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Chapter 5
Alternate Politics

The Magic Is Gone

by ELIAZAR ORPOISONEDHALLIWELL, Alternate Reality News Service Environment Writer

For Ellie-Mae Nebuchadnezzar, Tuesday was supposed to be just a typical morning milking the chickens and playing Parcheesi with the cows. The moment she stepped out of her house, though, she knew that this day would be anything but typical.

"There was a damn - pardon my French - unicorn chomping on my petunias!" she said.

Unicorns are, of course, a northern species that, until recently, was too shy to be seen in areas inhabited by people. Unicorn sightings were so rare, in fact, that many people believed that they didn't exist. However, in the last couple of years unicorns have become more and more brazen, appearing in people's gardens, public skating rinks and, in one infamous example, backstage at a Yoav concert.

Nebuchadnezzar refused to take the desecration of her petunias lying down. She got out of bed and complained to Winnie Witonka, her hairdresser in the small town of Gone by Golly, Ontario (whose catchy motto is: "As far North as you can get and still have your spit not freeze before it hits the ground in July"). Winnie mentioned the problem to Kisonka Witonka, her "housemate," who passed it on to Alyonka Witonka, her brother, who shared it with his poker mates, one of whom just happened to be the third cousin of the mayor of Gone by Golly, Harve Arachne.

Mayor Arachne was, of course, outraged by this encroachment of nature into the human realm, and, thanks to the renowned smoothness of his oratory (and the fact that City Councilors had been tired out by the six hour debate on whether the Mockerson Inn and Bait Shop should be allowed to sell fried worms in the Barka Lounge and just wanted the meeting to end so they could all go home), passed a unanimous resolution to kill all unicorns within a 50 mile radius of the city limits.

"Oh, no," Mayor Arachne disputed the Alternate Reality News report. "City Council didn't vote to 'kill' the unicorns. Absolutely not! We voted for a unicorn 'cull,' which, I think you'll agree, is a completely different kettle of sturgeon!"

When asked how it was different, the Mayor pointed out that he actually preferred sea bass, but his constituents, lord love them, were great fans of sturgeon, and who was he to argue with the will of the people. When asked how "culling" unicorns was different from "killing" them, he replied, "Oh. That. Well, if City Council had voted to 'kill' unicorns, my daughter Melodian would never forgive me. However, since she doesn't know what 'cull' means, I figured I was on safe grounds, morality-wise."

Not necessarily. The issue of the unicorn cull now goes to the Ontario legislature, where many members actually know what the word "cull" means. "Mayor Arachne has it exactly backwards," declared Martha Moosemeat (ndp Dundas-Liverspot). "Human settlement has been encroaching on the natural habitat of the unicorn for decades. When we destroy their environment, killing the wildlife they feed off of, is it any wonder that one night we find them rummaging through our fridges for leftovers from Friday night's pot roast dinner?"

Conservative MPP Darryl Wallstrop (Rum&Etobicoke), on the other hand, argued that the unicorns should be culled with all due haste, preferably with blunt instruments and the letting of much blood. "What is the greatest corrupter of children?" Wallstrop mused. "Computer games, of course. But, after that? Well, television. And, movies. And...gay marriage and permissive parenting and..."

Five minutes later, Wallstrop returned to the point: "...public washrooms. And, somewhere in there, unicorns! Their very existence teaches our children to believe in magic, in incredible things like...world peace and...and meaningful employment. Our whole system would collapse if these peaceful, majestic creatures continued to have such an affect on our children, so they must be slaughtered immediately!"

Moosemeat allowed that, despite the fact that unicorns were routinely killed because their meat was considered a delicacy and their horns were considered an aphrodisiac, they were only on the cusp (not cull, or even kill) of becoming an endangered species. If the cull is approved, enough unicorns could be killed to qualify them to become an endangered species. "Unfortunately," Moosemeat sighed, "we don't have legislation that would keep a species from tipping over into being endangered. We only -"

"What about my petunias?" Ellie-Mae Nebuchadnezzar shouted. "Don't nobody remember this started with the damn - pardon my French - unicorns eating my petunias? Not to mention that, but now when I walk into town I have to wear my fishing boots on account of all the unicorn shit - pardon my French - on the streets - you can't avoid it!

"trust politicians to complexificate something so simple. Well, next time I see a unicorn in my garden, I'm taking a frying pan to him. I can't do nothing to its head because of the horn, but I sure can give it a good what for on the behind! That should show the clowns at Queen's Park - pardon my French - how to get things done!"

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