I’ve long been a fan of the sharing economy. It has always seemed to me to be a mite wasteful that every house on our block has an aluminum extension ladder tucked under the deck or languishing along the side of the house, only to be dragged out a couple of times a year. If we were sensible, we would have all thrown together to buy a community ladder, and then coordinated the annual hanging of the Christmas lights. Indeed, I hear that some housing co-ops now have a community tool shed, where you can borrow whatever you need when the DYI frenzy hits you. It makes a lot of sense. I have a workshop full of tools that were bought for a particular project, but haven’t seen light of day in decades.
So, unlike most commentators, I am applauding the efforts of Gary Lenz and Craig James (the disgraced Sergeant at Arms and Clerk of the BC legislature) to help us take the leap into the sharing economy with their purchase, on our behalf, of a high-end log-splitter. Now, skeptics will point out that the machine was perennially parked at Gary’s house, along with its companion wood hauling trailer, and only he and Craig ever seemed to use it, but I’m sure that was only due to space issues at the legislature parking lot, which have evidently been solved, since the trailer suddenly appeared there this week.
The way I see it, it’s the People’s log splitter. Now, we converted our fireplace to natural gas, so I don’t have any use for one, but my brother, who also happens to live in Victoria, is a staunch wood burner, so I think I may have found a way for him to dispense with the annual trip to the tool rental shop to rent a splitter.
All we need is a simple sign-up sheet posted at the legislature parking lot, and we can all take turns borrowing the trailer and splitter. I’ll bet before long some bright spark will even design an app so we can sign up online to share it: sort of an Uber for Log -splitters! Heck, maybe we could even use the app to organize work-parties to make the gathering of the wood a true community event. Come to think of it, aren’t we, the people, paying Craig and Gary while their strange spending habits are under review? shouldn’t they be mandatory members of any work party we organize?
Yes, I kinda like the idea of bringing the sharing economy to the public sector- civic work yards across the province are chock-a-block with tools we week-end warriors would love to get our hands on: ride-on mowers and skookum leaf blowers, chain saws, post hole diggers, and every power tool you have ever yearned for. Why should civic workers have all the fun? We paid for all these boy toys, so we should get to play with them too!
Oh, and Craig and Gary, given the rude blast of winter that has just hit the lower mainland, could you possibly requisition a snow blower for us ? – just park it in the usual place at the legislature.