Neither here nor there

Peter
Peter Pickersgill
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Automobiles versus moose

The two were facing each other defiantly, their body language shouting the ill will that divided them. What they really wanted to be doing was screaming at each other, using all the vocabulary and decibels they could muster. However that sort of thing was strictly forbidden by the rules that dictated behaviour in this place, so for the moment, all they could do was stare at one another in silent rage.

They made quite a picture the two of them. If this confrontation had been taking place in the colonial period, or back in the Mother Country, they would each have been sporting those pure-white powdered wigs that create such a dramatic aura of authority around the head. The wigs contrast so wonderfully well with the long, flowing, black robes punctuated by those two sweet little white tabs down the front providing just the accent to pull the ensemble together.

But this isn’t the Mother Country, and arguably, this is no longer a colony, so no wigs were being worn. Still, what was sitting atop the shoulders and protruding from the neck opening of the flowing black robes worn by each of our protagonists was every bit as dramatic as a wig. Out of the robe on the left poked a shiny well-polished grille, bordered by four brilliantly illuminated headlights, two either side. The character on the right had a long neck supporting a longer face on a massive head. Small hooded eyes, big ears, and a wide mouth, with a goatee quivering below it, all of this topped off by a magnificent set of antlers, with points too numerous to count.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please excuse the delay while we wait for the translators to set up their equipment. They have just arrived by helicopter after a delay for a Wreckhouse wind warning, and rain, drizzle and fog over the Avalon Peninsula.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the long awaited battle of two giants of jurisprudence was about to begin: the Automobile versus the Moose.

Television crews from a dozen countries were set up outside court. Transport trucks and mobile studios overflowed the parking lot and were parked along both sides of the road, stretching as far as the eye could see in either direction. A temporary landing pad had been set up in the school parking lot opposite the court house, and helicopters were taking off and setting down every few minutes, some hovering overhead to film the large and growing crowds. Among the crowd there was a forest of homemade placards, a sampling of which read: “Save the Moose,” “Animals before Cars,” “Stop Hunting Now,” “Protect our Endangered Cars,” “Cull Moose Now!,” and “Hi Mom!”

Organizations: Toyota, Trans-Canada Highway, Rolls Royce Reid Newfoundland Railway

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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