O Canada: Cool Country, Bad Tune

Boat Journey

Reposting a humor essay in celebration of July 1st, Canada Day!

I’m Canadian, lived here my whole life, but I can’t remember the words to our national anthem. The lyrics aren’t forgotten, per se, just temporarily misplaced. I can mangle my way through the anthem at a hockey game, memory cued by the collective consciousness, confidence aided by Molson Canadian. But if unaccompanied, I’m lost. I take a shortcut at the prelude— “O Canada/ Our home and native land/ True patriot love/ in all Our Son’s command”— a left at the gas station near the scarecrow that resembles Don Cherry, to arrive circuitously at the conclusion, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” I’m missing the middle. I know there’s something about glowing hearts, our free land (ironic given only billionaires can own in Vancouver or Toronto), and maybe a part about Celine Dion, but I can’t string the words together without taking creative license.

Get Me Off of This Island!

Boat Journey

“Get me off of this island!” said many desperate characters. Every character on LOST. The rich couple on Gilligan’s Island. The volleyball on Castaway. And me.

We’re on Week Three of Drummond Island. It’s a neat place, sure. There’s plenty of campsites and RV parks. There’s a Marina or two. There’s a few restaurants, an IGA, and an ice cream store. There is, however, not much else. Oh, and the shower water smells like Sulphur, i.e., rotten eggs, which kind of defeats the purpose of washing oneself.   

Camp Hair, Don’t Care

Boat Journey

Camping isn’t all that bad. It’s an excuse, after all, to indulge in two of my favourite pastimes: reading for hours on end, and, not brushing my hair. Combing, blow-drying, and styling aren’t high on my priority list. Not now, not ever. In elementary school, my best friend, Leah, casually mentioned, as we preened in the bathroom mirrors of Balsam Street School, “Tamara and I made a list of the prettiest girls in our class. You could be right up there, in the top five, at least. If you combed your hair.” Her intervention didn’t succeed.