Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gone but not Forgotten

This latest bug comes to us from contributor Paris, out of Vaughan, Ontario.  Among other things, Vaughan is famous for being the twin city to Yangzhou, China, a cozy little city of 4.4 million.  Although not monozygotic, these sister cities have much in common.  Yangzhou's demographic is made up of approximately 4.999 million Chinese citizens; there is a Chinese family currently living in Vaughan.  Yangzhou is famous for its beautiful and intricate jade carvings; some of the kids in Vaughan are jaded.  The primary language in Yangzhou is Mandarin; there are two Mandarin Buffets in the greater Vaughan area.

However, all is not smiles and chuckles between these two sisters.    As with any siblings, there are petty jealousies, long-standing grudges and minor misunderstandings.  Indeed, one ongoing feud between the two revolves around the bug pictured below.  Commonly known as the Yang Van Zhoughan Fly, or more precisely by its scientific name, the "Officewindowcus Sitonicus" from the sub-family "Everywhereicus Foundicus", this rare bug was, until this recent discovery, thought to be completely extinct.

It was that status that caused the rift between the girls.  The fly had, until 1995, enjoyed a strong presence in the greater Vaughan area.  It was at that point that the umbilical cord connecting the two cities was first discovered.  Initially cause for much joy and the swift exchange of Canadian dollars for low labour cost products, it soon became clear to the citizens of Vaughan that although the cost of this relationship in hard currency was low, their was a much, much higher price to be paid.  It was only when the Yang Van Zhoughan Flies disappeared that they realized just what that price would be.  It seems the flies were transported via the umbilical cord to Yangzhou, where they were quickly eradicated by dragons.  The citizens of Vaughan, while enjoying their cheap electronics still harbour some anger towards the dragons of Yangzhou.

As can be seen in the photo, the clouds have parted and the great umbilical cord in the sky has opened up to allow this lone survivor to travel back to his homeland.  Although this guy probably won't last more than a day or so due to the absence of the disco and saccharin pop that sustained his ancestors through the 70s and 80s, his presence is encouraging.  The bigger concern is the possibility that the umbilical cord may continue to exhibit the current "reverse flow" which placed this bug back among the fine people of Vaughan.  Should this activity continue, Vaughan may soon exchange their lost bug for dragons.  For a city of 4.4 million like Yangzhou dragons are a nuisance; a few thousand missing people over the course of a week is a mere blip in Yangzhou.  The significantly smaller borough of Vaughan simply doesn't have the population to support dragons.  The dragons would devour the entire city within a few years.  And that would be bad - mostly because it would leave access to Wonderland questionable.

Here is a poem.

Seeing Meng Haoran off to Yangzhou from Yellow Crane Pavilion

At Yellow Crane Pavilion in the west
My old friend says farewell;
In the mist and flowers of spring
He goes down to Yangzhou;
Lonely sail, distant shadow,
Vanish in blue emptiness;
All I see is the great river
Flowing into the far horizon.
             - by Li Bai who lived in the 700s

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