Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Not only am I a townie bastard, but I'm also an east end snot. Which means short of being born and raised in downtown St. John's, you'll likely be hard pressed to find a more hardcore townie than myself. That means if you're not from town, you're subject to mocking.

In recent years I've had to tone this down. Alas, my wife is from Mount Pearl. And while she tolerated a certain amount of ribbing early in our relationship I soon became wise to the fact that continually mocking the general uselessness of the place where she was raised was not going to be good for my long term health, let alone the long term health of our relationship.

So while I did the sensible thing and stayed away from Mount Pearl most of my life, obviously that's changed in recent years. I remember for the first six months or so we were going out Cathy would constantly have to give me directions because I had no clue on how to get around the place.

But once I started spending more time out there, especially during the summer, I began to notice other things. Such as, well, let's be honest here, the smell. St. John's is hardly exempt for the pungent smell of manure that comes from farms at that end of the town, but Mount Pearl certainly does seem to get the full force of it. I guess if you live out there long enough, you get used to it. I never did, though. Even last summer, when the wind was blowing towards Cathy's parents' house, you could certainly get a full blast of it that could ruin a nice day outside.

So this story caught my eye. The City of St. John's is looking at developing land at the old Sprung Greenhouse site. And a local farmer is warning that when you build a major new subdivision that near farms that you're going to have problems with odours. He's suggesting a buffer might be a good idea.

Here's my thing. I have no problem with the new subdivision being built there. But let's be honest. Screw the buffer zone. It's a subdivision next to farm land. It won't make a damn bit of difference. I think every single person who buys a house in that subdivision, whether it's new or off an owner years from now, has to sign a waiver acknowledging they're buying a house near a farm and that there are going to be times it reeks. I don't want to read any stories five years from now from some whinny home owner about how they didn't think the smell was going to be this bad or they're worried about the health of their kids with that smell.

You buy a house there, you don't get to make trouble for the farmers They were there first. I'm sure they're under enough pressure to sell their land to developers. You buy a house there, you buy the smell as well. Deal with it.

The first one who complains about the smell gets a smack to the head. Seriously. Smacks in the in the head for all who complain about the obvious. I'll give credit to people in the Pearl for that much. At least most of them never complain about the smell.

I did. But then again, I was smart enough to not live downwind from a farm....

Last Five
1. That's entertainment - The Jam
2. Soloman's Row - Sean Panting*
3. Tickets to what you need - Badly Drawn Boy
4. Night - Bruce Springsteen
5. Real long distance - Josh Ritter

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