OUT ON A LIMB: Plain brown envelope puts me in my place

It was one of the strangest packages I’ve ever had dropped off to me at the office

It was one of the strangest packages I’ve ever had dropped off to me at the office. And the funniest.

A plain brown envelope adorned with the name and address sticker of Doug Robson. If you don’t know Doug – and I don’t – he’s the council critic with a penchant for the dramatic and he didn’t disappoint me with his creative commentary. You may have heard of Doug and his pointed comments for city councillors who dare to spend a penny of the taxpayers’ hard-earned income. Last year he brought a golden shovel to make his point for city councillors.

Last week, he was one of only two tax hike protestors who took council up on its invitation to address them. Needless to say, he did not approve of a 13.6 per cent tax hike. Then as he walked away from the microphone he quipped that in the good old days they used to be allowed to throw fruit at them.

It’s too bad because the protest was going so well. Up to that point, people were successfully demonstrating their opposition to the tax hike peacefully, politely and poignantly, including Doug. None of the “not-only-are-you-wrong-but-you’re-stupid,-to-boot” kind of harassment of people on the other side of an argument that we hear all too often in community forums.

Reporters heard his comment and reported it.  I had the audacity to write an editorial that included the suggestion that this was an unseemly aside for such a respectful protest.

On Monday a package arrived, hand-delivered. Inside was a covering letter cc’ed to the mayor, the three new city councillors, my counterpart at the Courier-Islander and a one Brian Robson, a relative of the offended, I can only assume.

The brief letter stated that “On April 7, 2012 and April 8, 2012, I (Doug Robson) researched your editorials for the past four years, the period beginning April 4, 2008 and ending April 7, 2012. I have compiled 50 pages (attached) of all your Good, Great, and Outstanding editorials for the above period.”

Clipped to the letter were 50 blank sheets of paper.

Oh, the pain. Oh, that stung. Oh, way to force me to see the light.

I guess he showed me, by golly.

You gotta hand it to him, Doug has a flare for the dramatic. I had a good laugh over that one. I can’t wait to see what he sends me for writing this column. Doug’s critique of my writings has inspired me to bear down and be a better writer. No, a better person. .

I guess Doug’s demonstration is his way of saying that he remains convinced he is entitled to make to make callous and mildly threatening comments in our municipal chambers.

I guess, then, we will continue to disagree on that matter.