Finally we got some much needed rain, and it just cleared up enough for my walk along the shore to the pub. The long Canada Day weekend is coming up and the sunshine will be back in time for the summer to start in earnest. The kids will be out of school and the population here will grow with cottagers, campers and tourists, which will mean that our quiet corner table will most likely already be taken. But not today. I could see Camp from below, intent on his smart phone, which he quickly stashed away when he saw me.
‘I’m worried that the US will go to war with Iran,’ he said. ‘Maybe those attacks in the Straight of Hormuz were self inflicted by the Americans, trying to blame the Iranians for a pretext to war.’
‘I doubt that’s true,’ I said, shaking my head, ‘they did shoot down a drone. If the Iranians build a bomb – which they intended to do all along but especially now thanks to American sanctions and their betrayal of the treaty – Tel Aviv will be their obvious target. But going to war with a country of 80 mil people wedged in-between 5 countries, the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, will be a catastrophe for the whole region, Israel included.’
‘Trump needs his war because of his hubris and no president with a war has been unelected. The timing is ominous and troops and hardware are moving into dangerous positions in the region.’
‘It doesn’t look good,’ I acknowledged. ‘And now that he started his official re-election campaign with his usual bag full of ludicrous promises like deporting millions of illegal immigrants and building his fantasy wall bigger, faster and cheaper, his fan base is growing ever more radical.’
‘Did you see the sad photo of the drowned Salvadorian father and his 23 months old daughter laying face down in the murky waters of the Rio Grande?’
‘It’s a terribly desperate story, one should that should never have happened in this day and age,’ Camp said. Will it force the politicians to act? One can only hope they come to their senses and for once don’t listen to Trump. They should just ignore him.’
‘He started out as a laughing stock, a real estate tycoon and reality TV star who could not possibly ascend to the White House since no women would vote for the accused harasser, misogynist and rapist. But we all know what happened. This time around he has a head start with a big bag of money, a lot of help from his office, the GOP and his basket of deplorable fans,’ I said.
‘Look across the pond and there is another guy with a similar head of hair going for the Prime Minister’s office. Another narcissistic demagogue; just like Plato predicted in The Republic. What is this world coming to?’ Camp said, shaking his grey curls and staring forlorn at the postcard scenery out front of our watering hole.
‘Some say it’s always been like this but I have a strong feeling that the world is now more perilous than ever before and not least of all because we’re threatened and ruled by mad hatter presidents and prime ministers, but by an increasingly volatile and stressed eco system and environment.’
Maybe if we would live longer we’d plan better. Our neighbours just had a baby and I can’t help but wonder what the world will be like when that tiny boy is my age. Will it be a better world for all?
‘Best not to speculate, because predictions are bound to be wrong in retrospect. I have enough trouble dealing with the here and now, never mind the future,’ Camp said downing the rest of his pint.
‘On another note, did you know that the Canadian government has already taken in close to $ 200 million in taxes on pot sales in the first 6 months since legalization, ’ I said.
‘Hear hear,’ Camp said, slapping his hand on the table. ‘On the other hand the city of Vancouver closed over 150 cannabis stores, with the help of the BC supreme court, claiming they were all illegal.’
‘In other words don’t delete that pot dealers phone number just yet,’ I said.
‘Yep, they did a classic catch 22. Legalize it and then make it impossible to buy and distribute. None of those outlets that were closed are allowed to apply for a licence to operate because they were found to be in contravention of the law and therefore not eligible,’ Camp said.
‘Well, Clare and I are growing a few plants in the garden. We’re allowed 4 per person. They grow like a weed,’ I said.
‘And then what are you going to do with them? Smoke them?’
‘No, I don’t smoke anymore, probably give it all away.’ I said.
‘What are you giving away?’ Vicky, en route with two fresh beers, asked.
‘Eh, the pot we’re growing in our garden,” I said.
‘Just bring it here, I’ll trade you for beer,’ she said with a twinkle.
‘What a great idea,’ Camp said, ‘I’m fully in favour of that trade.’
‘No tariffs or hidden taxes?’ Vicky said.
‘Nope, just straight forward 1 ounce of pot for 2 pints of beer.’
‘What a deal!