Anywhere But Here: A Modest Proposal


Let me preface this by declaring that I’m not a crackpot, and that I am speaking for each and every citizen living in the Peterborough downtown core. What I have to say will not be easy to hear, but it’s what you’ve all been thinking, and you have simply been waiting for someone with the necessary combination of unearned confidence and lack of empathy to speak up.

I’m steamed. I’m fired up. Haven’t we occupants of Peterborough’s downtown been through enough? Methadone clinics on every street corner. Delirious, wild-eyes homeless ‘people’ harassing us. Trent students literally fucking in the bushes. Now they want to build a Temporary Overdose Prevention Site for giggle-heads to have free reign to shoot smack? It’s bad enough that Prime Minister McDreamy wants to force jazz cigarettes into the hands of our children, but now we’ll have a site for nurses to basically force skag into the veins of local addicts! And why? Because Peterborough has the fourth highest rate of opioid deaths in Ontario? Nonsense.

An informal poll I took among myself and my immediate family is clear: the only reason that Peterborough has such a high number of drug-related deaths is due to the facilities we offer for free now. I may not have ‘facts’ or ‘data’ to back up these claims, but don’t they feel true?

I’m here to say enough, and to present a radical, cost-saving suggestion that our egghead, bleeding-heart City Council (or those do-gooders at PARN) are too weak to suggest.

Let them die.

Hear me out.

I am a taxpayer and, I repeat, not a crackpot. Therefore, I expect this community to bend to my will, with a side of unreasonable expectations. My slight inconvenience is far too high a price to pay for the certainty of a lower death rate for our most vulnerable citizens. I spend too much time as it is hiding in alleyways until scooter-riding dopeheads waddle by clutching their government-mandated junk. That I might have to witness desperate people trying to avoid their own deaths is simply too much to ask of me or any other right-minded inhabitants of the downtown core.

Before you call me heartless, or unfeeling, it’s important to note that some of my best friends are hopelessly addicted to chiba. And if they were still able to communicate, they would doubtlessly tell you that instead of an accessible, safe location within walking distance of the bus station, they would prefer to have to take a cab to the outskirts of town where their shame can be hidden from eyes/businesses/me.

Hiding away Peterborough’s biggest problems has always worked in the past, so I’m not sure why convenient and accessible care for those who most require it trumps my god-given right to ignore the issue entirely. Anyway, drug addiction is a self-cleaning problem. The addicts are forced to use unsanitary facilities, they overdose, and they die. Then there’s less addicts. It’s a win-win.

Thank you for reading my rant. It probably means nothing. But it reveals a lot.

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Doug Tilley

Doug Tilley

Doug Tilley is a lifelong geek, and an occasional pop-culture writer and podcaster. You can find his work on, where he regularly writes about microbudget movies and film-makers in his No-Budget Nightmares column. In 2011 he began the popular No-Budget Nightmares podcast with Moe Porne, with a second ludicrous podcast - Eric Roberts is the Fucking Man - following in 2015. According to friends, he's a pretty cool guy.