Mr. Christie, You Make Good….
Canada, the Land of opportunities. The land of plenty where everyone has something to do, and everything paid for by a loving government. Canada, a land with resources aplenty, enough that you shovel into the dirt and black gold comes bubbling up from the depths of the earth. Under every rock is a vein of Gold or Silver, even Platinum or Uranium. Flora and fauna abound and every turn leads you to wonders of life you never will experience anywhere else – like polar bears or wolves. Or, better yet – the Moosejaw Moose. Or a giant Easter Egg. (People wonder about the size of the egg. I wonder about the size of the rabbit. How many Angora sweaters can you make from that hair, hmm?) Other delightful sights inexperience-able anywhere on earth are the wondrous Capital Igloo in Ottawa and the unusual Sasquatch that wanders the Rocky Mountain ranges singing poor renditions of popular 1950’s jazz songs. There is the dark and scary Crow’s Nest in the Pass – again, giant-sized. People claim to have met the bird; I wonder how they could have escaped the beast, considering the size of the nest. Ogapogoo Eddie, a weird lizard living in a deep-water lake. A spindly woman named Niagara who keeps falling. (I heard about her, Why would I want to meet someone who can barely stand when they’re sober? Makes me wonder about those party nights in Ontario.)
Among all these terrors are two this faithful adventurer had to face. I faced neither before and, I hope to God I never have to face them again. The first was a beast called Snow that blasted me with winds of up to 80 miles per hour and a temperature of a balmy -40 degrees F. (Note: measurements are in American. I was forced. Editors on staff threatened me with cancellation of my adventures unless I was willing to write them in ways those Americans could understand.) Snow is an unbeatable opponent whom I choose never to meet again, if I have my way. The most upsetting thing is, Salt finds Snow fun. She says she’s played some sport with Snow using two thin sticks tied to her feet and metal poles to hold while leaping headlong down a steep incline. I could never understand what she was talking about.
The worst beast to meet, though, was the High Level Bridge in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, eh? Black girders reaching up into forever, a polluted river far beneath you – so far below that you can’t even tell its there. It looks like a trickle of a stream. A green cloud of toxic waste hovers over Edmonton like a green dung beetle waiting to fart. The smell of the city is um… intoxicating to say the least. The bridge in question looms in the middle of nowhere, joining two sides of a valley with the little river of toxins running between. Built so high off the ground, Air Traffic Control had my plane directed to fly beneath this puppy. Eerie, considering when we did do so, coming in for a landing, I looked out and up from my window seat to gaze up at strangers peering down and taking pictures of the plane. Stupid terrorist tourists. How was I to know the bridge was so high up to give me elevation sickness enough to wet my jeans by spilling a bottle of drambuie on them? Can I say disoriented?
Well, anyway, here’s the story:
After departing from flight 666.6 from the Amalgamated Airlines between Air Canada and Canadian Airlines – now called Air Canadian – I stepped from my platform and was instantly lost in a sea of thousands. All wandered around the giant terminal, wondering where to go and which plane to board. Considering the confusion even at the check in luggage counter, I won’t go into that. Let me just say I lost my luggage somewhere in a place called Kalamazoo.
While standing in queue, I ground my teeth to a powdery ash. Queenie and Salt were out and about back at my Secret Headquarters doing stuff. Me, I was standing in a line humming some stupid Dillon tune while a short chick with red hair and freckles and a fancy cap kept stamping people’s passports and her big partner who looked plenty like Elvis Presley shot them with a needle and pushed them through this solid lead door into the outside air where all I could see from my vantage point was white.