Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas in Newfoundland

I'm not ashamed. I LOVE Christmas. I love (almost) everything about it. The songs, finding the perfect present, the baking, the socializing, the sentimental movies, the anticipation, the chill, the lights, the wonder, the big guy in the red suit, and most of all, my family.

And because they're over there *points to the other side of the country* and I'm over here *places finger on the west side of the Canadian map*, I also miss them most at this time of year. Because they love Christmas (almost) as much as I do.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to share an exchange I had with my family last year when Mister Man and I were getting ready to board a plane bound for St. John's, Newfoundland.

It all started with a poem my brother wrote, in which he adapted "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and personalized it. Mister Man and I both responded.

Paully's poem
'Twas the weekend before Christmas
And all through the house
Every creature was stirring
Even the mouse
The dustballs were flying
The cookies not there
Exams piled up on the floor everywhere
Then through the mad clutter
Emerged Paul and Michele
Cleaning and baking, a domestic hell
The exams were corrected, but Christmas so near
Teri and Brian, so soon would be here.
But even if the house remains a mess,
we hope Teri and Brian won't think us less.
For Christmas and family are meant to be near,
we really look forward to having you here.

Mine was less than inspiring, but Mister Man's took the cake. The only thing you need to know before embarking on this poem, is that our plane was scheduled to land around midnight on Christmas eve. Newfoundland is notorious for planes not landing due to "inclement weather". It's not uncommon to be coming in for a landing in St. John's and have the pilot turn the plane around and land somewhere else! And of course, last year marked the biggest snowfall Vancouver had ever seen, with flights being cancelled left, right and centre. I've linked all of you "non-Newfoundlanders" to things that might explain some of the strange phrases below!

Mister Man's poem
'Twas just moments before Christmas
and all through the plane,
were giving in to the strain.

The coming landing, they said
might put stress on your heart,
I wonder if we might have
one more round from the booze cart?

With carry on bags stored safely overhead,
the checked bags, missus told us
were routed to Frankfurt instead.

When from the cabin speaker, there arose such a clatter,
I pressed pause on Snook's Christmas, to hear what was the matter.
"The runway" missus said, was covered in snow,
and buddy who cleaned it, well, his plow was some slow.

A better site they say, would surely be found.
Buddy driving the plane said
"how's a nice trip to Goose Bay sound?"

When up from the ground, shining up kinda bright,
buddy on the snow plow
had aimed up his 4X4 lights.

The pilot said "folks, hang on, I gonna give 'er"
and he pitched the plane down
giving us all a good shiver.

With a flash of light, and thump from the tires
we were either going to land,
or succumb to jet fuel fires.

When missus and I found ourselves on the ground,
"I wonders if Paully and Michele
are somewhere around?"

We spoke not a word,
as we watched for our bags
none were to be found,
is this the last snag?

Air Canada said "perhaps soon, perhaps next week",
"Who knows?" they said, just wait and see.
"One more thing sir", sign here "there is a $45 bag finding fee".

I sprang to the counter and flipped buddy the bird,and out flew the curses, every single nasty word,
And they heard me exclaim, as the cops hauled me away,
"Screw you Air Canada, next time I'll drive the whole way".

After this ensued the BlackBerry limerick contest and then the haiku-off, which I'll share tomorrow, in which texts were written via thumb pad and sent over the course of a few days. Michele kindly put all poems and haikus in a single photocopied volume for me called "A Torbay Christmas, December 2008.

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