I could swear I heard growling.
On a wonderful snowy day, as I happily composed photographs, I looked around for the damn dog spoiling the effect.
But there was no snarling beast waiting to take another chunk of leg from this old paperboy. Not as I could see.
But there it was again, a low, piercing growl that seemed close by. I looked up and there was Big Logger Mike, bright and yellow in the morning sunshine, with a thick coat of fresh snow on him too.
“Hmm,” I thought, “I could use a winter photo of the ol’ boy for his column.”
“Stop taking my photograph, grrrrrrrr,” Big Mike growled.
Of course, where else would the sound be coming from? I tried a friendly greeting, “What a great day, looks wonderf…”
“LOOKS FREEZING TO ME!” he bellowed with such force that snow and ice fell from the nearby trees. “When is SOMEONE from the CITY going to scrape this —- off of ME!”
I stood agape for a moment as I looked around at the roads as merchants and bankers danced in well-polished shoes through the slush.
“Looks like they might be kinda busy,” I reckoned.
In that instant our yellow stalwart on the downtown spar turned crimson.
“Oh no!” he said, waving his finger. “They’re just starting the cutbacks, saving money, cutting here, penny-pinching there…”
He stopped to take a breath.
“…And now they can’t even take care of me! Me! Their numero uno ambassador to the city. The guy who’s survived every elected dufus who’s ever passed through city hall. And look at me now, snow’s dripping down my neck, down my back and right into the crack of my…”
“Stop! Yes, I get your point,” I yelled.
But Big Mike just shook his head, he was on a roll.
“It’s not just me, you know. The kids will suffer too if they close the outdoor pool.
“And, you know, I’m all for closing the Sportsplex in the summer, but why can’t they hold outdoor events there?”
I shook my head in wonder.
“No slopitch tournaments which, by the way, mostly raise money for charity and no July 1 skateboard competition?” Big Mike asked with a stunned look on his face. “You think the kids won’t just run the competition on their own and go whiz in the bushes?
“You can’t even open community washrooms in this city without going into debt!”
He was clearly on a roll.
“And one more thing, would somebody, please, get me a heater!”