03 July 2007

Dept. of Our Home and Native

I spent my Canada Day on Mayne Island, in the company of two old friends. I took a ferry to get there; it was slow and the passengers were few. There's something about an empty ferry—the expanse of vacuumed carpet, the odd reassurance of the cafeteria and its fixed-seat tables with raised edges, the whole enterprise heaving and shuddering like a fat lover. The diesel and creosote of the car deck. A cup of coffee and a magazine.

The Sunday run from Victoria hits Pender Island, Saturna, and then Pender again before getting to Mayne's Village Bay. I got a good ways into this week's New Yorker, but I stalled in the middle of John Cassidy's article about the hedge-fund machine. With 45 minutes left in the voyage, I reclined on a moulded plastic bench, flipped the magazine over my face, and began promptly to snore.

Thanks to Finnigan, late of Playa del Carmen, for the illustration, which has Ontario in a bit of saucy contact with Michigan. Does this mean Canada is a Red State? Quick—what's the past tense of "drag"?

Happy Canada Day, all.

10 comments:

zp said...

I really liked the hedge fund article. To my own surprise.

Stephen Connolly said...

dragged? Look what the cat dragged in.
Thanks for the phallic reference to Michigan JJ. It'll be sure to boost subliminal sex tourism.
Happy Canada Day - on a ferry with a magazine over your face? - sounds ideal.

JJB said...

I don't think it was the article so much as the time of day and the temp of the air.

Swish for Stephen on the grammar quiz! Sounds like you may have missed George Packer's TOTT, which used that word in a hilarious dig at, I'm presuming, Red States. Do I have to capitalize that?

Mag on the face on a BC ferry--actually, pretty close to ideal.

Here's the Emdashes post with the Packer quote.

Stephen Connolly said...

I read the Packer link. Yeh there're a bunch of archaic past tenses that persist in Arkansas and Texas,like drowneded.

I read Packer's Iraq book "The Assassin's Gate" before last Christmas. It's all you need to know on the subject. I only mention it because I've only managed to read one other book since. Having the three kids underfoot raises the ante.

JJB said...

Ooh, I've been wanting to get around to that one. I can see how kids might raise the ante. One upside to serial dysfunctional relationships--more reading time.

I think an ex of mine says drowneded--I've never been sure how that one kept its traction in her mind. The other one that drives me spare is "loose" for "lose." Some misspellings I can understand, but not that one.

Lazarus Long said...

...the expanse of vacuumed carpet, the odd reassurance of the cafeteria and its fixed-seat tables with raised edges, the whole enterprise heaving and shuddering like a fat lover. The diesel and creosote of the car deck. A cup of coffee and a magazine.

The only thing closer to experiencing a BC ferry would be to board one. That is one of the finest pieces of writing I've seen here yet. Kudos!

zp said...

I posted on Cassidy at my blog, and then, in answer to your prompt at Emdashes, left some links there. But maybe they got lost in the aether?

In a nutshell, "The thing I loved most was that while I was reading [Cassidy on hedge funds] I gained a pretty clear understanding of how the hedge fund simulator worked, though what a hedge fund was or how it worked remained shrouded in darkness."

Quite the paradox.

JJB said...

Glad you like it, LL—cheers.

ZP: I hope nothing of yours got lost. I'll check the back end of Emdashes—not, er, literally, of course.

zp said...

Block that Metaphor!

JJB said...

Ha. Perfect.