The Police Can’t Help If You Don’t Call


I should have called the police.
I was up in the middle of the night with a bout of food poisoning and was wandering around the house. It was dark, with the only lights coming from the screen of my iPhone, the clocks on the microwave and stove, and the street light in front of my home.

At around 2:30 a.m. on Monday, I happened to look out the front window and saw a person walking up my neighbour’s sidewalk. He was dressed in black and was carrying something. 

I should have called 911 immediately. In the next couple of seconds, he was walking back down the walk and headed along the city sidewalk in front of my house. The way his right arm was extended, it looked like he was carrying a small pile of flyers. Appearances can be deceiving, though. 

Seeing the light from my cellphone, I assume, he walked past my home. I noticed a vehicle was parked across the street, partially blocking a driveway and pointed in the wrong direction. It had to be his.

I waited a minute and the man re-appeared on the other side of the street, walking up to a neighbour’s door. He got to the steps, then turned and walked away. He got into his car and left. 

Police have been encouraging residents to call, given the shootings in the Pleasant Hill neighbourhood. I knew better than to go outside, despite having a golf club at the ready. (I could never hit a three-iron though.)

In my case, even if the guy was legitimately delivering flyers, he had some explaining to do for being on a residential street at that hour. With the angles poor and the lights dim, I didn’t see his face. But he was dressed, as mentioned, all in black.

Sandy checked with one of our neighbours the next day. There was nothing in the mailbox. Sandy said if nothing else, I was maybe a deterrent. 

Still, I should have called the police. 

Homeowners are going to be smacked with a one-per-cent tax increase during the next three years for a program that doesn’t exist.

That’s where we are at with the city’s plan — non plan? — to collect organic waste. The plan was first scheduled for 2020. Then 2022, 2023 and 2027 were discussed. 

Council chose 2023 by a 7-4 vote. The winning tally came after 2022 lost 6-5 and 2027 lost 7-4. That it took three votes to pick a year to introduce a program says something about this council, doesn’t it?

Organic waste pickup has become the biggest embarrassment this council has had, even topping firepit-gate. And the ongoing discussion over bike lanes, including bike lanes on a proposed bridge that would go from nowhere to nowhere, drives me batty.

Scotty, the Tyrannosaurus rex discovered near Eastend in 1991, has been declared the biggest of its kind on the planet. Expect Norway to unearth one soon. 

I read that the last video rental store in Canada has closed. Does this mean my Betamax is obsolete?

In my Twitter travels, I recently found a person — well, another person — who can make me think, laugh or both. 

Ted Spurgeon describes himself as an apprentice curmudgeon who finds that Twitter is a substitute for the time he wasted over 33 years with the federal public service.

He is also Saskatoon born and raised, and a graduate of King George, Bedford Road and the University of Saskatchewan. He is retired, an acreage dweller and a grandfather. That’s a nice batch of stuff.

Let’s end this column with one of Ted’s recent observations. 

“After hundreds of visits in the last couple of years I have concluded that I am more likely going to be hit by a meteor than by a cyclist when crossing the bike lane in front of the Saskatoon Public Library. Nevertheless, ever mindful of my aging hips, I always look both ways.”

There is no cheering in the press box. That is something I learned early in my career.

I was a diehard Blades fan and Riders fan when I started in this business, but it was fairly easy to become neutral in my writing. 

It is weird how I went a bit overboard and suddenly didn’t care if those teams won. I know that makes me a horrible person, but I am being an honest one.

The Express is a community paper and a booster of all things Saskatoon. I know some of my colleagues in the business — real journalists — are going to have a conniption when I say this, but I will anyway. Go Blades Go.