SASKATOON—Keen to honour folk singer and environmental activist Joni Mitchell, Mayor Don Atchison today announced that the city is poised to erect a parking lot in recognition of her achievements and her many years as a resident.
“I know how it sounds, but bear with me for a moment,” the Mayor said. “We’re very conscious of Ms. Mitchell’s feelings about conservation, and given the huge land boom our city has experienced from economic development, we felt this was an appropriate tribute that balanced both industry and ecology.”
The proposed design includes recycled steel and concrete particulate. Its tall stature is intended to reduce the number of trees that would normally be removed for an equivalent horizontal lot.
The Mayor was initially silent on Mitchell’s first reaction to the proposal. However, others in attendance reported that the singer arrived at City Hall with her Martin D-45 acoustic slung over her back, but exited leaving the guitar in pieces on the boardroom table.
Calling the incident “a minor misunderstanding,” Mayor Atchison said that Mitchell was upset because she thought that the trees displaced by the new construction would be cut down. In fact, the city plans to excavate the site by hand and transport them to another venue to be named in her honour, The Joni Mitchell Museum of Nature.
“They’ll be placed inside a special exhibit—Joni’s Forest—and we’ll charge individuals a very nominal fee of only $1.50 to see them,” Atchison continued. “This additional revenue will not only save the trees, it will reduce the consumption of taxpayer dollars by subsidizing the construction and expenses of both the museum and the car park.”
Pressed for more detail on the previously unannounced Mitchell Museum project, the Mayor reassured everyone that all the trees displaced from this second construction project would also be temporarily relocated before being safely housed indoors in the Joni’s Forest exhibit.
In a subsequent joint interview convened last night by Mooseclean’s via Skype, Mitchell and Atchison remained at odds.
“You’ve never actually listened to any of my songs, have you, Don?” Mitchell accused, to which Mayor Atchison replied: “Damn it, Joni! It’s not paradise… it’s Saskatoon!”