Archive | June, 2015

Ya Gotta Luv Country Living

26 Jun
I have a sign. I am all powerful. Obey my commands! Gad, I hate my job!

I have a sign. I am all powerful. Obey my commands! Gad, I hate my job!

S-S had to drive into Gimli the other day. She came to the inevitable road construction going on on highway 9 through town. The sign holders, who seem to sprout like dandelions in warm weather, blocked what was now a single lane. However, they didn’t seem to have read their job description.

There was the usual Gimli rush hour traffic jam of two cars or so. As S-S pulled up to the sign holder the sign suddenly turned to STOP.

“Well hi,” says sign lady, and continues,  “I’m hot and the bugs are something fierce. I’ve tried every bug spray there is.” She then proceeds to haul out of her orange-lime-lemon yellow vest every can, tube and bottle of Deet ever made, and to explain the pros and cons of each.

“Uh, Huh,“ says S-S in that way that can range from “Oh, how interesting!”, or “Gimme a break, lady!” (polite version.)

Meanwhile the traffic jam increased to three cars.

Sign lady finally finishes displaying her entire Deet stock and motions to S-S to drive on, at exactly the same time the other sign lady finished talking to her car at her end. Both signs now reading SLOW.

So now we have two cars squished into one lane heading towards each other with no place to turn off. What would you do? All I know is that S-S somehow made it through without a dent or scratch on the car. Coyly she will not explain the magic of how she did it.

The sign holders are still there, randomly turning their signs, spritzing themselves with bug spray, creating those horrendous Gimli traffic jams, and sending drivers into a single lane demolition derby.

Country life. Nothing like it!

Birds in Trees and Watch the Hallelujahs

19 Jun

Many, many, many years ago I was teaching an evening art history course at Sheridan College in , Oakville, ON.
It was early April and stinking hot. The school had stuck us in  a portable, no air conditioning. Everybody had just bought brand new $80 (expensive in those days) text books: big, fat, and heavy, with lottsa pretty pictures. A student suggested we have the class outside, plein air, under the shade of a big oak tree.  Birds were singing in the tree, evening song; hundreds of them.

A slight cooling breeze came up. “Hallelujah”, I shouted in the cooling zephyr.

They're smarter then we think!

They’re smarter then we think!

“Screech, squawk, croak,” went 500+ birds taking flight.

“Screech, squawk, croak, Aaagh Eeuw!” went 30 students as 500 fleeing birds crapped all over their brand new $80 text books, and their hair, and their faces, and their  clothes.
Me, I wasn’t under the tree. A fact soon noticed by what was becoming an avian-poop-encased mob.
“Oh”, I quietly whispered, “Shall we call it a night?”
Silence. No birds. No students. It happened so quickly.