A Touch of Frost

November 4, 2009


When I saw my Dad and The Mushroom laden with bags on their return from Saskatoon, my spirits soared. Surely there would be a bit of catnip for me? No. There were, instead, nine bags of toys for The Baby, all of which, it would appear, require batteries and make a lot of noise when anyone goes within a three foot radius of them. This is unfortunate when one lives in a small ‘basement suite’ with three humans and a cat. One bright orange contraption thus announces that it is a ‘Little Tow Truck! Going round a corner! Honk honk! Watch out! I’m on my way!’ seemingly all day long. Turn it off, Mushroom. TURN. IT. OFF. I have never known anything or anyone enjoy their work as much as this frigging Tow Truck. ‘Here Come The Cars!’, it cries. ‘I’m a Little Tow Truck!’. We know. WE KNOW.

There’s also a train/lorry type contraption which I and, it would appear, The Mushroom – who presumably bought it – were somewhat confused by.

“She loves her fire engine, doesn’t she?”, asked The Mushroom as The Baby clambered onto this thing.

“She doesn’t have a fire engine, sweetness.” my Dad replied.

They both watched The Baby ride around on the ‘fire engine’.

“What the frig is that thing, then?”

‘Roll up, roll up!’ the thing shouted in an unfeasibly excited American accented voice.

“I don’t know.”, answered my Dad. “But I think it has something to do with a circus. It has a lion on it. That’s my best guess.”

The Baby loves it. She has spent the last few days running around the ‘basement suite’ pressing buttons and riding her Circus thing with a maniacal grin plastered on her face, to the sound track of, ‘I’m a little tow truck!’ ‘Roll up, roll up!’ ‘Honk honk!’ ‘Number 3!’ ‘Red!’ ‘Blue!’ ‘Roll up, roll up!’ ‘I’m a little tow truck, going round a corner…’ Can you imagine what this is like for me? It is beyond all experience. Come on, people. Her birthday was days ago. She’s got to play with them all for a good while, so put them away until next year and let her loose on the cupboards again.

I have a feeling, however, that the cupboards are a thing of yesterday, of a simpler time, of an age before the tow truck.

I am also far too traumatized by the cacophony of noise and American accents to even think about going on Wikipedia and finding out what in the name of arse a ‘tow truck’ is.

However, I did manage to pop onto Wikipedia the other day to find out what this is: ‘Curling’. I needed to find out, because The Mushroom came back from the daily excitement of her trip to the Post Office to inform my Dad that some woman had invited her to join her ‘curling team’, and this piece of information caused my Dad to have some sort of fit which caused his tea to come out of his nose.

According to Wikipedia, in ‘Curling’: ‘Teams take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones down a carefully prepared ice rink towards the target (called the house). Two sweepers with brooms accompany each rock and use timing, equipment and their best judgment, along with direction from their teammates, to help direct the stones to their final position.’

You what? WHAT? Who thought of that? Under what circumstances did this sport evolve?

‘Right’, says Fictional Canadian From Olden Times, ‘I want that stone, over there. Hmm. I could just pick it up. But it’s a bit icy. I could fall and dent my bonnet. Oh well. I’ll just, erm, use this broom to sweep this, I don’t know, dust from the ice outside my hut/log cabin. Oooh! The sweeping of the ice makes the stone move! Maude? MAUDE! Come look at this sport I’ve just invented! It’s much better than that ski-ing shit you were wittering on about!’

In other news, the neighbours, Band Man and Enthusiastic Teacher, have moved in upstairs. I have yet to meet the accompanying dog but I have been reliably informed that the dog is from an easily frightened breed, so I’m not too worried. I am, however, getting increasingly worried about the Winter.

‘So, how cold does it get in the UK?’, asked Enthusiastic Teacher of The Mushroom as he collected his key which had been in her safekeeping.

“The coldest I ever remember it being is -7. That was frigging cold.”

Enthusiastic Teacher looked at her with a combination of confusion and pity.

“You know it gets a lot colder than that here, don’t you?”, he asked, “Like, by another forty degrees or so?”

“Yes, yes, I know,” answered The Mushroom, somewhat flippantly. There was a pause. “So, erm, what does -47 , you know, actually feel like?”

“It hurts.”, replied Enthusiastic Teacher.

“Could I go out for a walk?”

“No.”

“No?”

“No. Your skin would freeze off. In minutes.”

“So I couldn’t go out to play in the snow?”

“We get several feet of snow”, he answered, “So even if it wasn’t so cold that you’d lose your nose, you would get lost in it. So, er, no. Not really.”

“Oh.”

Oh. So, to summarize, in about six weeks, the snow will come and we won’t be able to see out of the windows, and we won’t be able to go out cos it will be too cold. Excellent.

Curling, anyone?

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