Congratulations: as a Canadian taxpayer, you’re the proud purchaser of your very own senator. Senators are popular and fun pets.
Like all pets, though, senators require you, the owner, to properly attend to their care. With regular sleeping and feeding schedules, your senator can live for years. But be careful: absolute lack of motion does not mean your senator has passed on. He or she is merely “in session,” a
hypnotic trace-like state that some have compared to hibernation, and others to a boa-like trance state required to fully digest large portions of rich foods.
There are plenty of models. The Elizabeth Marshall, for example, shows up when it says it will, every time, and many of the other senators take their jobs so seriously that they will not escape from the Senate Chamber even if you accidentally leave the door open.
Here are some tips on the care and feeding of your senator. Senators require the best of pay and pensions, not to mention subsidized restaurants, fitness facilities and virtually unlimited travel.
Some models of senator require particularly special care: if you have purchased the Pamela Wallin, you should be aware that she is uncomfortable remaining in one place. Be prepared to help keep her in motion, and we don’t mean a hampster wheel. CTV News reports the Wallin required $321,037 in “other travel” expenses since September 2010, which means you should budget a minimum of $11,000 a month to fly the Wallin around — otherwise, she will become moody and may start eating her notes or chewing on her chair.
Other models also have specific needs.
The Duffy is directionally confused, and may not be able to find his way home. In fact, he may be uncertain about where home is, although his loud and spontaneous outbursts of “I’m a proud Prince Edward Islander” are sure to amuse family and friends alike. The Duffy may be wrong about where he lives, but he knows he’s right about everything else — and the noise can be jarring. You cannot confuse the Duffy into thinking it’s sleepy-time by merely covering his cage. When nervous, he may dart out through the kitchen and have to be recaptured.
Not ready for the full Duffy? Try a Harb or a Brazeau instead — they share the Duffy’s inability to establish a home address without additional payments from taxpayers, but they’re not nearly as self-righteous about grabbing the cash.
Be careful about the secondary models, though: both the Brazeau and Harb have further concerns. Like Japanese Beta fish, the Brazeau is aggressive and apparently needs his own bowl. The other helpful senators have obliged by — at least temporarily — tossing him out of theirs.
The Harb? Partial to peculiar pronouncements about the seal hunt, but don’t worry: it’s an annual outburst that disappears mere moments after it occurs. During non-blooming periods, the Harb has been certified as innocuous.
Maybe you want to shop local. How about the Fabian Manning? Gregarious, well-mannered and a tidy eater, but do be sure to keep him away from your chequebook. The Manning has a nervous disorder that, upon seeing a cheque, requires him to fly home to Newfoundland immediately and present it to someone — anyone. Unlike the Duffy, the Manning’s homing instinct is at least accurate. The Manning knows where he lives, and puts your money where his mouth is.
Whatever model you choose, enjoy your senator. He or she is constitutionally guaranteed, and is bound to be around for a long time. A long, long, long time.