June 1974 Sense and Nonsense

As everyone has undoubtedly noticed the prices of everything have leapfrogged lately. There have been all sorts of explanations for this, most of them involving a big word called “inflation”. This word used to mean “the act of filling with air or gas” and it was very easy to understand. It was a good word too, as it made a beautiful balloon out of a floppy, wrinkled piece of rubber. It also put you on the road again after a flat tire. Now it has a different meaning and it is no longer a nice word. It is more like an epidemic which nobody seems to have an antidote for.

An explanation could be that there is a super-villain in our midst. Our young son and his friends are devotees of Spiderman comic books. Spider-man is similar to Super-man only he has a terrible skin disease which covers about 80 percent of his body. He is a good guy though and always manages to triumph over the forces of evil. All these people, both good and bad, have super-powers and ordinary human beings with ordinary weapons are hopeless and helpless beside them.

The boys were busy designing their own comics one day and later I happened to glance at the results. They had pages of super-heroes and super-villains, all appropriately named. One particularly evil-looking villain lurked in the shopping centres of our land. His name was Mr. Inflation. Armed with a magic wand and disguised as an ordinary shopper he was able to up the prices of every item he touched. This rotter was extremely devious. At the end of page six, Spider-man and his super friends were still stymied. The puppy had eaten page seven so unless I remember to question the authors I shall never know whether good triumphed over evil.

Now that the sun is finally shining down on us the mosquitoes and black-flies are coming out in droves. Since they seem to be late this year I believe that they are trying to make up for lost time and some are taking double loads. I spied one mosquito in our bedroom the other night. His cargo tank was so overloaded that he had a terrible time getting up any altitude. His airspeed was so slow that I had no trouble downing him with one blow, I was then so be-splattered with my own blood I needed a small bath.

One hears so much lately about how insecticides are ruining our environment. I feel guilty every time I spray the house with the stuff. I understand that now we can rid our landscape of pesky bugs and still keep things in ecological balance. You just raise bigger bugs that eat the smaller ones. There is an ad in one magazine for praying mantis larvae. You can raise your own praying mantises and when they get big enough they’ll eat every mosquito In the vicinity. Who knows they might also make good pets and one may well become very attached to them.

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