Dear This Is That,

Your story about Yarmouth dressing mannequins up as Police is just so much old hat. Don't you know that the fair Town of Wolville is the vanguard for all things municipal!

Here in Wolfville we started placing dummies in parked police cars back in the 1990's. Some of them have gotten pretty good at it. On Sunday, when everyone else is in church, they drive up and down Main Street. Once one of them made it as far as Kenville. But he got arrested (they don't go to church in Kentville) and we had to pay a bundle to get him out of jail and back on the job.

Of course our first police dummies were installed at Tim Horton's, just across the road from the Police Station. That was back in the 1980's so they were the version 1.001 dummies. Since then they have been upgraded many times thanks to the efforts a team of Computer Scientists and Sociologists at Acadia University, Yeah!

Nowadays Tim Hortons has two version 2.010b police dummies who are permanently bolted to chairs. An electric motor with little wheels moves them around and they are programmed to reply politely when spoken to. Unfortunately, from time to time, an undocumented programming feature causes them to make random arrests. Acadia Sociologists call it "programmed inherent psychopathy" (PIP) and they don't think that anything much can be done about it.

Wolfvillians are NOT cheap. Unlike those yahoos at Yarmouth, we pay our police dummies. OK, we don't pay them quite as much as some other towns pay for the real thing but they have a great pension plan! And, Wolfville being a Campus Town, our police dummies get a very loooong laaaazy Summer.

At the beginning of each academic year, we send out our dummies in blue with a special message from the Mayor and all the other Town Potentates. On this occasion the police dummies are programmed to remind students (er, I mean all of us) that respectfulness is mandatory in Wolfville. You know, the usual stuff about curbing youthful exuberance: no sex, no noise, no getting drunk and definitely no pissing on the Mayors petunias! Oh, I almost forgot that reminder about being tolerant. In Wolfville, we won't tolerate intolerance ... or anything else!

Respect is a big deal in Wolfville and we respect our dummies so much that we even elected a bunch of them to Council. Disturbingly, some of our Council dummies have spontaneously developed a strange new type of Artificial Intelligence that is loaded with Artificial Empathy. It took them a long time to get to the point where they could "make up their minds", but when they did, they were quick to arrange subsidized housing for all police dummies. This has proved to be expensive for the good citizens of Wolfville (We only have good citizens, the bad ones were "Invited to Leave".) But, as our dear old former Mayor once said, "It's an expense that the citizens of Wolfville Must Willingly pay."

A few years ago, in anticipation of inevitable cutbacks at CBC News, the Town of Wolfville and Acadia University created an Artificial News Project. This project was spear-headed by the Towns Operations for Propaganda (TOP) but most of the grunt work has been undertaken by teams drawn from the Acadia U. Departments of Political Science, Education, Accounting, Computing, and History (PEACH). The Department of Physics is helping with the radio wave stuff.

TOP-PEACH has obtained a license to start broadcasting Artificial News on 1 April 2015. There Will be pseudo-police reports about unreal killings by real police in the USA along with real shoot-ups by Wolvilles very own dummies in blue. The defective speeches and speech defects of all Canadian Politicians have been recorded and they will be randomly shuffled and synthesized into our flagship program which is called "Dah House". Dah House isn't one of your pussy CBC News Programs. Dah House will entrance Canada with a full two hours of Political Spews every night, four hours on Sunday Morning.

As a gesture of mercy towards the religiously challenged, Town Council has arranged for the sermons of all Wolfville Churches to be simultaneously broadcast throughout Canada along with translations in all of our official languages: French, Chinese, Arabic, Ukranian, and ... damn I can't quite remember the other one right now.

TOP-PEACH will also have a weather program. It'll be pseudo-random, just like the real thing. We thought about having a climate change program but the idea had to be scrapped because it would take tooo looong. So, instead, news reports of adverse events will be randomly attributed to climate change. In this one instance we are proud to shamefully emulate the traditions of CBC News.

Now we Wolfvillians are seriously serious people. We don't want you to walk off with the half-cocked notion that TOP-PEACH isn't a serious broadcaster. So we are also going to do a News Parody Program. I think that it's called "That Is This".