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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution

The Essay
Show #167
The Beaver Baffle Bill
David Gunn

One year ago, give or take an illusory bend in the time-space continuum, members of the Vermont State Legislature faced one of their greatest challenges since learning how to dispense economic windfalls to their constituents while appearing to suck up to their detractors -- a practice known as parallel porking -- by tackling the burgeoning problem of beavers. Held in such high esteem that for 28 years it was the official state large aquatic rodent with anal musk glands, the beaver rapidly fell out of political favor when animal scientists discovered its inherently destructive tendencies. Once allowed to roam the riparian wing of the capital building after normal business hours, the beaver's freedom was sharply curtailed when legislators returned from a weekend recess to find their offices dammed and partially submerged, and the great marble statue of Guy de Vermonica, the state's first governor general, gnawed down to his britches by powerful chisellike teeth intent on dentition. Abruptly, the animal immortalized in Igor Sikorsky's L'Histoire du Helicopters and popularized in politically incorrect upscale eateries as a tasty entrée -- although one food critic likened its gamy flavor to Nintendo on a hot plate -- was rodenta non grata flambeau oriange. Faced with constituents not privy to animal rights operetta or beaverburgers, the legislators proposed a law that expanded on section 37 of Title 19 -- which, of course, you can look up -- that rigorously limited beaverial activities outside of rodentine theme parks. It was called the Beaver Baffle Bill. The catchy name, immortalized in the title song from the cabaret version of Reinhold Gliere's Ilya Murametz, alluded to the manner of "abating beaver dams that threaten Vermontical town roads," and specifically referred to the beaver baffle, "a length of PVC pipe with holes drilled into it. When installed in a beaver dam, the beaver covers it up and the dam drains, much to the beaver's consternation and eventual discouragement." While politically correct and publicly popular, the beaver baffle bill fell short in one important aspect: it failed to baffle the beavers. Certainly they seemed initially confounded at their leaky digs, but within days of their installation, the baffles began to sport webbing, adhesive tape, billiard balls, and other odd objects which effectively plugged the holes. Animal scientists retaliated by wiring low voltage electric fences to the dam entrances, stocking the beaver ponds with leopards, doing away with beaver trapping permits, printing milk cartons with pictures of the ten most wanted beavers on them, plus other less PC methods of terminating the free will of the once esteemed anal musk glanded critters. One of the most egregious practices was euphemistically called "castoration and polyps," the less said about the better. But it was all to no avail. Not only did the wily beasts elude the traps, but a backlash from baby booming constituents who fondly recalled episodes of "Leave It To Beaver" soon marked the Beaver Baffle Bill as unpopular and doomed, and it eventually sank into the brackish waters of political inopportunism.

Coincidentally, inopportunity is one of the hallmarks of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, and one that this 167th episode of which will prove in no uncertain terms, starting first with the following uncertain terms from Kalvos.