By Mike Hammer, as told to Victor Schwartzman
November 11, 2013
I thought I blasted AODA out of this world. It was a zombie law and begged for the business end of my .45. Hot slugs punched flaming holes into AODA’s rotting papers until there was nothing left but broken dreams. AODA was done and so was I.
Or so I thought. What this shamus has learned was like taking a short trip down a steep roller coaster into in a black hole that turns out to be hell. In other words, I learned something bad. AODA isn’t dead. Your Government is already putting Your Tax Bucks hard to work, bringing AODA back to undead life.
Politicians can’t get the lead out of their own butts but they can get my lead out of AODA.
Veronica Mars did some research for me. Zombie laws can be killed but not by a lowlife like me. Maybe it’s my life of punching through to the truth. Maybe I ain’t got time for meetings. Maybe I just ain’t interested in playing nice.
That’s why I don’t get hurt. And that’s why advocates do.
My heart feels like it’s got one of my own slugs buried deep inside. Not that I’ve got any pain for me, it’s for the AODA Alliance types and their pals. Those are the brains zombie laws sink their teeth into. Advocates, and the people they try to help, are the ones who get hurt.
That’s because your average advocate has to play nice to get stuff. They gotta feed a line to people with power, get them to bite, then reel them in. Patience, not punching, that’s what advocates use. The AODA Alliance are sweethearts, like a lot of Canucks. They’ve done the hard work.
But with a zombie law you have to get down in the dirt and crawl through it. You need the truth, no matter how slimy. I’ve been into the house of mirrors and I have the dirt. Advocates need the dirty end of the truth and my shovel is full of it.
Here’s what the Guide will tell you. First, know the difference between living laws and zombie laws. Then, weapons. Then where you find zombie laws and, when you’re at the end of that alley, know what to do. And, it ends with a poem.
A tough world calls for a tough act. Being Mr. Nice Guy gets you a ticket on a plane without gas. Nobody got time to waste on our short journey to nowhere.
MIKE HAMMER’S TOP TEN ZOMBIE LAW SURVIVAL GUIDE
10. YOU CAN’T IGNORE A ZOMBIE LAW. Sorry, buddy. It’s on the books. And as long as you got a zombie law you won’t get a real law. From day one, you got to know that zombie laws are like uninvited guests at a dinner party who make the entire menu your brains. The real menu items are gone until you get rid of the zombies. The law only works if you’re afraid of it. No one is afraid of a zombie law, except the people whose brains get eaten.
9. ZOMBIE LAWS EAT ONLY THE BRAINS OF ADVOCATES. Your Night of the Living Dead Zombies, they chow down on anybody’s brains. Zombie laws never munch the brains of politicians or people in for-profit organizations. Zombie laws eat only the brains of volunteers and non-profit staff. It’s why they’re created and how they’re written.
8. KNOW YOUR ENEMY: DOES THE LAW WANT ANYTHING OTHER THAN TO EAT YOUR BRAINS? Zombie laws are not out on the streets, making changes. No pressure on municipal governments or service providers. Powerful people respect living laws because they are afraid of them. Zombie laws, they invite to wiener roasts. Zombie laws are only dangerous to advocates, as they want to shamble into their lives and eat their brains. Suddenly ten hours or weeks are gone but the problem has not changed. Then you realize your brain’s been eaten.
7. KNOWING TWO: IS THE LAW ACTIVE OR SHAMBLING? Another way to know a zombie law is, does it seem happy, skipping around, involving everyone? Then you’re fine. Your fairy princess has arrived. But a law that does not come when called but shambles up and tries to eat your brains—need I say it? Undead laws are not happy. They stumble or just stand and wait. Your perky law ain’t your zombie law.
6. NOW THAT YOU KNOW A ZOMBIE LAW, GET A WEAPON. Normally I’d say take a trip to your local mall or supermarket gun shop and pick up a few home defense items. A shotgun. An Uzi. A flamethrower. In the States you got your freedom, so it’s easy. Canada, no such luck. Maybe it’s better that way. When I was a kid you went to a movie theatre without needing body armor. So, Canucks, like usual your brains is your weapon. Are your weapon. Are weapons. Anyway, you got brains, Canucks, so use them. Canadians are better at thinking through crap than blasting through it.
5. ZOMBIE LAWS HIDE IN SPECIFIC PLACES. Your regular laws, you find them in cop shops, lawyer’s offices. Zombie laws ain’t there. They wait for people with brains they can eat. They don’t lurk in municipal offices or businesses. Certain politicians’ offices, zombie laws are always there, waiting for meetings with advocates. Look for them there and in your nonprofit parking lot or church hallway or legal aid service or maybe even credit union.
4. ZOMBIE LAWS THRIVE ON MEETINGS. You can also always find zombie laws at meetings with politicians. Politicians agreeing to a lot of meetings only means one thing: zombie law. Why? Having no meetings with a politician is bad but having a lot is worse. If the politician is committed, why spend time meeting about the law rather than writing or enforcing it? Call me biased, but I’m allergic to politicians. They make me itch. One of them gave me a rash but that was different.
3. LENGTHY COMMUNITY CONSULTATIONS. Meetings include community consultations. An elaborate community consultation process is great for finding zombie laws, but bad news if you want a real law. If a Government knows what it wants to do, it will do it, in its plodding manner. When it wants to consult with the public instead, you’re walking the dark streets of Nowhere Town.
2. I KNOW A ZOMBIE LAW, I’VE FOUND IT, BUT I CAN’T KILL IT. Some laws suck, so advocates try to kill them. More power to them, I like killing bad things. I’m like Dexter, except for the lumberjack crap. But zombie laws can’t be croaked the usual ways. Community meetings, petitions or letters to the editor do not kill them. You can “be concerned” all you want to a zombie law. So tough advocates get right in there with an axe and rearrange its brains. Good luck with that. Zombie laws are written without any brains.
1. SO HOW DO YOU KILL A ZOMBIE LAW? YOU CAN NOT KILL A ZOMBIE LAW. Except one way. You kill a zombie law by changing it. It’s their one flaw. Rewrite how the law is written, that’s what you need to do. Go in there with an axe and chop if you need the exercise. But then get the law rewritten. This time with deadlines and specific people responsible.
When I told an old buddy of mine, this Shelley guy, about this, he wrote a poem. He calls it
I met a sad traveler from Ontario land
Who said: “Vast yet aimless zombie laws
Roam Queen’s Park. One zombie I saw
Was drawn to the sneer of cold command
Of the politician who created the AODA zombie
His success so great he was statued in honour
His statue and these lifeless things yet survive
And on the statue pedestal are these words–
‘My name known to all is Bringer of No Laws
Look on my works, ye suckers, and despair!’
His statue looks over shambling creations
Past that place of dismal glory nothing remains
But decay that stretches boundless and bare
To defeated hope now living very far away
(mostly, in Sudbury)
This is Mike Hammer signing off and wishing you Canucks the luck you deserve.
Next: Perhaps A Parody Of Proust: AODA, A Remembrance of Laws Past
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satiric column to Accessibility News–nothing in these columns is true except what they are about. His graphic novel (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, www.redfez.net. He also contributes a monthly poetry review to the online magazine, Target Audience (www.targetaudiencemagazine.com.), has had poetry and short fiction published (by someone else), and has edited novels.