Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why I Failed Geography

A scene from the war room of a foreign aggressor:

"Sir. Our plans for the invasion of Canada are ready."
"Forget it."
"Pardon, sir?"
"I said forget it."
"But why?"
"Have you seen the size of that Canadian Shield?"

G is for geography — Canadian geography to be more specific.

Little is known about the geography of Canada because most of the country is uninhabited. Mainly, this is due to a large crust of igneous rock that covers about half of the damned land. This prodigious patch of hardscrabble real estate is known as the Canadian Shield.

Other than a few hardy souls, you might find some caribou, bear, moose, deer, rodents, coyotes, wolves, and some weasels on the Canadian Shield.


This type of animal population pretty well mirrors what you would see in the rest of this god-forsaken country anyway (although loons and beavers have been known to appear on Canadian currency). In the small areas where the land is arable you will find a few major cities and some industry.

Lumberjacking, maple syrup making, ice hockey, and ice hockey fighting are Canada's most important industries.

Aside from Toronto (which, if you’ve ever been there, seems to house more than half of all Canadians) there are many fine and interesting towns and cities. To name a few:

Flin-Flon , Manitoba (a major center for scam artists)
Salmon Arm, British Columbia (salmon have arms?)
Dildo, Newfoundland (I literally won’t go there)
Saint-Louis-du-Ha!-Ha!, Quebec (now that sounds like a fun place)
Fanny Bay, British Columbia (I believe this is near Wreck Beach)
Poopoo Creek, British Columbia (I’ve been up there a few times)
Skookumchuck, British Columbia (how’s my little Skookumchuck?)
Ass Hill, Newfoundland (I won’t crack a joke about this one)
Moose Factory, Ontario (is that where they’re made?)
Funny Lake, Quebec (what’s with Quebec and humorous towns?)
Snafu Creek, Yukon (not as bad as Poopoo Creek, but you still wouldn’t want to go up there)
Tiny, Ontario (could it be as small as Minikin?)

Other interesting villages include Dorking, Ontario; Belcher Islands, Nunavut; Old Sweat, Nova Scotia; Bastard, Ontario; Crotch Lake, Ontario;  and Chicken, Saskatchewan. Within a short drive of my hometown of Minikin are Slabtown, Prairie Siding, and Punkeydoodles Corners (how’s my little Punkeydoodle?).

It has been said that there are two seasons in Canada — winter and construction. This is not far from the truth. Personally, I’ve seen snow in every month except June, July, August, and September. During those months I've seen so much construction in the province that there have been more detours than gray hairs at an Elvis tribute concert. Friends from Calgary have told me they’ve seen snow on at least one occasion in every month of the year. Presumably, there is very little construction going on in Calgary.

Canada’s southernmost settlement is Pelee Island. This is the closest thing that Canada has to a Caribbean island. Other countries have places like Hawaii (U.S.), Aruba (Netherlands), Cayman Islands (U.K.), and Martinique (France). If you’d like, you are welcome to make Pelee Island your next winter vacation destination — but you’ll need to commission an icebreaker from the Canadian Coast Guard to get there.

Canada is home to some unusual natural sites like the Reversing Falls in New Brunswick. I remember when our family stood there for what seemed like hours (and it may have been) to watch the “falls” reverse. Falls?! This moving water barely qualifies as rapids. Now if that same phenomenon occurred at Niagara, then you’d really have something to see.

So there you have it. All you need to know about Canada’s geography in one blog post.

While we’re on G subjects, I should mention that The Masters Golf Tournament is going on now. There was an interesting story from the Antler River Free Press yesterday about a fellow who almost lost his Masters tournament tickets. I’ve reprinted it here.

A dedicated Masters fan forced his dog to puke after it ate his coveted golf tournament tickets.

Russ Berkman told KJR sports radio in Seattle his dog Sierra chowed down all four of his tickets for Wednesday's practice tournament that he'd won in a raffle.

"I was doing some last-minute packing, and ran down to (the store) to grab a couple of things before I left," Berkman told the station. "I came back an hour later and came back in the house (and) noticed there were a few strings on my hardwood floors (that) looked to be the strings connected to my Masters tickets."

Berkman sprang into action and forced Sierra, a Swiss mountain dog, to puke up the tickets with a pet-friendly combination of water and hydrogen peroxide.

He then painstakingly used a spatula to piece 20 or so gooey pieces back together.

"It came out pretty well. We got about 70% of all the tickets put together," he said. Berkman contacted Masters officials and explained the unfortunate situation. Thankfully he was issued four new passes for the tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

Good thing he got to the dog when he did, otherwise the restoration project would have been considerably more difficult, messy, and nauseating.

I once had a dog that ate my geography homework, so I had to wing it in class the next day. Sort of like I've done here.


  1. This is all fantastic information for my Genealogy research. I have a (La)Plant(e) relative from St. Cuthbert Berthier, Quebec (Lower Canada)and I am writing a collection of fictional short stories about each of my great great grandparents ... should be finished by 2049. Theme: A World of Crime

    1. Thanks Gail. Glad I could help (really?). And yes, you are correct, part of Quebec is in what was once known as Lower Canada, until someone looked at it on a map and thought, “Hold on a sec. It looks to be upward from Upper Canada.” If I’m still alive in 2049 I’ll be sure to read your book.

  2. Hmmmph. No poem here about goosing a ghost, but a fun (and funny) post nonetheless. LOVE those town names.

    1. Thanks Susan. And before you comb through all of the posts, I should tell you that ghost goosing is only mentioned in the "kite" entry.