius who designed the Port Carling Library is out on parole?

Think you've been embarrassed in your life? Well, maybe you have. But until your mom has delivered a report to you at your school, drunk, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon... and driven her car down the school's front steps in the process... well, you've gotten off pretty easy.

Note to Young Offenders: running from the cops is a bitch in fresh snow. Sure it may be a little slippery but even if you do put some distance between you and the law, it doesn't take The Last of the Mohicans to track you down, Sparky.

Bracebridge is moving up in the world - the owners of Sleep Inn are trying to get a Kelsey's built on their property. This could mean the introduction of real F&B standards to Muskoka!

Residents who live on Tamarack Trail and Pinecone Drive are complaining about the noise coming from traffic on the nearby snowmobile trail. These are the same kind of people who buy a place by the airport and then complain of rattled tea cups. Or city dopes who move to Muskoka and then complain there's no Kelsey's here...

Bracebridge council has decided to go ahead with building a recreation complex on Royal Muskoka land. However they refused to go into petty details like whether the Town would actually OWN the land the complex will be built on or what the Royal Muskoka actually is. Details details...

The Salvation Army does great work. No arguments there. But sometimes you have to wonder about the recipients of their generosity. One person who requested and received a new winter coat in their Christmas drive tried to exchange it for cash at the store where the Sally Anne bought it. Kinda makes you glad you donated, doesn't it?

The tallies are in and 2002 was a banner year for construction in Muskoka - over $204 million worth of cottages (read: vacation homes - there's no such thing as a new 'cottage'), docks, boathouses and septic fields. Thank God sports jocks get overpaid! And lets hear it for jobs in real estate, too - name one other job that would have these folks driving Navigators!

The Kearney Lions Club had to cancel their annual snowmobile poker run when they couldn't get insurance coverage. They ran a live-fire war game instead.

A Barrie man has been fined $1000 after he decided to turn his water access cottage into a road access cottage by blazing a road through Crown land. Part of his sentence was the stipulation that he plant trees to fill in said road. Another 50 years or so and you'll never know he was there...

Taking in a little star-shine may be romantic but taking in too much moonshine can be fatal - a local man is dead after drinking homemade alcohol with a little too much octane. Services were held at the local chapel. Embalming was not necessary.

A Bracebridge woman in a Ford Escort had a close encounter with the town's sidewalk snowblower. The CAA was called to tow her car away. The car was found on Glendale Road, Tamarack Trail, and Catherine Drive.

The archeological dig at Casino Rama is progressing well. Recently unearthed acts include Paul Revere & The Raiders, Cyndi Lauper, David Cassidy and Lilly Langtree.

Northern Ontario now has Amber Alerts! Anyone finding petrified tree sap is asked to call the local OPP detachment immediately.

READ ON (February 2003 Edition)

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