Okay, stop laughing. I realize you already know I’m disturbed. What I meant was: I’m bothered. Alarmed. Perturbed. Ruffled. Unnerved. (Yeah, and addicted to my thesaurus, but that’s a post for another day.)
Last week I was walking past a transit bus shelter near our house. Some discarded packaging lay on the bench inside. Apparently one of our fine upstanding citizens considered himself* too important in the grand scheme of things to dump the wrapping in the garbage can only a few feet away.
But that wasn’t what rattled my cage. No, it was far more subtle and sinister. As I neared the shelter, I caught sight of the label on the packaging: “MACHETE”.
So tell me. If you needed to go out and buy a machete…
Now don’t get ahead of me; I don’t have issues with the need for a machete, even in a large urban area like Calgary. A machete is a perfectly valid purchase. It’s a tool. Hell, I have one. It’s under the bed… Um, never mind.
Kidding. I’m kidding, already! (It’s actually by the back door.)
Anyhow, I’m not arguing the need for a machete. And I realize not everyone who requires a machete necessarily owns a car. In fact, there’s a logical argument for the possibility that if he could afford a car, he’d probably buy a chainsaw. Or a katana, I guess, depending on whether he planned to cut down rampant underbrush or unwanted neighbours.
But my question is: Why would he take it out of the package before boarding the bus?
And if you were the bus driver, would you seriously consider stopping to pick up some machete-toting dude?
“Oh, well, he’s carrying a big honkin’ sword that’s capable of cutting my bus in half with a single stroke, but that’s okay. He probably needs it to chop his compost. Gardeners are nice people. I’m sure it’ll be fine…”
Here in Canada, it’s not technically illegal to carry a machete, or any kind of bladed tool other than automatic knives like switchblades. I’ve personally schlepped a pair of axes down the sidewalk in small-town Manitoba without raising too many eyebrows (long story).
But since our laws also contain handy-dandy catch-phrases that prohibit “weapons dangerous to the public peace”, I’m thinking our proud new machete owner might have some ’splainin’ to do unless there was a patch of jungle near the bus shelter. I didn’t see one, but maybe our intrepid machete-master cleared it before I arrived.
So let’s think about this for a moment. I prefer to believe our transit bus drivers possess a modicum of common sense. I’d like to think they wouldn’t allow some machete-wielding freak to get on their bus. It’s enlightened self-interest if nothing else.
But if there had been a kerfuffle of any sort, I would have read it in the news. We’re a tough bunch of rednecks around here, but I’m pretty sure a machete on a transit bus would rate a couple of lines near the back of the paper. But no. Nothing.
So somewhere in our fair city, there’s a guy who thinks it’s a good idea to carry an unsheathed machete on a transit bus. And there’s a bus driver who’s okay with that.
And I think I’ll bring my machete the next time I take the bus. ’Cause one machete-wielding freak obviously isn’t enough for this town.
*Note: For brevity, I used masculine gender throughout. I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge the culprit may have been female. Heaven knows there are days…