The truth, like Stephen Harper, is out there

Mulder and Scully reunite in the odd case of Canadian veterans regrowing limbs


Photo illustration by Sarah Mackinnon and Richard Redditt

Photo illustration by Sarah Mackinnon and Richard Redditt

Two FBI agents drive along a rural road.

Scully: Enough with the secrecy, Mulder. What are we doing in Canada?

He points to the glove box, where she finds a file marked X-525652.

Mulder: Canadian veteran. Thirty-four years old. Lost both legs during his deployment to Afghanistan.

Scully: That’s very sad. But why are we—

Mulder: The Canadian government keeps asking for evidence that he, and others like him, continue to need their wheelchairs—first, every year; now every three years. They basically have to make these veterans prove they still don’t have any legs.

Scully: And so naturally you think . . .

Mulder: This could finally be it, Scully: undeniable evidence of the paranormal or extraterrestrial presence you and I spent four great years, and three other OK ones, searching for. Think about it: human limbs being regrown by unknown forces right under the nose of a national government!

Scully turns up the radio. They eventually pull into a driveway and are welcomed into the veteran’s house.

Scully: We appreciate you taking the time, sir.

Mulder: So let’s get a look at those brand-new legs of yours.

He lunges forward and rips away the blanket from the veteran’s wheelchair.

Scully: Mulder!

Veteran: Is this a joke? I no longer have my legs!

Mulder: Stephen Harper suspects otherwise.

Scully replaces the blanket and apologizes. She pauses and turns her head.

Scully: Harper? That name sounds familiar.

Mulder: He was the subject of an X-file from a few years back. Someone phoned in an anonymous tip claiming the Prime Minister of Canada was in fact two eight-year-old boys in a trench coat.

Scully: (shaking her head) God, some people are crazy.

Mulder: That one actually turned out to be true. When you think about it: totally explains the behaviour and the haircut.

Veteran: What do you people want?

Mulder: (opening the file) Just the truth. June 13, 2014: You bought three pairs of socks at the Bay. Care to explain?

Veteran: They were for my wife.

Mulder: Mm-hmm. Feb. 18 of this year: A neighbour swears he saw a man leave your house on two legs, walk confidently to the end of the driveway and pull away in a brown truck.

Veteran: Pretty good description of the UPS driver.

Mulder’s eyes narrow.

Scully: Mulder, let’s leave this man alone.

Mulder: Dammit, Scully—I can’t just ignore my own gut instinct and the vague guidance of various shadowy figures with whom I communicate exclusively in darkened parking garages for some reason!

Veteran: What even makes you think there’s anything suspicious here?

Mulder: I’ve seen some things in my time—strange, unexplainable things. I’ve seen blurry objects that may have been ghosts. I’ve seen blurrier objects that may have been aliens.

Veteran: Sounds like the real mystery here is why you don’t wear glasses.

Mulder: (ignoring him) I once saw a man get shot point-blank in the head—and, as God is my witness, he just pushed the bullet right out of his brain as though by magic, and went on with his day.

Scully: Mulder, that was in the X-Men movie you watched on the flight.

Mulder: (lost in thought) Strange, unexplainable things.

Veteran: I think you both should leave.

Mulder: If you expect me to buy your story, then you’ve got to answer me this one question: Why on Earth would a national government treat its own veterans with such suspicion and distrust?

Veteran: Beats me. Has it occurred to you that maybe they’re just not very nice people?

Mulder falls silent. Together, the agents leave and walk toward their car.

Mulder: It doesn’t make sense, Scully. I want to believe—but why would any government do this kind of thing to loyal and selfless patriots who’ve already been through so much?

Scully: Mulder, that’s the first good question you’ve asked today.


The truth, like Stephen Harper, is out there

  1. Uh huh, it has nothing at all to do with the leftist bureaucracy who work at Veteran Affairs?

    What an ignorant piece you wrote Scott.

    • It’s a humour piece. Not an opinion column or policy critique. The Photoshop at the beginning should have been your first clue. Generally silly Photoshops don’t accompany the more serious columns.

  2. The truth hurts however it was written.
    The Government bureaucrats do not decide on the policy – Ministers responsible for the portfolios do, with the blessing by the PMO and PM. In any majority Government ordinary MP’s act as trained seals.
    Thank you Scott for writing this.

    • The bureaucrats rarely follow policy, this is where the problem lies.

      Time to trim the numbers of PSAC members by another 20,000.

  3. Billy Bob is a perfect example of “the problem”. Another conservatives, unable to accept that he may be wrong about supporting a leader, defending certain laws, social traditions, and institutions. Why?
    Because Inherent to accepting it comes an expectation that person will change their mistaken belief for one thats true or correct. And that means changing some aspect of their world, even if it is simply changing their mind. And to a conservative, change is unbearable and to be avoided if at all possible. Change means something new and untried in their world New means unknown, And unknown territory means that evil, mortal threats could be right around the corner, waiting for a chance to rob them, corrupt the minds of kids, society collapsing into chaos and anarchy.

    That exaggerated level of fear for ambiguity of any sort is measurable in how strongly one needs certainty and closure in their life. Psychological scales like the NFC Scale measure needs for certainty. It has been repeatedly documented and confirmed as being very strong among conservatives in particular. And its that need that leads them to defend tyrants as national leaders, likely out of a sense that no matter how bad things may be with this guy, at least they’re alive. That, plus their very strong tendency to defer their own thinking on something for that of their chosen authority figure means they also believe whatever they say about their opponents. And naturally that picture will rival one of Dante’s own descriptions of Hell on earth despite the self-serving nature of such propaganda being obvious to everyone but them.

    And for that reason German conservatives became loyal supporters of the Nazis once while SIMULTANEOUSLY, and a thousand miles away to the east, Russian conservatives were joining the NKVD so they could defend Stalin against attacks from his enemies, the Russian liberal. “Patriotic” conservatives in each country, left or right, rationalize torture as they conform to their respective societies regimes, becoming part of it by joining the security services so foreigners with their immoral lifestyles can be stopped just like they have been doing with their own liberals and non-conforming types during peacetime or war, self-righteously proclaiming that necessity just as today’s (C)conservatives here in Canada go after (L)liberals for “their decadent ways”, lack of patriotic zeal, and the “war on Christmas”, desire to teach atheism to kids because of their hate Jesus and Prime Minister Harper!”

    IOW they’re crazy and their claim of superior ethical standards is, in fact, that they have no morality of their own but merely adopt and ape those of the dominant ethical institutions and leaders where they just happen to be living. .

  4. These Veterans are pushing their luck. The aliens could stop regrowing their limbs at any time. They are probably wondering why they remove these limbs after they regrow them. Aliens don’t understand the concept of money. I’m not sure what wheelchairs go for these days, but I’m sure it’s totally worth removing one’s limb(s) once every three years. You would think that an intelligent race of people would ensure their war heroes are well taken care of, and not forced to prove their honesty every three years.

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