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Gran With A Bag
by Rose DeShaw

I couldn’t believe my luck when I woke up recently from emergency surgery for an intestinal obstruction. There, on my stomach, like a good conduct medal, was a discreet little sort of sandwich bag, which, for the foreseeable future, would be externally collecting my poop.

Oblong, rounded at the corners and rather loosely secured by what looks like a potato chip bag clip at the bottom, the gift was entirely unexpected.

Did my doctor realize he was placing such a weapon in the hands of someone desperately searching for a solution to the violence that often erupts during a peaceful protest?

Like other pacifists I go to demonstrations to keep the peace, armed with some old songs. I’ll be standing there when, suddenly, maybe ten body lengths away, some misguided youngster pulls up the bandana around his neck and bops one of the officers standing between us and the way forward.

I am particularly sympathetic to the opposition, as I have had both husband and son in the peace officer profession. Fortunately neither has had to stand against me or haul me off, so far.

However, bandana face doesn’t see any humanity. Perhaps he has not yet learned to look beyond the uniforms on either side. Ooof! Whack! Without warning the push is underway, escalating, from zero to CHARGE!

Grannies don’t move fast. Unfortunately, when bashing and bopping begin, we sometimes find ourselves caught in the middle.

And the official presence can lose it. “If you’re foolish enough to be on the front lines,” the attitude seems to be, “then it’s your outlook. What’re you doing here anyhow?”

Hoping my benign, elderly presence, my commitment to peace as well as free speech, may cool aggression. Demonstrating that satire is a far more superior and memorable weapon.

Yes, it’s a calculated risk. Hotheads unfortunately prevail on both sides. Any group of protesters, while perhaps containing some looking for a scuffle, also has its share of experienced old lady pacifists.

Well, now, thanks to the hospital’s gift of the odiferous little bag, the non-violent profile just took a giant leap forward.

That baton, the hooves on that horse, the tires on that shiny motorcycle can get incredibly stinky if the woman with the bag, goes down. A granny is much more likely to contain an ostomy bag than the average punk. Stomping me could mean a week afterward of scrubbing.

At the best of times, the bag isn’t all that stable. They come detached and fall off, not to mention possibile punctures. It can come in handy in all sorts of situations.

During the Canadian Women’s March on Parliament, I took a short cut across a small park not knowing it contained just such a hostile opportunistic individual, awaiting his victim.

With my handy little bag now, all I have to do, is loosen the flimsy clip and dribble on his feet. No need for a police lineup when he can be picked out by a single sniff of his shoes.