By Marcus Day
I’ve just learned something worth sharing: Maple Creek may be the nexus of the universe, but there is land beyond its borders, not to mention other humans, some of whom wander about semi-naked.
Can anyone tell me when thongs became so fashionable? I really need to get out a bit more, otherwise all life’s excitements will pass me by.
My discoveries occurred while on supervised day release, which saw me bust out of my “wake up, go to work, go to sleep” routine and venture forth beyond town limits into the hitherto unexplored wilds of Saskatchewan and Alberta. In my mind, I was a modern-day Christopher Columbus.
Here are edited highlights of my action-packed day.
I enjoyed a Bare Naked Ladies show, I visited Mars, I ate my first chokeberries, I climbed the world’s tallest tepee, I caught two fish, I witnessed a demolition derby, and Tim Horton’s thoroughly messed up my coffee/iced capp order.
Okay, I exaggerate, but that’s what happens when you go stir-crazy, your imagination becomes hyperactive.
Put through a truth converter, those statements should read: I saw thong-clad girls sashaying along the lake’s edge at Elkwater, I visited Red Rock Coulee, I looked at the 215ft Saamis Tepee in Medicine Hat and wondered what it would feel like to swing from the top, I had fish and chips at Trukker’s in Redcliff and asked the waitress whether she had just fished the cod out of the ocean, and I witnessed a car and truck have a minor disagreement at an intersection.
That leaves chokeberries. It’s true: I did eat three or four berries, plucked from a bush moments after I asked where I could find them. They were small – mainly consisting of a pip – very bitter, but, after the initial surprise, quite tasty. Apparently, they make wonderful jam and jelly, which I can well believe.
And oh yes, Tim Horton’s really did forget to make coffee. They would argue, of course, that the order was mangled.
As I reflect on my day, I wonder whether anything happened the way I remember it. Perhaps I should consult my day release supervisors, Dan and Michelle Ryerson, who organized the outing.
It was a rare treat to be ferried about in Dan’s truck, not having to worry about gravel roads wrecking my fragile Fiesta.
Anyway, here are some photographs from my expedition. Which is proof surely that I didn’t make everything up, or confuse reality with dreams. There really are treasures out there, both of the “thong-ful” and “thong-less” variety.
Now I know what Columbus must have felt when discovering the New World.
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