CALGARY -- A mess, certainly.
But a disaster? Not by a long shot -- and really, no worse than any house rented out to a group of slobs not expecting their damage deposit back.
At the end of the day, despite tears of frustration over the flaky tenant who declared her Parkdale property a private embassy, 62-year-old Rebekah Caverhill got off lucky -- dire predictions of a home gutted and in shambles turned out to be fortunately false.
Sure, it's going to take some serious cleaning and a dumpster to haul the abandoned contents, but the duplex at 826 28 St. N.W. is still in good shape, despite months of occupation by a freeloader who claimed he was a Freeman-on-the-Land, living outside of Canada's rules and regulations.
"You pick up the pieces and you move forward," said a teary Caverhill, after finally re-entering the home.
As much as Mario Antonacci's infuriating antics may have hurt his Sylvan Lake, Alta., landlord emotionally, the Montreal fugitive left Caverhill's house in pretty decent shape.
What Antonacci -- also known as Andreas Pirelli -- did destroy is actually something to celebrate -- and Canada owes Antonacci a debt of gratitude, even as he heads back to Quebec to face charges of assaulting the woman who acted as his landlord there.
His foolish behaviour garnered plenty of attention. For Canada, that's positive.
Antonacci caused damage all right, but it's to the secretive, anti-government movement to which he claims membership: very few people had heard of sovereign citizens and Freeman-on-the-Land a fortnight ago, but Canada's most annoying squatter has made the underground collective a subject of national discussion.
And that's very good news.
It's a spotlight few if any Freeman-on-the-Land wanted -- but thanks to a ranting handyman who even failed to uphold the Freeman creed of not harming others, sovereign citizens have now been exposed like black mould under bathroom tiles.
That mass public awareness is something sovereign citizens didn't want.