Neither Here Nor There

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As the Muskrat Falls

Nalcor’s puzzlement at the antics of the human species was growing more intense every day. The little muskrat was following the daily episodes of the soap opera ‘As the Muskrat Falls’ on the internet.

He was snugly installed in his new lodge not far from the falls of the same name, his laptop plugged into a currant bush.

The humans had invented soap operas to entertain themselves. Every day they spent hours watching actors portray human beings who fell in love with one another, then betrayed one another and generally behaved in ways humans apparently understood and enjoyed watching, but which left Nalcor utterly baffled.

He had seen other soap operas on television when he was living as a pet at Mizkat’s house in St. John’s. He got used to the pattern of love and betrayal, but began to feel uncomfortable when his mistress Mizkat, Nalcor’s pet name for the premier of Canada’s Rich and Poor province, began to appear in ‘As the Muskrat Falls’.

It was the difference between what she confided to the little muskrat, thinking he was unable to understand her, and what she told the citizens of the Rich and Poor province that finally led Nalcor to run away from the capital, and return to his family swamp on the shores of the Big Cigar River.

The difference between the soap operas Nalcor had watched on television and ‘As the Muskrat Falls’ was soap operas on TV had actors, not real people. Along with Mizkat, on ‘As the Muskrat Falls’ appeared the Angry Man Who Talks Too Fast, Ed With the White Head and Jerome the Giraffe, all of whom were supposed to be real people.

Come to think of it, these real people weren’t all that different from actors. They had scripts, they pretended things that weren’t true were, and they, like actors on soap operas, pretended to like one another before betraying their so-called friends.

Recent episodes had featured some new characters, which seemed likely to shake up the plot. Five prominent citizens with some knowledge of the law, government and the energy industry formed a group called ‘2041 Energy Inc.’

That was the official title, but it wasn’t long before Mizkat’s crowd started calling them The Gang of Five.

Nalcor knew once those in power started making up names to describe people who opposed them, it wouldn’t be long before the fur would fly. Nalcor was keen for it to start, because he hadn’t seen much fur fly since last mating season in the swamp.

From what he could understand, the Gang of Five was opposed to proceeding with the Muskrat Falls hydro project without a more thorough examination of all the alternatives. Good idea.

That’s just what the little muskrat thought himself.

Bring on a discussion, thought Nalcor. If fur must fly, so be it.

And it wasn’t long before Mizkat sent in the first of her troops. He was wearing a Boy Scout uniform. He is the MHA for Oyster Gemstone Mountain and is renowned for being able to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together.

In the clip Nalcor saw on the internet, a panel discussion on CBC, it didn’t take him long to generate some sparks.

The Man Who Rubs Sticks Together accused a member of the Gang of Five of conflict of interest. This, because he is involved in natural gas exploration.

According to The Man Who Rubs Sticks Together, this member of the Gang of Five naturally wanted Mizkat and Co. to spend the Rich and Poor Province’s  money developing natural gas from the Grand Banks rather than damming Muskrat Falls.

Though he didn’t speak out himself against the allegations of conflict, others flew to his defence.

“How can a man named after the first European explorer to make landfall at Bonavista on the island part of the Rich and Poor province not have the best interests of this place at heart?” they cried.

Bonavista Landfall Man has since gone public with suggestions the estimated cost of Muskrat Falls put out by Ed with the White Head, boss of Nalcor, the corporation, were way low. Landfall Man believes the real cost will likely be double what Mizkat and Co. are saying.

Snuggled up in his cozy lodge in the swamp near the Big Cigar River, Nalcor felt a broad smile growing across his face.

“Now this is what I call a soap opera worth watching” he thought, “let the fur fly.”

to be continued ...

Organizations: Energy Inc., CBC, The Man

Geographic location: Big Cigar River, Canada

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