Jul 7, 2015

Screw Canada

I tried to raise my children to be absolutely cynical about anything and anybody having anything to do with governments. They were urged to believe that virtually any public-trough functionary, from the guy who collects the garbage to the guy who lives in the White House, is in some part a blend of leech and thug.

One summer in Canada, my teachings took a hit. We were on a long camping trip through northwest Ontario,  bedding down sometimes in the wilderness, sometimes in the superb provincial parks.  In one of them (Rushing River Park, I think)  I came briefly to love bureaucrats as represented by the park staff.

Checking in, we were taken with the youth, attractiveness,  and personability  of the young men and  women assigned to collect our money,  help us select a site,  and generally make us feel welcome. The girl taking the camping fee was a special delight and not only because she was decked out like a like a grown-up and alluring Brownie.

There was some confusion about the exchange rate. Ontario's parks were perfectly willing to take U.S. currency, but there was a small discrepancy between the actual charge and the greenback I handed over. It amounted to a few cents in our favor.  I waved it away. She wouldn't hear of such a thing and disappeared for a minute or two,  long enough to collect some coins to make it just right. Then she apologized for delaying us. I was about ready to inquire about the immigration laws.

All of which is to say I had a mild love affair with our northern neighbor.


Maybe that kind of cordiality was laid on strictly for the tourist trade, though somehow I doubt it. On that trip and some others back in the day, I always found Canada and Canadians a congenial bunch embracing a live-and-let-live attitude and celebrating their occasional outbursts of odd-ball nonconformity.

Maybe Canada is turning,  like its Mother Country, into a meek bastion of rampant  nannyism where any deviation from officially prescribed behavior is grounds for police action.

I mean, c'mon, how much danger could this guy pose to public safety?  Suppose that everything failed at once, catastrophically. All the carnival balloons pop. His parachute doesn't open. He plummets to earth, a willing victim of his own free spirit, his sense of fun and adventure, his refusal to march in the drab gray line with Winston Smith.

The report leads us to believe everyone Calgary was gawking at this man aloft. Certainly they would have had enough warning to evade his plunging body and lawn chair, probably even enough to flee the disgusting splatter.

I wish someone with clout in Buckingham would cut and paste this and make sure Her Majesty sees it. We could then dream that she agrees with us that a formal Royal Pronouncement is needed.

 It should read, "WTF is happening among Our Subjects? Doesn't anyone remember Jim Tytler?"



Anonymous said...

So, Commandante, when you were cruising around the South Pacific in your Navy whites, courtesy of Uncle Sam, which were you, Leach or Thug? A broad brush splatters where unwanted. JAGSC

Lisa said...

Rushing River Provincial Park - I will never forget it (although the lady ranger didn't stick in my mind as strongly as in yours. :) )

In addition to the gorgeous, actual rushing river, I collected a Ziploc bag full of bear hair from the trees at that campsite. Wish I still had it - I'd spin some bear yarn.

Jim said...

You make a point, JAGSC, and that's why I inserted the wimpy "virtual" copout word.

Think of it, if you kindly will, as intentional hyperbole to counter the latest press releases from government praising government. That should cover about the last two hours of output.


Jim said...

I remember that trip pretty fondly, too, Lisa. From the walleye bonanza on Lake Nungusser, to the Indians wanting to borrow a hatchet to cut up their moose (same lake), to the other Indians who wouldn't let us drive through their "reservation."

An enjoyable little exercise: Call up Lake Nungusser on the Google satellite map and try to make people believe you really drove there.

Jim said...

Meant to say "counter the latest 2,000 press releases...