Alright, so after a ridiculous absense, I decided it’s time to get back at this word-crafting thing.  Let’s blame my Grad School program for stunting my creative juices & energies (not to mention wearing down my eyes to the point where any unnecessary screen time is a luxury I can’t afford); it’s true what they say about academic writing being the plague on creative writing.

Gather ’round, kids, for you’re about to hear a tale of wonderment, mystifydom, and magicality…

‘Twas the winter of 2010, in the far-away land they called “Canada.”  Canada was a quaint place, known for its humble and polite people, fair women, strong drink, and a fanatical obsession for a sport played on ice with sticks, in which the sportsmen (and women!) chased after a small disc made from the drippings of the rubber tree.  Seriously!  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, kids…

In this noble land ’twas a village they called Vancouver, which was selected to host an international sporting event they called “the Olympics,” in which men and women alike from all lands converged on a single place for two weeks of sportsmanship, cameraderie, and much partaking of the aforementioned strong drink. 

The festival was launched by the land’s proudest son, Wayne Gretzky, being lauded through the streets unannounced(and, in a show of the classy nature of these peoples, military force was used at a minimum to control the masses, who in kind chose not to abuse the privilege of seeing their hero)…

Now, the kings of this town, and the lords of the festival were a mean and cruel bunch, and decided to charge a king’s ransom to the people for the privilege of watching these sporting contests.  Many fortunes were made and lost for the privilege of watching the chasing of that rubber disc, and of watching others propel themselves down a snow-covered hill (on purpose!).  It was a great honor and privilege to enjoy these games in person…an honor I, myself, was given.

The details of how these tickets were acquired is not important for the telling of this tale, but, one sunny day in February, myself and the husband of my sister found ourselves on a raised train, speeding towards an ice patch to watch two groups of hearty women engage in a contest to see who could knock the rubber tree drippings into a cloth net the most times in an hour.  These women came from China, a faraway land known as a purveyor of low-quality plastic goods, and Slovakia, a country which, apparently, exists…

By good fortune, our seats were right on the edge of the playing surface, and we quickly enjoyed some of the best competition we had ever laid eyes upon in any sporting contest.  The tally went back and forth for 40 minutes, coupled with much high-paced action and raucous celebratory dances from the crowd:

In the end, the team from China was victorious, and a fine celebration was had by all.  This day was topped off by a journey to the celebratory cauldron of fire placed on the outskirts of the village, for all commoners to see (free of charge!).

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Hey, kids, sit back down!  Our story is only mostly over.  Later in the festival came a grand showdown between this noble land of Canada and it’s brash, wealthy neighboring land, the United States, a proud land known for its overindulgences in pretty much everything, and for its unnecessarily large motor vehicles.  This showdown occurred in no other sport than the rubber-tree-drippings pursuit on ice, a sport which Canada claimed sole ownership over:

…under regular circumstances, this proud stance would have gone unnoticed.  But, in the course of this festival, the people of Canada had begun to exhibit a certain swagger, perhaps arrogance, about them, previously seen only in the peoples of the United States.  And, I must say, it did not flatter them.  You see, Canada was a land known for its gracious good nature, while the United States was known for having 75% of the world’s laywers.  So, as the great showdown approached, a war of words was launched by the peoples of Canada…

…one, though understandable, caused the peoples of Canada to temporarily step out of character and closer towards the dark arrogance generally only exhibited by the U.S. peoples.  In this time, I decided that, though my heart desired the Canadian people to attain their precious prize of gold for this contest, my mind knew that those peoples would become unbearable over the following four years should they be victorious: it was then that I decided the United States MUST win the contest, if for nothing else than to set the natural order of the universe back into place.

On the day of the great game, I was privileged to enjoy the finest such event I had ever seen to that point, and perhaps since.  Many songs and tales have been written about the heriocs contained within, but among the most notable moments was when the U.S. team scored a point with mere seconds remaining in the contest, forcing an extended session in which the first point scored would determine the victor.  At that moment, the peoples of Canada experienced the only thing the peoples of  the U.S. really wanted from the game: fear.  The U.S.’ peoples had more trophies from more victories than they could count, but their greatest prize was in maintaining their perch upon the nations of the world. 

In the end, the peoples of Canada had their victory, and their grand celebration…

…but all sides had gained a mutual respect for one another.  And a new age of peace between the lands was ushered into being…

That’s my story, kids; you can go play Wii now.  Or do I see your hand raised to share your own tales?

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