Many people assert that life in a small community is more peaceful than in a large city. I guess they base their comparisons on what they read in the papers and have nothing else for comparison.
The missus and I live in a small community, while I lived and worked for much of my life in both, large cites and small communities.
Some things are not reported in the papers at all, especially not when they are small crimes to begin with, or are they? If left to go on for long enough and in many places, small crimes can take on very large proportions.
Just yesterday, we had a call from one of our friends. a real, living friend, not one of the FB-kind of friends who hardly ever call. The friend, a little, kind, old lady of 85 who is trying to get by on Old-Age Security, who some time ago moved to a more northerly community, to be closer to her daughters who live there, had left her home in our town in the care of her 56-year old son. Her son took in a couple for whom he had felt sorry, a young woman whom we know, and her boyfriend, both drug addicts.
The couple were homeless, and the son of the old lady we know let them in to get them out of the cold, unheated tent they had been living in, early last fall. The couple had promised to pay a hundred dollars a week for rent (both receive social assistance), but stopped paying rent before the first month of their stay was over. They did not take much space (yet) because they did not have many possessions, just a toaster and a couple of plastic bags with clothing.
Soon, just like a pair cuckoos, they crowded out the son of our lady-friend. He took to sleeping on the couch of one of his friends, in a nearby home.
Our lady-friend had to hire a lawyer to take steps in getting the cuckoos out, which he managed to achieve just a few days ago.
The cuckoos paid the water bill once during their stay, but they apparently never paid the bills for heating and for electricity. They did more.
She got herself pregnant. There is an Alberta law that dictates that landlords cannot kick anyone out during winter if they are pregnant with child, and that may have been a motivating force for the pregnancy, but no law is being enforced that protects children who are about to be born from becoming addicted to drugs or damaged by FAS, before they even get a chance to draw their first breath.
Still, the female cuckoo gave birth to her child, but she was not permitted to bring it home, because, so she said, the child had a bit of jaundice, while others report that the child was apprehended by social services because it tested positive for cocaine (I guess that as of now children cannot be apprehended before they are born, and not until they have had a chance to become drug addicts).
Well, the cuckoos are now out of the nest that they had acquired for themselves, after not having cut the grass even once yet this year, and they helped themselves to a table, chairs, silverware and dishes before they went, but they left behind a pile of cardboard boxes, in which they received their handouts from the food bank all along while making sure to save on their grocery bills, so as to have the funds required to support their habit.
Now all is back to normal, the utility bills are paid, the grass is cut (the flower beds still need to be weeded), but, most importantly, the cuckoos are gone, still in the pay and care of social services and living off the generosity of those who support the food bank, as is their drug-addicted baby.
Oh brave new world…let us give to those of the needy who give humanity a bad name. All together now….