Ian MacKenzie's
SO MUSKOKA - what you've missed
More Not So Current EventsBACK
April, 2001

April - No bugs... no Jet Skis... this can't last!

You know Bracebridge is coming of age when you can go to your local drug store and score some campy pseudo-porn. I was rummaging through the cheapo video bin at my local Guardian looking for something interesting among the Mary-Kate and Ashley videos and what to my wondering eyes should appear but Cybil Danning and Wendy O. Williams in 'Reform School Girls'! Houston, we have quality viewing...

It's springtime in Muskoka and that means three things: watch out for secondary roads flooded by run-off melt water; watch out for deer on the highways - they're leaving their wintering grounds and roaming widely again; and watch out for Listerine drunks on the sidewalks around town - it's not going down to -30C at night anymore so the O.P.P. doesn't do that mid-winter 10 p.m. clean and sweep.

The work on "The Silver Bridge" is amazingly on schedule. Look for the detour to end sometime mid-May. Well... maybe late May.

The Town of Bracebridge has officially withdrawn its support of expanding Muskoka's boundaries as Parry Sound and the Seguin Township both viewed it as a hostile takeover.

What do you do if the OPP are in the process of placing you under arrest for domestic violence? Why not take a swing at the arresting officer and place him in a headlock! One drunken 21-year-old Bracebridge yute did just that and then later claimed to have "no recollection of the ... events". The cops recollected it all just fine. He'll be a guest of the Crown for a while.

Muskoka KIA has moved - it's now on Robert Dollar Drive in the old Bingo Hall building. I take it they're hoping the old patrons will continue to stumble in by accident.

If you're the nautical type you'll be needing to know that the lock fees in Port Carling are going up. It'll cost $4 a trip now; $50 for a seasons pass. If current trends in 'Port' continue, look for the 2003 rates to be $15 per trip with a complimentary cappacino and maybe an almond biscotti thrown in.

A Port Sydney man has been found guilty of burning his own house down. Is that because:

A: He comes from a long line of Doukhobors.
B: Earlier he'd complained of a burning sensation.
C: He'd been listening to The Talking Heads too much.

Further evidence that going to bed early isn't good for you - an elderly Huntsville couple were awakened by the sound of breaking glass recently after a would-be burglar thought the lack of signs of life inside the home meant everyone was out. The startled yute fled when confronted by a fuzzy slipper-wielding senior but that doesn't replace the sliding patio door.

A rare black cougar has been spotted near Orillia. The O.P.P. officer who saw it said that it looked like a '67 or '68 convertible and had virtually no rust!

This month's Patronage Up the Whazoo Award goes to Pat Tennant for landing a social work position with the Muskoka/Parry Sound District. Pat ran for the PC nomination when Ernie Eves stepped down but lost out to second gen'er pledge Norm Miller. The story of her soft landing in the Wonderful World of the Amply Employed was broken to the local papers by a volunteer member of the Early Years Challenge Steering Committee who stated, "It was very brave of me to do this [come forward and complain of the patronage]. I hesitated a great deal". If she does say so herself!

The Bracebridge Community Youth Project says that Bracebridge needs a youth centre. "Young people are so impressionable" one organizer stated. "They need a place to be surrounded by people that care about them." There's always Beaver Creek!

If you thought that 'group home' sounded kind of warm and fuzzy - guess again. One of the residents at Bracebridge's Horizon House group home decided to ventilate a fellow resident with a fruit knife. Ventilated resident received medical attention. Ventilator currently a guest of the Crown.

The circus was in town in April but after the last circus scandal there was plenty of publicity beforehand about what would be seen - and what wouldn't. In keeping with a kinder, gentler century it was announced that this circus would not include animal acts. Children were still permitted to be frightened by the carny people, though.

A 20-year-old Bracebridge yute is currently a guest of the Crown after stealing his grandfather's 1994 Corvette in a coke-and-ecstasy haze and leaving the O.P.P. in his dust when they tried to introduce him to the concept of a speed limit. I guess that's why I ended up a law-abiding citizen - when all a raid on your grandfather's garage will net you is a '65 Dodge Monoco there's a limited amount of trouble you can get into.

