Now I know why the Nelson police need extra funding from city hall. It’s because they’re policing spilled ketchup on Baker St. I kid you not.
On Saturday, April 4, the First International Day of the Bear, the Grzzly Grrlz did some street theatre on Baker St. to bring attention to the grizzly trophy hunt which opened on April 1 across BC. As three bears wandered down the length of Baker St., children hugged the bears and people accepted leaflets from them and asked questions of their handler.
In front of the Bank of Montreal, they hung a banner from ladders that said “BC Stands for Bear Country” and “Ban Trophy Hunting.” At the site of the banners, they staged a mock drama about the grizzlies getting shot which involved the squirting of a small amount of ketchup (mock blood) onto the sidewalk.
An amused crowd of about 30 people watched from various corners. Before the five minute theatrical presentation was even over, the Nelson police pulled up, blocking the performance and demanded that the ketchup be cleaned up immediately. Supposedly it was a massive hazard to pedestrians.
I would like to inform both the police and whoever called them, that generally theatre performances are cleaned afterwards, not during the performance itself. Nelson is quite the cultural town with many opportunities to witness multiple forms of art. The Capitol stages excellent plays. Perhaps the police force needs to pay more attention to educating their members about how art takes place. Maybe this is actually what the increased funding is for!
If they do manage to squeeze the extra funds out of city council, tickets to theatre, music or visual art instead might be more fun for the cops than any more workshops on vital and challenging work of policing ketchup spills, accidental or incidental. They seem to have that nailed.
But if ketchup wins the day, remember to call the police should you witness any drips hitting the sidewalk from someone’s hamburger or fries. Questions: are they interested in mustard and relish spills too? Chipolte aioli? Is that a 911 call?
Note: no bears or property, public or private, were injured or damaged in the writing of this letter or by the Grrrzly Grrlz.