Sunday, April 6, 2014

One Very Good Reason for Inventing An Answering Machine for the Front Door


Well (whew), I’m finally out of jail, and it wasn’t too bad an experience. I learned several things I didn’t know. Like, there’s no end of ants in your typical jail. Just put a little meat pie on the floor and stand back. 

Since I’ve been out of the slammer, I’ve kept a low profile. And stayed in the house. You can’t get into trouble if you stay in your house, right?

Unless, of course, you get an email from the "Manitoba Minister of Tourism". For those of you not familiar with the Great Manitoba Controversy, it is this: For some diabolical reason, the Government of Saskatchewan maintains a public relations office in Thunder Bay (Ontario) for the purpose of furthering the illusion that there is, in fact, a Canadian province called Manitoba.

They have even gone so far as to finagle the road system just west of Kenora so that you run into a sign that says "Welcome to Manitoba", leading the unwary traveler to assume that he is now driving in "Manitoba". In truth, he is heading north into a maze of roads and small dummy towns with suspicious sounding names, such as "Ashtray", "Doormat", "Natural Moisturizing Ingredients", and "Winnipeg".

This last "city" is, in reality a post office, a railroad station (tracks not included), a gas station, and five ramshackle houses inhabited -- during daylight hours only -- by employees of the "Manitoba Tourist Office", who drive several hours each day from Kenora to wave at tourists as they pass by and to sell them Manitoba blankets.

After several years of investigation, I have discovered that this diabolical scheme has been masterminded by an occult group composed mostly of disgruntled former members of the Flat Earth Society. You know these guys. Their mission statement is that the earth is a large flat pancake made of congealed lard resting on a giant turtle, and that the illusion (foisted on us by airline pilots and astronauts) that the world is round is caused by distortion from thick aircraft windows. This same effect makes Saskatchewan look as if it has hills.

Sorry. There's someone knocking at the door. It must be my landlady, Mrs. Smallmouthbass, coming for the rent. (Sound of walking feet.)

"Yes? ... No, I'm sorry, I don't want any...Well, you look really ridiculous in that outfit, too...And don't come back again!" (Sound of door slamming. Sound of walking feet.)

Dang! That's the third NHL hockey player this week selling Girl Scout cookies. Now where was I? Oh, yes. Manitoba.

So what could possibly be the motive for setting up this bogus Manitoba? Well, Duh.... To make Saskatchewan look good (anyone who has actually been to Saskatchewan will know what I mean). That and to work up a heightened state of apathy about the Province of Ontario, touristwise. They've even gone so far as to monitor web traffic...

Damn! There's the door again.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that it's the Nonexistent-Manitoba Blog Police, and if I open that door, the "Manitoba Minister of Tourism" will be standing there, with a huge portable wormhole ready to suck me into the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

That's what they'd like you to believe. We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

(Sound of walking feet. Sound of opening door. Sound of huge portable wormhole sucking aardvark wearing a chicken suit into the furthest reaches of space.)

(What seems like an eternity of silence follows.)

(Followed by a small, balding man in a plaid suit selling parentheses.)