DIVIDENDER – Despite local concerns that the new forest might attract birds, deer, and some level of appreciation for the planet as a living entity unto itself that was here long before us and will be here long after us, the municipality of Dividender, Alberta, today announced that they would be cutting into a 20 kilometre-wide swathe of asphalt around their town (known as the black belt), and giving permission to a local school group to plant an entire acre of oxygen-spewing trees.
The town’s anti-environmentalists are outraged.
“I just want to know what the aych-ee-double-hockey-sticks they think they’re doing, plowing under a perfectly good disused gas station, and vacant parking lot, to put in some three-story weeds,” shouted homeowner Jim Ballswalls. A resident of Dividender, and the founder of a local anti-future group known as the “Friends Of The Dearth,” Jim shook a fist in the direction of the beautiful example of urban decay he’s lived opposite for forty oddly-unsatisfying years.
“Now where am I going to put my car when I’m resealing my driveway?” Ballswalls lamented, adding that he’d probably have to leave it in the next parking lot. No not at Walmart, that other one, behind Boston Pizza. “And that’s nearly a block away!”
And the townspeople’s complaints aren’t limited to the ratio of available parking spaces to cars potentially dropping below 10.
“Oh the smell is what I’m worried about,” says Dorothy Lickenstein. “I was in a forest once, years ago, and let me tell you, I nearly passed out from the overpowering fumes of earthy vitality, and endless regeneration. It was just disgusting. I told my mom I was having a calming attack, and she got me straight home to the TV. And I never went outside again.”
But many residents, the main issue is one of cold, hard cash.
“I’ll never be able to sell my house now. Who the hell is going to want to live somewhere with a forest right across the street?” demanded Doug Ditch. “I used to back right on to a gorgeous drive-thru. Now who’s going to idle their engine in front of my house, huh? Huh? Didn’t think about that now did they, those goddamned environmentalists. No. They only think about the future. And the children. And grandchildren. And great-grandchildren. And …”