Gravenhurst just got more money for their Muskoka Wharf project. The federal government coughed up $412,500 as part of their FedNor program aimed at developing northern communities. All those thinking Gravenhurst is a 'developing northern community' might be advised to drop by Porcupine or Kapuskasing where the desire to buy crested sportswear runs a distant 20th to things like housing, medical facilities and other such frivolity.

Bracebridge's town motto continues to be "Gimme 'nuther beer, ya bastard!". Several more of our outstanding citizens (out standing by the police car, usually) are guests of the Crown after drunken domestic dust-ups: one guy broke a beer bottle over his girlfriend's head; another throttled his spouse, beaned her son with a glass ashtray and threatened to kill two small children; and a third was so pestered by his wife for forgetting to bring her flowers on Valentine's Day that he lost it and slapped her when she woke him up at 3 a.m. to continue the tirade. I'm beginning to think my life ain't as bad as I thought it was...

Kirk Line is now Muskoka's version of the Maginot Line as The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources wages a fierce trench warfare battle against Pine Shoot Beetles. No doubt God is on our side on this one.

Muskoka graduated into Big City Crime territory this month when a elderly couple were shot in their Riley Lake cottage in what is currently considered a robbery gone-wrong. Shot! With a GUN! Jeez... Both are recovering in hospital - from surprise among other things.

A local promoter was given permission to stage a concert of 'soft rock' music for the May long weekend. As such Bracebridge's Memorial Arena will host a recital by David Wilcox and Kim Mitchell on May 19. Apparently John Tesh was otherwise engaged.

Speaking of promoters, local entre-manure Greg Leavers gets the Slobodan Milosovic Media Image Award after being dragged through the press all month over the costs of staging his Riverfest in July. This drubbing crested on April 25th when the 'Zamina lead with the headline "Town tires of Leavers". Ouch...

A Huntsville man who apparently doesn't have cable has been arrested for stealing mail. Employed as a cleaner at the Post Office, he was found to be reading letters and then throwing them away. If only someone had told him about The Young and the Restless...

The Huntsville Community Policing Committee is offering "Make Your Kid Feel like a Felon" kits to parents. Parents can fingerprint their offspring, collect a DNA sample and take their mug shot. Ear tattoos and microchip implants are optional. Being a prepared parent ain't what it used to be...

A big thanks has to go out to the Beaver Creek Roadside Cleanup Brigade for removing all the crap from the ditches and road shoulders around town. Personally, I've never thrown anything out the window of a car in my life (well, there was that exploding cigarette lighter from hell but it was on fire at the time and that doesn't count!). But I seem to be alone - the ditches around here are LINED with Timmy's cups, McDonald's wrappers and that perennial roadside favorite - the lone running shoe. Thanks for picking up after these slobs, guys!

What do you do if you're frustrated at the Purolator parcel-tracing service rep on the phone? Don't tell her you're going to shoot the driver when he eventually shows up - they take things like that seriously! The Bracebridge O.P.P. showed up - before the driver, of course - and escorted Bracebridge's Mr. Patience to his own private anger management program.

Speaking of anger management, what do you do if you're frustrated at living in a motel in Bracebridge after a job-related move here? If you're interested in prolonging your marriage you'd best not react to the situation by throwing the phone at your husband's head. One of Bracebridge's newest residents recently became one of St. Catharines' newest returnees as her soon-to-be ex-husband put her on a bus outta town.

Good news: Jayne Sieber won a trip from Ace McCools restaurant/bar/thingy in a promotion they ran recently. Bad News: It's to Biloxi, Mississippi. Possibly for their Autumn Cross-Burning Festival. Or is that in Prince George this year...

The figures are in and this year was a bumper crop for winter tourism. Most of that had to do with the 16 weeks that the snowmobile trails were open (last year they were open for less than half of that). But look for changes to the trail system next year - everybody got pretty sick of the confusion in downtown Port Carling. My money is on the trail by-passing the downtown area completely.

