Diggers gotta dig. It's personal

There’s not a globally agreed upon definition of back on the horse. Well perhaps among the horsey set, but not in my circles. You could get back on it just once. But the expression implies more than that and sets up an expectation of things to come. Weekly things to come. I imagine friends, “friends” and strangers eagerly scanning the net and facebook pages over toast and coffee, or other delicious items they have photographed and shared, wondering what the hell I did over the last week and when they might expect to know. We humans need to think we matter.

But here’s the thing, when I disappear for a long time, and in blog world that means a few weeks, then I pop back up, the People are a lot more curious about what I’ve been up to than when I update them regularly. They prove it in Likes and superficial as it may seem, I like Likes. Since I’m not offering coupons or timely commentary on current events or traffic, what I have to say is not urgent. So what do I do about my need, or dare I say compulsion, to generate public interest in the personal dirt I dig up?

Since we’re talking personal, and in an attempt to be super current, I will say a few words regarding today’s announcement that the police have ostensibly found the diggers of that mysterious and suspicious go-nowhere tunnel/oversized storage container for a rosary and a poppie, dug at York University near the site of the 2015 Pan Am games. A couple of guys fessed up. To the great relief of all Torontonians and many many others the world over whose security angst flags were flying high when the discovery was made, the tunnel was built for “personal reasons”.  I for one breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Personal stuff, like a proclivity for removing earth on public property – a simple digging fetish, or in order to find truffles and rare coins, build a unit for the in-laws, a BDSM sex den, a wine cellar, a non-profit home for disabled moles - is no one’s business. Effectively the cops are telling us, there’s nothing to see here any more. Move along. Personal reasons in their very personalness are never icky nefarious, creepy, dangerous, worth digging into a little farther. Case closed.

We all have a lot of personal going on and a certain percentage of us, like the percentage of the population that’s Gay or left-handed, will have personal stuff that involves the use of public property and a spoon, or a shovel. So I’m thinking there’s a lot of fabulous unused public real estate that should be offered up to satisfy our nation’s pet digging/underground obsessions and needs. Look at that huge lawn on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, or at Queen’s park in Toronto. Maybe a small tax could even be levied. It’s a mental health issue and an equity issue really. Some people gotta dig. Not everyone has a yard to dig in.

            Whether it’s my nudity, my vagina, my cancer, my kids, my angst, my guilt, my neighbours and their leaf blowers, I am obsessed with the personal. Thanks to the Toronto Police for solving the very personal dirty tunnel caper and allowing me to put it in a broader context. The analogy to my own life may be a stretch but it helps me stay on the horse, and personally that’s very important to me.


You may find this cynical, but the way I see it, the infamous York U tunnel turned out to be essentially, a man-cave, the police say, was "set up by two men in their twenties who had no malicious intent and the case is now closed". Somehow I think the outcome would have been a wee bit different if, instead of a poppy and a rosary, they'd found, say, a crescent symbol and a qur'anic verse tacked to the wall. Apparently Maher Arar had the same thought and tweeted it yesterday. I continue to enjoy your personal reflections, Aviva!


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