07:50:04 am on
Saturday 13 Jul 2024

Double Whammy
David Simmonds

So we'll have to wait just a little longer until Council decides whether to approve the proposed 373 unit "Country Club Estates" development on the Bellevllle Road, locally. Will the project get the green light?

me, that's not the issue. I wonder: how are they going to convince 373 new householders to come to Wellington when the population is at a holding level of about 1,700? What will all this new housing add to the already considerable charms of our wonderful villlage?

After all, the County should sell itself - food, wine, sun, sand, history, scenery, people, culture and on and on. Add to that Wellington's sewers, water, access to services and supplies, human scale, lakeside setting and genuine community spirit and you'd think that we would have people beating a path to our door. Even without Midtown Meats.

I can only conclude that the folks at Country Club Investments Limited are master marketers who are going to try an approach that hasn't been used before and are certain it will succeed. And what might that be?

Logic says: think counter intuitively. So how do I do that? Well, the obvious way that comes to mind is, as the song goes, to 'ac-cent-u-ate the negative.' Throw the worst at people and challenge them to overcome it.

I'm not talking about some flaccid 'Wellington - but you won 't like it' campaign like the breakfast cereal commercial. (It's amazing how bad commercials can get. I would sentence the person who came up with the 'Hubert the human cat' commercial to 24 hours of continuous exposure to his own work. Although a good cereal commercial could inspire a great civic booster campaign - 'Wellington: we're not square, we're a diamond').

No, I'm talking about an 'in your face' type of approach - the sort of thing that challenges people's sense of self worth and sends them out to horror movies or persuades them to try bungee jumping. Something like this:

Are you brave enough to take on the double whammy of Wellington? Only 1,700 of the billions of people on earth have met the test. The door has opened for 373 more. Are you one of them, or are you just another spineless weakling? If you've got an ounce of backbone, call Country Club Investments Limited at 1-800-NOT-WIMP for your free tour. Life insurance packages available.

The camera would then pan to horrifying footage of little old ladies being blown like tumbleweeds down Main Street (whammy number one, the wind); and a stricken family in a Norman Rockwell-like turkey dinner setting as they grasp the fact that a spider is crawling over the turkey roast (whammny number two, the spider).

When you stop and think about it, this technique has worked well for political parties - just ask Stephen Harper, who has run back to back 'Paul Martin is a pornographer - Stephane Dion is a bumbler - Michael Ignatieff is a panty waisted dilettante' campaigns. Why shouldn't it work for housing developments?

Now, Country Club Developments Limited. Are you tough enough to pay me the $500 you owe me for these ideas?


By way of historical footnote, the folklore of Wellington is replete with references to the double whammy. Here, for example, courtesy of the County Archives, is the text of a courtship song that can be traced back to the late 20th or possibly the early 21st Century:

I courted my love on the boardwalk

I bent down on both bended knees

And made a proposal of marriage

In the gentle Wellington breeze

She said oh kind sir I accept you

On you all my hopes are pinned

And we lightly embraced one another

As we strolled in the Wellington wind

She said I've one question to ask you

And give a true answer you must

Is there something I need learn about you

As the Wellington wind changed to gust

I replied in the blink of an eyelash

You would be the first I'd inform

And, no, I have nothing to tell you

As there brewed up a Wellington storm

The weather turned still more ferocious

Her smile disappeared and she scowled

And the top of my head felt quite drafty

As the Wellington hurricane howled

She told me sir you've been untruthful

So we are no longer engaged

Your toupee blew away towards Picton

While the typoon in Wellington raged

So beware all you young men of fancy

Dont court if you know you have sinned

For you'll soon lose the one you're betrothed to

If you stroll in the Wellington wind

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Pete Hamill and Mike Barnacle; the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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