A lot of people head north from the city to commune with nature and get back to the land. They expect to see loons. But when they see emus, they call the cops. The bird was charged with wandering around on the median of Hwy 11 under the influence of rabbit pellets and was returned to its owners for a more secure incarceration. In a recent but less publicized encounter I had to swerve pretty wildy late one night last week to miss - get this - a PEACOCK standing in the middle of Hwy 11. Muskoka - you never know what'll wander out of the underbrush next.

Attention car thieves: when Dodge named one of their vehicles the Stealth it did not mean that it incorporated the same technology that went into the fighter and bomber of the same name. The O.P.P. will still notice you driving it if you cruise through downtown Bracebridge at high noon.

Attention car thieves Part II: when the O.P.P. is chasing you in that stolen Dodge Stealth, why not do what one fine citizen did recently and end that chase in the parking lot of the Fenbrook Correctional Institution. I mean, you're going there anyway, right?

Speaking of morons behind the wheel, never try to evade an O.P.P. R.I.D.E. checkpoint by nailing the brakes and turning hard left. Sure those Duke boys did it all the time but they weren't drivin' a van, were they? It's hard to look cool when you've got your ear to the road.

The Wenonah II has arrived in Gravenhurst. Unfortunately, no one read the box closely and some assembly is required. They hope to have it together and in the water (hopefully floating ON it) by September. With any luck at all someone thought of batteries.

It ain't spring until you've over-indulged in pancakes at a charity fund-raising breakfast. I hit the Milford Bay Firefighters Pancake Shindig since the weather was amazing and I was out of PopTarts that morning. Those guys could put the Golden Griddle out of business. Again.

Kyra Sedgewick and Drew Barrymore take note: Muskoka has an all-out fire ban these days thanks to a spring that was noted by its lack of precipitation. One match and we all go up in flames.

Port Carling has finally decided to ditch their last contractor and see if they can finish their water treatment facility sometime before the next ice age. The only problem is that no one else wants to bid on the completion job. Now if they wanted to build a cottage, there'd be a stampede!

You're never too young to get a start on your criminal record. One Bracebridge yute was recently charged with assault with a weapon after threatening his siblings with a kitchen knife. So much for HIS babysitting skills...

Muskoka's first hybrid car has arrived! So says one 'Zamina scribbler trumpeting the arrival of his wife's environmentally-friendly gas/electric Toyota Prius. The community needs more concerned citizens like her (if he does say so himself)! Well I got news for you, Sparky - I was behind a Honda hybrid over a month ago so it seems your wife will have to share her seat at the top.

No, they didn't napalm Minett. Somebody just bulldozed half the forest there to build - wait for it - another golf course! They'll take down the remaining trees when they build the inevitable fairway condo units. Anybody know a good realtor in Hearst?

And finally, is it just me or is there an evil plot afoot to undermine our attachment to Canadian currency? First the Canadian Mint came out with so many moronic commemorative quarters that you never know what your change will look like. It's now gotten to the point that you can make your own quarters and no one's in a position to call you on it ( I routinely pass off electrical box punch-outs as the latest "Minimalist series" of quarters). A new dime is on its way no doubt saluting some half-baked notion like 'sitting up straight' or 'washing your hands after using the toilet'. But now they've gone too far. The new $10 bill looks like a cross between a Pound, a Peso and a Salvation Army pamphlet on acid. I've heard various economic sages in the press predicting that eventually everyone in North America will be using U.S. dollars as currency and I've always tasted bile at the thought. Patriotism aside - I LIKED our money. But with new notes this ugly, hell - I'll take Hamilton, Jackson and Franklin, any day.

READ ON (May 2001 Edition)

BACKQuestions or comments about this article,
email Ian MacKenzie

For a more general view of Muskoka, its Businesses, its Attractions & its History click HERE


All text Copyright © Ian MacKenzie
Home | A Brief History Of Mine | In A Perfect World