The digital readout kept on climbing and climbing and my excitement level rose to an all time high. The numbers rose past 100, 150, 195, and edged over the $200 mark. Hands shaking, I reached for my pocket, my adrenaline soaring. No, I wasn’t at the casino or in front of a smoked-filled bar’s VLT, I was at the cash register at one of the stores that are scattered throughout the sparsely populated north. My excitement was based on the fact that I had $2.50 in my wallet and had still enough to purchase a Bingo card. Yes, I did it. I managed to purchase the necessary daily items to subsist on, while still having enough for the nightly thrills. To make things even better, I got my tax deducted, and I slung my four 50-dollar shopping bags full of grub onto my now lightened shoulders. Yes, $50 a bag of groceries. Then my happiness left me like a shroud of expectancy as I remembered that I still had to buy gas!
At the gas pump, which I watched with dismay the numbers growing by the dollar and the litre meter barely moving, I had a flashback of the days when litres were gallons and dollars were $ 1.40 US. Yes, there were days like that, back in the days when terrorists were unheard of and the long swords from the south often showed up for a day with fishing rods and useless paper bills. The bears from the other side of the Arctic Circle were still slumbering in anti-capitalistic statehood and the Pacific Rim economy still pumped out cheap North American plastic copies of our fine northern art works.
Now, the world is in a state of $hock and awww, still engaged in a war that showed the rest of the known democratic(?) world that you can’t fight an enemy you can’t see, or believe to be there. Even the US, paradoxically, used a WMD called “Shock and Awe” against an enemy unknown and unseen but very publicly shown around the world via satellite phone/TY baring their teeth and growling to the masses on the Afghanistan ground.
Meanwhile, all the hubbub on the other side of the world is burning a hole in our bank accounts, and slowly killing well-known enterprises and lifestyles. The smart businesses pass the buck and blame to the customers, who in turn blame the greed of the oil-swelling countries. But hey, is it my war? Do I have to blame someone I don’t know? No, I cannot afford the phone call to good ol’ PM (formerly the Minister of Finance) to ask for a price reprieve so I can afford to pay for groceries (much less more Bingo games). It’s time to convert to a new energy source (other than dams, of course) to lower our dependency on the black liquid gold.
Enough of global ranting and raving. Another thing that crossed my cluttered desk is the fact that our most used resource, trees, are having another bout with the south’s constant demands for raw materials to build their material world. The southern Cree communities should count their blessings and use their trees wisely, as for us, north of the 55th parallel, we have little trees that are hundreds of years old, sort of giant bonsais, and have only a few resources left to depend on for future generations. Dole out our trees like you would feed an entire family on one goose, even though you may have lots in the freezer or dried for future use, because one day, they may all get over-cooked and be unfit for us to use.
A message to all daddies out there, enjoy your Father’s Day now, as one day, you’ll be a Joomshum soon (you can hum that to the tune of one of Neil Diamond’s greatest hits “You’ll be a Woman, Soon”)