Tuesday, 25 February 2014
I have very fond memories of reading or getting read to when I was a little younger. I can remember my dad reading Tolkien's The Hobbit to me every night before I went to bed until we finished the book, however the books I remember even more from when I was younger were the stories told by Robert Munsch. I remember my teachers reading to me 'No Clean Clothes', 'Paper Bag Princess', 'Thomas' Snowsuit', 'Mmm, Cookies', 'Smelly Socks', 'We share everything', 'Love you Forever', 'Something Good', 'Munsch More' and 'Look at me!' When I was younger. We used to take class time in the library to hear a story told by our librarian. Today in my Creative Writing class we skyped a class of grade threers from Thompson for I live to read month. We read the book 'Mortimer' by Robert Munsch to them and it's one if those experiences where you realize that everything has changed. I'm on the other side of the chasm now. I read to those children and they will likely remember that one time that that group of old kids read a book to their class, the same way I remember books being read to my class. It's a great experience and I could almost wish it would happen more often.
Friday, 21 February 2014
(I really liked the first version of this story and thought it was an interesting concept so I made this. I really enjoyed making it so I hope that for whoever reads this, also enjoys it.)
Nelson Horner entered the Mayor’s office. There was a slight creak at the hinges and an unintentionally loud slam of the door. Mr. Horner sat down in the only chair facing Mayor Kelly’s imposing desk. The Mayor had a large desk for he felt it made him appear with more grandeur and excellence however those closest to him believe that he has the greatly oversized desk to compensate for his small stature. A Newton’s Cradle sat on the corner of the desk, which had been set in motion before Mr. Horner’s arrival. The Cradle sat next to a large, black plaque with a gold-plated rim, which read in etched, white and round letters ‘Mayor Archibald Kelly’. On the wall, above and behind the Mayor’s chair, sat two clocks. Both square in shape, the clock on the left had a normal facing face while the clock on the right was a mirror image of the clock on the left. The Mayor’s father had once explained to the Mayor that time was always of the essence and you must always understand it from other perspectives. The Mayor’s father’s words once meant something to him but the sentiment was lost as he grew older and became more of a narcissist. He now hung the clocks because he thought it made for interesting decoration and that it left a unique impression on anyone that went into his office. To Mr. Horner’s left he could see, above an ornate oak dresser, eight photos. Each silver-plated frame housed a photograph or small painting of the Mayor’s father, his grandfather, great-grandfather and so on. Family was not important to the Mayor however heritage was. To him, what mattered was where you came from. Where you were going and what knowledge you had was the least important thing you could possess according to the Mayor. This was most evident during the previous years’ Autumn Fare where an incident occurred between the Mayor and a Fortune Teller. The last notable object in the room to Nelson was a calendar, which read in tall, bold letters, the date, which was December 18th, 1976. Mr. Horner had in fact forgotten the date until he had read the calendar.
Immediately after Nelson had finished scanning the room, the door behind him flew open with great velocity. It was Mayor Kelly. The short man closed the door behind himself and rushed over to his desk. He had been holding a clipboard as well as reading what was on it. He sat down in his chair and put the clipboard on his desk with enough force that it made a loud wood-against-wood sound. A cool brush of air rushed over Nelson as the Mayor put the clipboard on his desk. The Mayor finally made eye contact with Mr. Horner.
“A Mister Nelson R. Horner I assume.” Said the Mayor.
Nelson stood up slightly from his chair and reached over the wide desk and shook the Mayor’s hand. “Master Nelson Horner actually but please do call me Mister, Mister Mayor.”
“Apologies. This note didn’t specify.” The Mayor nodded towards the clipboard, which had a note on it. The note clearly read in elegant cursive writing ‘Master Nelson Horner’.
“Would you like something to drink? I have not yet taken my daily dosage of medicine.” Said the mayor, obviously referring to the bottle of Scotch on the dresser.
“No thanks. I don’t drink during the day.” Said Mr. Horner.
“That’s a shame. Great, old stuff.” Said the Mayor as he was getting up and walking towards the bottle and then picking it up. “It’s from 1927. You won’t find anything else like it.”
“Really, I’m fine.”
“So what have you come here for Mr. Horner?” Said the Mayor, pouring a glass.
“I have a proposition. I, as well as nine other members of my organization, have created a petition as well as contacted the Head of the Department of Finances. You are the last person we must contact and make negotiations with.”
“Well what’s this proposition you all have?” Said Mayor Kelly, pouring a second glass, then placing it on his desk, in front of where Nelson was sitting, then walking over to his chair and sitting.
“We’d like to impose a tax. It would be called the Lifeline Taxations but professionally known as the Omega Tax. It would be a tax heartily beneficial to all local businesses and the city’s governing body. Overall, it would supply us with a larger, long-term income.”
“Money is good and as for the state of the city, we are essentially a business. If what you say is true, this could be a very profitable and long-term taxation process. Tell me, what is this law specifically?” Said the Mayor, just before taking a sip of his middle-aged Scotch, after which he then put his feet up on the table, vibrating the top portion of the desk just enough so that the Cradle on the corner went out of sync and stopped working.
“This is the reason for why it is called the Omega Tax. When a new person would be born in a hospital, their family would be taxed 15,000$: 5,000$ for the energy and time of the hospital workers, 2,500$ for the efforts of government workers who have to enter your name and all your information into the city’s database and the last 5,000$ is for ensuring that the newborn will one day receive a quality education and work in a healthy environment. If a person chooses to have a child at home, it is considered an illegal childbirth and the parents would be feed 35,000$, all 35,000$ of which goes directly to the Mayor’s office.” Nelson then delighted Mayor Kelly by reaching out and grabbing the drink that the Mayor had poured for him, then taking a quick sip. The Mayor's eyes the darted over to the out of sync Cradle.
“Savor that drink well Mr. Horner.” Said Mayor Kelly, then taking a sip of his own drink after which he then took his feet off the desk and reset the Cradle. “So that’s the reason it’s called the Omega-“
“I had not finished. There is more to it.” Said Mr. Horner, accidentally interrupting the Mayor. “Every month after you’re eighteen, until you die, you will be taxed 250$. Failure to pay this fee would result in electrocution. When you die, your family would be taxed again. This time it would be for 75,000$: 50,000$ for all that you’ve wasted in the duration of your life, 5,000$ for the efforts of the government workers who now must take all of your information out of the city’s database, 10,000$ for the funeral business workers which would be giving you a proper funeral service and the last 10,000$ for any other sort of unexpectedness, expenses or grievances. Birth, being the first small section of the Omega symbol, life, being the arch in the Omega symbol and death being the second small section of the Omega symbol.” Mr. Horner took another sip of his drink.
“You are correct when you say that this is a long-term plan.”
Nelson once again spoke before the Mayor could begin a second sentence. “Yes, overall the city would be receiving 90,000$ to 105,000$ numerous times over the course of a year. We would masquerade it all as Lifeline Taxations, with the subtitle being Cost of Living Fees.”
“This is a great idea. This is exactly what this sort of town needs, lots of income and a surplus of spending money.” The Mayor said, trying cover up a hiccup. “What did the Head of Finances say when you spoke to her about this?”
“We were told to continue with our business.”
“Then without a doubt, and without negotiations, the Omega Tax will become effective as of January 1st, 1977.”
“Thank you for your time and consideration.” Nelson stood up and shook the Mayor’s hand.
“No, thank you for this great plan. You will be rewarded.”
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Nelson Horner closed the door behind himself. There was a slight creak of the hinges and an unintentionally loud slam as the door shut. He sad down in the mayor's office, in the only chair which was facing the mayor's imposing desk. The mayor felt it made him stronger to have larger things than the rest of the people in the town but the people who knew him best figured that the desk was just compensation for the mayor's small stature. A Newton's Cradle sits on the corner, in motion before Nelson's arrival.
"Hello Mr. Mayor." Said Nelson.
"Hello fellow. What is it that you come to me here for?"
"I come to propose a new law."
"I'd like to propose a new law. I've constructed a petition and have gotten an ample amount of signatures and have four other people sitting on the front steps of your office that would be willing to vouch for me if you have your doubts."
"Get to the point. What's this new law you wish to propose." Said Mayor Kelly, twiddling his fingers and the lifting his feet up onto the desk, vibrating the table and stopping the Cradle.
"I'd like to impose a life tax. When you're born you'll be feed 155$. 50$ for the effort of your parents, 25$ for the birth and80$ for the coming life. We'd also like to impose a death tax. When you die you'll be feed 1,500$. 1,000$ for the grief brought to your family and friends and 500$ for the cost of your life. We wish for it to be named the Omega Tax."
"And why's that?"
"The beginning and and end of the Omega represent life and death. The beginning and end. The arch in the centre represents life."
"Very good mister." Said the Mayor. "Now as you understand a town is an enterprise; a business, where we are. I appreciate your efforts. Together we shall submit this plan to the Head of Law. It's a good way to earn us some money and boy are we always in need of that."
The Mayor got up from his seat and walked towards Nelson, as well as restarting the Cradle.
"As I understand you're name is Nelson. Thank you for helping the institution. We will meet again very soon."
Nelson stood up and shook Mayor Kelly's hand.
"Thank you for your consideration and time. Goodbye."
I see Riddell, he sits beside me. Looking at me with an empty face. He does not move, but sits still, seemingly waiting in anticipation. He is still scorched by the horrors of the previous fight. He doesn't look like he will be able to last any longer before he completely falls apart. Suddenly, I am lifted to an insurmountable height. In shock, I cannot move. I am still; buckled into position. I see Riddell on last time before we head off to the big game. It is cold atop this mountain. The brush of air, constantly sweeping all hair in every direction. A whistle blows and off we go. Getting pummelled and bumped, dented and scratched. By the end of the night, I will be an empty carcass. I see Adams careen by at a high velocity before we briefly impact but are then moved away once again. None of the faces I can see show emotion.
The night is over and I am laid down once again. As I assumed, once again, an empty carcass, I am. Scathed by the friction of war. I am tired and unable. I do not see Riddell anywhere nearby. I assume the worst and that he is lost. Maybe to be replaced by a Schutt or Xenith. The thought saddens me but only briefly for my emotion is faulted and empty. I see nothing but only darkness. I hear nothing but only silence. My round body rests stiffly on the ground.
An ode to a helmet, what it could be.
A helmet I am, a helmet you see. Empty, scathed, scorched. I've fulfilled my duty.
I would choose the door to Bag End. I enjoy Tolkien's whimsical fantasy setting over any of the other legendary story settings. It would be interesting to live in the medieval world of Middle-Earth, where there is no magic, but a lot of realistic and historical artifacts. As well as a diverse range of fascinating people, all with very precise and unique stories and histories to tell. There's a lot more to Tolkien's universe then what lies on top.
I would travel as much as I could in the world of Middle-Earth. To see as much as possible and to learn as much history as possible would be most interesting.