Under The Bus

First, quick COVID-19 lifestyle update — we’ve been continuing to stay home as much as possible. Our province’s numbers of new cases have stayed very low. 280 confirmed and probable cases as of today. “Re-opening” things has been the hot topic for the past few weeks, and Phase 1 of the plan begins Monday, with certain non-essential businesses being allowed to open if they follow certain restrictions. These include limiting the number of customers and workers onsite, emphasizing delivery and curbside pickup options, and cleanliness standards for employees. The provincial authorities and local media are saying over and over that this doesn’t mean things can go “back to normal” anytime soon — whatever normal looks like after all this — but we can carefully begin to do some of the things we miss. Like get haircuts.

Summer festivals in the province are cancelled, which will feel very strange come August. The closure that hit me hardest was actually the shuttering of our long-running Winkler Times newspaper by its parent company PostMedia. I mean, it’s complicated. Papers have been struggling for relevancy in the age of digital for ages now, but the Times soldiered on, until now. Whether or not I took the time to read it, it’s always been around, for my entire life. And next week is the last issue. I’m genuinely going to miss it.

What I really wanted to write about was two stories of our 3-year-old daughter expertly trolling us. These both happened within the last few days.

Incident One: Lori asked me if I knew the origin of a joke Cassidy had been repeating; something to the effect of

What kind of Tiger rakes the yard?
An ordinary one.

We often check in with each other if she confuses us individually, just in case one of us happens to know the show or song or other place that Cassidy gets this stuff from. I laughed and shrugged. Cassidy was around the corner having a snack. Lori called out the question to her to see if she’d repeat the punchline for me. “Cassidy,” she said again, “What kind of tiger rakes the yard?”

“Mom, you’re being silly,” came the casual reply.

Incident Two: Over the past few months we’ve learned a silly song that Cassidy made up called “Han Is A Ladybug”. I have the chords worked out on my uke and we’ve sung it together many times (it’s short but pretty catchy). Often, when Lori and I try to sing the words back to her she’s loudly corrected us, but for the most part we’ve practiced to a pretty consistent version of the song.

Until the other day, when I sang the version we’ve all sung dozens of times, and Cassidy dismissively said “Daddy, that doesn’t even rhyme.”

We learned it from you, kiddo!!

Thing I Saw: Arrival, finally. I read the short story on my honeymoon in 2012 and really liked it, and the movie’s been on Netflix forever, but sometimes…it’s one of those things where there’s just always something you want to watch a little more. Lori and I talked about how some of the events of the movie — a mysterious outside force causing widespread panic and lockdown around the world — took on a new, accidental relevance in our current world. But then, maybe all the media we take in is going to be recontextualised right now.

Thing I Learned: I kept my giant, extraordinarily heavy old Sony CRT around for a good reason. I’m in the mood for retro games while I use my recumbent exercise bicycle, so I dragged the thing into the games room and have been playing with different older systems that I keep around. And y’all! That TV still looks great! Also, and keep this under your hat, but I might actually get around to finishing Majora’s Mask of these days. Better 20 years late than never??

I’m Grateful For: A relatively safe community and province. We’re flattening the curve!

No special significance, it’s just what I’m listening to while I write