Pam Pardy-Ghent: Bee-ing a Good Neighbour

There’s a new sound of summer coming to the region known as Ontario’s Cottage Country and it totally gives a new meaning to the term; getting away from it all. 

News is, council for Georgian Bay Township, with a year-round population of what should be a friendly, close, 2,499 – pretty much the population of our very own St. Anthony – passed a special bylaw for the lake and surrounding properties banning any and all  “human sound” 24/7. This new Footloose-styled law puts the brakes on the more savage side of being human, banning things like yelling, shouting, hooting, singing and that ever evil sound of … whistling. It also does away with any and all loud noises that may come from an item as sinful as a set of speakers, no matter what the time of day or night.

Keeping Islanders Quiet?

Can you imagine such a law flying in this province, especially in small communities? Mothers – even ones that don’t belong to the kid being blared at – verbally have at it at youngsters at all hours. In the morning, they’re usually being bawled at for flicking rocks at Uncle’s new car as they spin out the wheels on their peddle bike or, one of my personal favourite sounds of summer, the always hysterical sounding; “Don’t take your brother’s f’n eye out with that gd BB gun!!” And how the hell do you call your kid in to supper at the end of the day if you can’t stand out on the bridge and yell; John-EEEEEEEEEE! at the top of your lungs?

And forget the parents, just think of what a Newfoundland neighbourhood would be like if it wasn’t for the wicked sounds of the wee ones? Just last evening I made supper to the delightful sounds of savage squealing coming from the back yard. I didn’t hush or shhhhh them, I tossed freezie pops out the back door to soothe their strained vocal chords so they could keep up the frantic fun. If I could hear them, it just made them easier to keep track of. Four distinct hoots? Yep! All good!  

Good-For-Nothing Weed

Of course, that places upalong ban such things as human sounds shouldn’t be a shocker really. ’Twas a time that many cities west of our east banned that  evil good-for-nothing weed; the dandelion. 

Not here! In this province, the yellow-headed friend of the beautiful bee grows tall and proud, often right to its delightful ‘make a wish’ seed stage. While some prefer to chop the heads of the dandi-weed to display their perfectly manicured lawn, I love seeing them grow in all their glory, especially this time of year. Leaving the dandelions for the hungry bees until other nutritious flowers are in abundance is just bee-ing a good neighbour! 

But folks, it takes all kinds to make this world of ours go ’round, doesn’t it? While some might prefer their space be a weedless, noiseless bubble, I’ll take my world weed-filled with a soundtrack of hooting, hollering and singing. 

That’s the stuff that has me whistling – yes, whistling – happily all day long.

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