Thursday, May 25, 2006


I’ve just returned from a two-day jaunt to Saint John, New Brunswick.

That’s in Canada. And as one American Genius observed in the inter-terminal train in Atlanta this afternoon, “that’s north of here.” Hey, give this guy a slot on Jeopardy, eh?

Not just north, but east, too - enough so that it’s an hour ahead of Atlanta.

Seen from the air, it is an exceptionally green place. Even the highways are paved with a peculiar green asphalt. Wonder if it’s Minty Fresh.

It’s green because it’s springtime. During the winter, it’s mostly white. And cold. Fucking cold. You could freeze your stindeens off here, big time. It is said of Saint John in the winter:

It’s colder than the ice cubes in a glass.
It’s colder than the hair on a polar bear’s ass.
It’s colder than the nipple on a witch’s left tit.
It’s colder than a box full of penguin shit.
Man, it’s cold!

In the spring - at least, in late May, it’s pleasantly cool. Sweater weather. Unlike Atlanta, which is transitioning into the Torrid Season: Sweat weather.

Saint John bills itself as The Fundy City. Not because it is crawling with Religious Conservatives (in which case it would be The Fundie City), but because it sits by the Bay of Fundy, home to the largest natural tides on the planet.

This morning, as I was having breakfast, I had a view of the river, where a phenomenon unique to Saint John was taking place: the river was flowing in two directions at once, creating a bizarre whirlpool effect in the center of the river. It resembled nothing so much as a slowly flushing toilet, given the clots of foam and crud that were competing for space on the swirling waters with flocks of ducks.

It is a town of history, of old buildings. Of new buildings, too, all of which are emblazoned with the familiar National Motto: Tim Horton’s.

It is a town whose inhabitants are unfamiliar with Grits. “What’s that, some kind of oatmeal?”

It is a town free of cockroaches. My Bloggy Friend Lisa claims to have never seen a cockroach in her life. Not those little German cockroaches that infest the Northeastern U.S....and certainly not those humongous American roaches, AKA Palmetto Bugs, the sight of which makes strong men scream like little girls and soil themselves.

It is a town in a land in which the dollar coin is the “Loony” and the two-dollar coin, by extension, is the “Toony.” You can easily recognize the bimetallic Toony: it has the Queen in front and a bear behind.

It is a town with friendly people, good Indian food, and - maybe a little ways outside of town, anyway - great natural beauty. And I will be back in a few weeks to bust my chops for the Great Corporate Salt Mine...and to put the “Fun” in “Fundy.”

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