CANADA—It’s late autumn in Canada and something sinister is afoot. Temperatures are dropping and soon a new season will be upon us.
“I can’t believe this is happening again!” lamented Winnipeg resident Christie Olsen. “I finally put my boots away last week! This is just the worst.”
Environment Canada is calling for chillier temperatures, frost and at least one storm that will make every Haligonian yearn for a week in Florida. “From roughly the end of October until early April, most Canadians will experience the urge to flee an unforgiving environment,” said senior meteorologist Dave Phillips. “Although this weather is cyclical, people seem surprised by it every year.”
I’d rather sell Chiclets in Mexico than endure another winter in Saskatchewan.
~ Chris Druin
Many Canadians, while not exactly embracing winter, have come to terms with its harsh reality. Anthropologist Dean Worthington, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, explains how this grudging acceptance manifests. “Sometimes in August, you’ll see a snow shovel leaning against the side of a garage. Or you may have neighbours who leave their Christmas lights up year-round. These people are acknowledging that sooner or later, winter will return. And they do what they can to avoid digging through the basement after the first snowfall or falling off an icy roof. These are signs of both compliance and defeat – something we call seasonal actualization.”
Although weather during this stretch varies greatly throughout the country, it’s generally agreed that it sucks. Vancouverites can expect nearly constant rainfall and the kind of cold that’s hard to shake. In the Northwest Territories, the average temperature in December is -19 Celsius. On the prairies, rural families risk death from exposure when retrieving the mail. Down east, Maritimers will have their faces rubbed raw by a fierce wind that blows hats, newspapers and small animals down the street. Add to all that skies that darken long before the workday is over, and you have a nationwide need to hibernate.
“After last winter, I decided enough was enough,” said Chris Druin as he packed his car. “I’m donating my wool socks and Cowichan sweaters to charity and heading south. I’d rather sell Chiclets in Mexico than endure another winter in Saskatchewan.” As coats grow puffier and hairstyles are sacrificed to the warmest hat available, steadfast northerners everywhere take on the hunched shoulders and shuffling gait of cold weather zombies. Take heed, Canada: winter is coming.