Igor Kenk, Boy Scout

We read in Canada’s Other Newspaper and Car Advertiser of Record, The National Post, a front page story by Peter Kuitenbrouwer on the boy scout activities of one Igor Kenk. You know the saying, “Be Prepared?” Apparently Mr. Kenk, who is well known among Toronto cyclists and weary police as the “go-to guy” for stolen bikes, is not merely a pedlar of stolen pedals. He is a practicing boy scout.

Is anyone surprised? Consider for moment his known activities over the past 15 years or so. As owner of a Queen Street West pawn shop-slash-bike repair “clinic,” He purchases bikes from people (and other junkies) on an as-is basis, records the serial numbers “in case they might be registered with the police as stolen,” and at some point soon after puts the bikes in “storage.” Mr. Kenk, at latest count, had close to 3,000 bicycles in scattered storage rooms across the city. Sometimes he would sell a bike, sometimes he would repair someone’s bike if they brought it to him, but mostly he collected and hoarded bikes.

It is not the boy scout’s famed “one good deed a day” that brings Mr. Kenk into Sir Baden Powell’s fold, although we have no doubt his mother likes him. Instead, it is his planning and “preparation” for the dark future we at the ALLDERBLOB occasionally wonder about. The one James Howard Kunstler constantly warns of. The one where Peak Oil meets Climate Catastrophe meets Economic Meltdown. The Long Emergency.

Peter Kuitenbrouwer’s front page story is only one among many that have regaled front page readers and viewers and listeners of national media and car advertisers about the activities of Igor Kenk in the past few weeks. What makes the story newsworthy, of course, is the fact that the cops are finally seen to be doing something about a crime that nearly everyone in Canada experiences or will experience at least once in their life. Kenk was arrested, finally, when a police sting with a so-called “bait bike” left unlocked near his shop is said to have observed him directing a colleague, the lesser alleged scoundrel Jean Laveau, to cut the lock of a bike parked near the bait bike.

Kuitenbrouwer reports “Arresting officer Consable [sic] James Rowe, who arrested Mr. Kenk on July 16, says the man is cogent and focused.” However, Kenk told Toronto Police Detective Constable Aaron Dennis, “The apocalypse is coming.”

The apocalypse?

While this suggested to the good detective that Mr Kenk needs psychological attention (“I want to get him looked at,” Kuitenbrouwer reports him saying) we see in Sr. Kenk’s words a resonance with certain fundamental tenets we hold true. “Be prepared.” In a world where we take for granted the slave labour of many thousands of man-hours per year provided by the oil economy, but one in which oil is creeping into the mystery zone of post-peak costs, how will we smelt the iron to make new bicycles? Or as Kuitenbrouwer puts it, “In the future when we have run out of oil, we will all need bikes to get around, …and Mr. Kenk will have a few in storage to offer us.”

Be prepared. With his deep wells of bikes to draw upon, Igor Kenk was poised to be the Rockefeller of the post-peak era. What a boy scout. What an entrepreneur.

2 Responses to “Igor Kenk, Boy Scout”

  1. velo-city says:

    Here's a clue as to why Igor was finally outed:

    "Police are still in the midst of poring over hours of video surveillance from the area.

    In the meantime, they are appealing to the public for help in identifying a black man with a light complexion, wearing a light-coloured top and dark bottoms, seen leaving the Richmond and Walnut streets area. Some witnesses say he was on foot, others say he was on a mountain bike.

    A suspect on a bicycle is often known in the community, Det. Sgt. Giroux added. "You don't pedal 60 miles away from your area of comfort."

    Friday's double-murder was the first of many violent incidents this weekend in the city. Toronto Police were called to four shootings and four stabbings in less than 24 hours."
    -From the National Car Advertiser


    [...] the ALLDERBLOB Because it’s past time to ban automobile advertising « Igor Kenk, Boy Scout [...]

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