By Victor Schwartzman, as informed by Mickey Spillane
March 16, 2015
Welcome to Part Four! If you have not read Parts One, Two or Three, how on earth did you stumble into Part Four? But since you are here, and need a summary of the first three Parts–what are you going to do? I sympathize!
I’m Mike Hammer and punching through nasty is my life. Sometimes I shoot it with my forty-five, but mostly I punch it. The nastier they are the more I like punching.
And the nastiest crooks I’d met yet were these Ontario politicians. They encouraged people to support an access law, they created the law and raised hopes, then they welsh. That is crazy. Why even start if you’re not running for the finish? These politicians were a few cards short of a full deck. Was it some deep inner trauma crap? Do they have a deep rooted personality disorder? Or are they just jerks?
1.8 million people in Ontario have a disability. A lot of people depended on me. After killing HAL 9001, I couldn’t just unclench my fist and walk away. The politicians had fallen into the rapids and were now desperate for a lifeline. This mystery wouldn’t be solved with a forty-five. I needed a different gun. I needed the biggest gun in what I call brain work. This mess would be unraveled only a shrink. And not just any shrink. I needed a super shrink. So I asked around, and although a lot of people told me I wasn’t using the correct words, they told me which super shrink dude to use.
Dr. Sigmund Freud.
First I checked out the real Freud, but he was a cranky old guy who spoke German. Washout. Then I tried the John Huston Freud. That poor guy was more messed up than his patients. I didn’t need a basket case, I needed Mr. Hard Nose. And I found him, in the David Cronenberg Freud. The Cronenberg Freud was sharp as a razor and as ready to cut. He agreed to help if I got him a box of Cuban cigars. I said sure, though I told him they could give him cancer. He said they already had and it didn’t matter anymore.
Premier Wynne waited for us in her office, Minister Duguid at her side. “Welcome,” Wynne said nervously to us. “We have agreed to be psychoanalyzed, to find out why we and no prior Ontario Government has enforced AODA. Is that Dr. Freud?” She took a closer look and shivered. “The Cronenberg Freud?” she asked nervously. I nodded.
Freud and I sat. The politicians stood. “So,” Freud said, “I see you remain standing. That is significant. Perhaps you are worried about submitting to analysis?”
Wynne straightened her glasses. “Not at all. Minister Duguid is responsible for implementing the law. You should analyze him.”
Duguid cleared his throat. “Since I’m doing what she asks on AODA, shouldn’t you analyze her? But sure, ask me anything you want.”
“I hear you are cutting enforcement and intend to rely on persuading business instead?” Freud asked him.
“We’re cutting inspections by a third, yes” Duguid replied. “But nothing has actually changed. It has been ten years of not enforcing AODA and we’re still not enforcing AODA, only now we’re not enforcing AODA not as much. And yes, instead of enforcing the law we will promote access as a money-maker for business. It’s a competitive advantage!”
My trigger finger was getting itchy and my forty-five heavy in its holster. Freud only smiled. By now the Huston Freud would have been looking for the washroom. “Interesting. I see a couch and a recliner. Push them together and lie down side by side.” When they hesitated, he smiled. “You agree to be diagnosed yet you are reluctant. That is also significant.”
Nervous, they pushed the furniture together and took their places.
“So,” Freud said before they were quite settled. “Every other law you enforce. You may delay it but you enforce it. But access law, no. You are afraid to enforce it, yes? Why?”
Wynne looked at him from the couch. “Enforcing AODA costs a lot of money and we don’t have it. Also, business supports us. If we enforce AODA, we will lose that support to our enemies.”
He shook his head. “We must go deeper. You have supported other unpopular legislation. I can’t think of any you initiated, true. But you do enforce existing unpopular laws, for example wearing seatbelts. Perhaps the real reason is in your unconscious.”
They told us their childhood fears and most shattering events. Freud listened patiently and said, “That’s it?” He plunged further. After over two hours he became very irritated and told them to stop. “Gottunhimmel! I can’t listen any longer to this whining!” Then he calmed himself. “My apologies,” he said, looking at the two politicians. “That was most unprofessional. But then, so are you.
“In not enforcing your own law, you act irrationally. The answer does not lie in your childhoods. Does it lie in how you see people with disabilities? You see them as you, one day. Deep inside, that frightens you. You do not want to have a disability, you do not want to be disabled. The best solution is not to see people with disabilities yet you have your own access law to enforce. You are fighting a fundamental inner conflict and are in denial.
“Or that is a lot of Vienna sausage,” Freud then said. “None of that explains why you encouraged the creation of a law with no intention of enforcing it. Or thoughtlessly encouraged and created the law and only then realized it would be expensive and time-consuming to enforce. Normally, my diagnosis would be that you have personality disorders, but that is unfair to people with personality disorders. Therefore, my diagnosis is that you are jerks.”
Freud was right. Therapy wouldn’t change these people and get AODA enforced. Punching and my forty-five wouldn’t get us anywhere either. Neither, apparently, would an election.
What a waste when I could have been sitting on the couch! I’d already solved the mystery when I guessed it was personality disorders compounded by them being jerks. My job was done but I was angry when we left the Premier’s Office. We were back at the beginning except we never got beyond the beginning to begin with.
Freud patted me on the back. “Analysis is only a pat on the patient’s back, you know” he told me sympathetically. “We rarely solve anything in this world. Camus warned me about Ontario, but I never listen to him because his childhood traumas affect all his thoughts.”
The Ontario Government wants to sell access, not enforce it. It wants not an advocate but a salesperson. I had a bad feeling about who they would bring in next but there was nothing I could do about that.
Some cases you don’t get them the first time, or the second time. Some cases you have to pop some gum in your mouth and wait for their next mistake. Meanwhile, people in Ontario with a disability have a long wait, even to get out of their homes.
The mystery had been solved but did nothing for the nasty that crept through the Legislature looking for the next sucker. Meanwhile, Mike Hammer will be waiting and ready!
Next: To Sell Access Law, Ontario Government Hires P.T. Barnum
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly column to Accessibility News. Buy the first nine chapters of his current satirical fantasy novel, King Of The Planet, for .99 on Kindle at http://www.amazon.ca/King-The-Planet-Victor-Schwartzman-ebook/dp/B00NE0CCRC or read the whole thing, including current polished chapters, for free on the King Of The Planet Facebook page. It has a “4 out of 5 star” review!
His graphic novel The Winnipeg Weakly Herald (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, http://www.redfez.net. He also contributes to http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com. He has had poetry and short fiction published, has edited novels and hosts two writers’ circles. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.