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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jan 6 08:21 PM

Jan 6th, 2017: Old Burger

The year was 1969, and the members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, Canada, were debating an interim supply bill. During the discussion, an independent member named Clarence Copithorne rose to his feet and offered a suggestion of his own. “When talking about supply,” the representative for Banff-Cochrane told the sitting Social Credit front bench, “one thing they should supply us with right upstairs is good nourishment at noon.”
So he whips out this limp burger from the cafeteria to the applause of both sides of the aisle.

It was a theatrical move, to be sure, and perhaps partly motivated by bureaucracy-induced cabin fever. But Copithorne took things a step further by officially tabling the hamburger with the clerk of the Legislative Assembly. And once he did that, the burger was no longer just a foodstuff—it was now the official property of the Legislature. As such, the burger was given a sessional paper number (301/69), and then sent to be duly filed along with all of the other governmental reports and correspondence in the library directly underneath the chamber.
Some where along the line it was encased in Lucite and tagged for the official files.
This isn’t unique in the province’s food-tabling history: a loaf of bread, baked by students at Hairy Hill School, was similarly tabled by a representative in 1978, but all that remains is a piece of paper acknowledging its existence.

Rather than being shelved alongside the other papers from the second session of the province’s 16th Legislature, however, Copithorne’s burger is given special prominence, as part of a locked cabinet of curiosities that greets you a few steps inside the library. Also included are a piece of light-rail transit track, an unopened can of golden caviar, and an old bag of dirt from the banks of a controversial proposed dam project.
No more, in 2002, the Legislature’s standing orders were amended so that only paper-based items can now be tabled.


Snakeadelic  Saturday Jan 7 08:33 AM

an unopened can of golden caviar

I'd never heard of "golden" caviar before, so I looked it up. Doesn't seem to be much historic info, but based on modern caviar prices that can could probably be auctioned off to pay a year's modest college tuition. Currently the "most expensive" caviar seems to be coming from (probably captive-bred) albino fish of some sort, is laced with actual gold, and is sold in gold cans. It seems to list out at about $40,000 US per kilo (2.2 pounds).

Hard to believe the only difference between hundreds-per-can fancy caviar and a-few-bucks-a-can fishbait is what kind of fish the eggs came from! Traditionally the best caviar is sturgeon eggs, and I can't say I'm sure what kind of fish the bait eggs come from as I haven't been fishing since the late 90s. Sturgeon have become very, very rare in the wild due to overhunting of females in their prime for caviar.

I bet if you cracked that lucite block open the burger would disintegrate into either dust or liquid. Doesn't look like an appetizing burger to start with, but then who knows how long it took them to actually seal it in plastic. That's actually the 2nd least appetizing burger I've ever seen, and I'm willing to bet #1 was a post on here...canned White Castle sliders. (shudder)

Smart of them to limit 'tabled' items to paper!

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