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Devion's Views #281

SNAP, CRACKLE AND POP (posted May 18, 2024)

The sound emanates from my body attempting to rise from bed in the morning.

It's my arthritic bones trying to realign themselves. A movement no longer possible without an electric shock passing through every fibre and nerve end.

The voice in my head screams: "Geezus, that hurts!"...and it wasn't a prayer.

At the edge of the bed, hunched over gently leaning forward, a movement that initiates a slow-motion shuffle in the direction of the "reading room", praying we make it in time. The voice in my head: "Hurry, hurry, hurry", like a curling skip on steroids.

Whew, we made it, this time.

Monsieur Ronald is "MAD AS HELL"...it suddenly hit me that on May 25, 2036 (twelve short years from May 25, 2024) yours truly will be 100 years old. And there's not a damned thing anybody can do about that.

I'm "MAD AS HELL"...at arthritis, spinal stenoses, a pinched sciatic nerve, skin cancer and chronic pain.

The voice in my head whispers: "Ronnie, we're still here, courtesy of a terrific platoon of medical wizards and their magical pills, potions, lotions and elixirs. Remember what the neurologist candidly explained (sans medical-speak) at our last visit, you're old, we can't fix you anymore, so deal with it."

Translation - "All the Kings men and all the Kings horses can't put old Monsieur Ronald together again. I'm screwed, so deal with it."

I thanked him for finally giving it to me straight.

Responding to myself: "That's precisely the issue, getting old SUCKS! They keep saying these are 'the Golden Years', and it's all BULLSHIT!"

Voice: "It is and always was bullshit. But you're angry and looking at the situation through the wrong end of the telescope. We are and have been very lucky. We have made it farther than many, with our marbles relatively intact. Rather than being confined to a home for the elderly, tied to a wheelchair, and permanently drugged into 'Zombieland', we live comfortably on a beautiful Island, in a safe neighbourhood with a loving and supporting wife. So stop moaning, groaning, bitching and complaining. Let's enjoy the time we have left."

Thanks, I needed that.

Voice again: "And consider this, if we can hang in there for just two more years, we will have outlived all of our maternal and paternal ancestors. And Cher Ronnie that's a worthwhile goal."

"Oh, I almost forgot, it's our birthday next Saturday, enjoy."

                                              AND NOW THIS

Are you among the growing legions who believe our world is falling apart?

OUI!

Are you among the growing legions who no longer watch/listen to newscasts because all "News" is bad news; depressing, distressing, prompting fits of anxiety?

OUI! (My platoon has a pill for that)

Are you among the growing legions who are desperate to "getaway from it all"?

OUI!

Go somewhere, anywhere, that will wash away the world of woes, if only for a couple of weeks.

Oh, OUI, OUI please!

You're thinking an exotic Island like Hawaii, Santorini, Bora Bora, right?

OUI.

Why don't you consider visiting one at home?

Monsieur Ronald, we don't have any exotic Islands in Canada.

Sorry, but we do.

Reminder to Dear CanuckleLander(s):

The 'Great White North' is flanked by three exotic Islands. Two in the East surrounded by the Atlantic and one in the West surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Each is culturally, geographically and topographically so different and distinctive, that it's like visiting three different countries.

                                 TIME FOR: "DID YOU KNOW?" STUFF

America was first discovered by humans 15,000 years ago.

Recently discovered ancient scripts suggest around 1,300 BC, Chinese explorers discovered America, long before the Europeans arrived there.

John Cabot was not the first European to arrive in Newfoundland in 1497 under the banner of England's King Henry VII.

Scandinavian warriors and explorers "Vikings" (Leif Erickson, son of Eric the Red) visited Newfoundland and Labrador 500 years before Cabot.

Regardless of when the Chinese, the Vikings, John Cabot or Columbus arrived in North America, there was always someone there to greet them. And we are finally now acknowledging what really happened to them. (aka - Reconciliation)

The city of St. John's is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The city of Charlottetown is the capital of Prince Edward Island.

The city of Victoria (on Vancouver Island) is the capital of British Columbia.

   Monsieur Ronald has a special affinity for all three of our Canadian exotic Islands

1) Vancouver Island - For the past 34 years my wife and I have lived here and love it.

2) Prince Edward Island - The birthplace of Canada's Confederation, July 1, 1867.

The birthplace of my mother, Margaret MacDonald, was born in Summerside.

My ancestors, The MacDonalds, arrived in PEI from their homeland in Scotland, in 1772.

3) Newfoundland and Labrador - Monsieur Ronald was made an "Honourary Citizen" of "The Rock" on September 28, 1987. Details below.

                                       THIS STORY IS TRUE

Newfoundlanders refer to visitors as people "from away". A few fortunate "from away" folk can be inducted into "The Royal Order of Screechers" and become an honourary citizen.

The honour confers this special status only on those who pass a test, the origins of which have long since been forgotten.

During a television program conference held at CBC St. John's, a "Screecher Ceremony" for visiting CBC executives was held in their main television studio.

The presiding "High Priest/MC" and his assistant were appropriately attired in full Norwester fisher rain gear, ordered the noviciates to kneel and listen to an oath he read from an ancient looking scroll.

His "Newfie" accent made it almost impossible for the visiting "from away muckee- mucks" to comprehend what the hell he was saying; but strangely this added a certain solemnity to the proceedings.

Each inductee was ordered by the "High Priest" to chew on and swallow what
he described as a local delicacy, "delicious horse-doovers" (deep fried cod cheeks) and then kiss a large, very slimy fresh codfish and down a shot glass of screech (the local fire water).

As each noviciate completed their task, all were required to down another shot of fire water. A bucket was available in case anyone had to heave a "horse-doover".

There were six in our group of kneelers. (Readers from CBC will recognize the names Joan Donaldson, Trina McQueen, Saleem Ahmed, Gerry Janneteau, Marv Terhock and Ron Devion.)

Consuming six shots of screech, in rapid succession, soon produced an unusual paralysis of the body.

The MC announced in Newfie-speak "Come me Boy-yos, time to stand up."

A few alcohol-tolerant were able to immediately stand and weave our way to a table to sign a certificate and recite the pledge of allegiance:

Question: "Is Ye an honourary Newfoundlander"

It was impossible not to slur the response..

Answer: "Indeed I is Ol'cock, and long may your big jib draw!"

We could not tolerate sunlight or loud noises for 24 hours.

The End

P.S. For those who don't know screech or never had the courage to enjoy some.

The origin of screech dates back to the age of British sailing ships, navigating the Triangle Route, carrying barrels that alternated containing molasses and rum. The barrels built up a deposit of strongly sweet sediment at the bottom. Ingenious Newfoundlanders discovered that if they melted out the deposit, using boiling water and mixed it with fermented or grain alcohol, it produced a dark, cheap, potent 40% proof rum beverage, guaranteed to knock your socks off.

NB: You can special order screech at your local liquor outlet.

If you've never been to Newfoundland, put it on your bucket list. You won't regret visiting "The Rock" and its very extra-special people. 

"Long may your big jib draw"

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory