This morning, just as I was emerging from my morning yoga session, I was surprised to see Max (my neighbour’s son), huffing and puffing and coming in my rear entrance, a bundle of excited youthful anticipation. He was hurrying up the garden path, as I pulled up my yoga pants, and adjusted my hair.
Sebastian, my personal trainer, was as surprised as I was myself. He likes to come early to stretch me, as I’m sure my regular members are aware.
“Fiona,” said Max, bursting into my kitchen. “Can I take a look at your beaver?”
As you probably know, yesterday was Canada Day. It’s a tradition in Huckleberry Close, to come over to my house on Canada Day, and look at my beaver – a beautiful piece of taxidermy – the centrepiece of the Canada Day party I always throw on the Canada Day Weekend, to celebrate us throwing off the shackles of oppressive colonialism before Canada declared itself free of tyrannical rule from London. Actually, that’s not really true. We just all sort of agreed that we’d have a new flag and continue to be the friends we’ve always been. No one was being either tyrannical or oppressive, but it’s a good excuse for a party. And the centre piece of the party is my beaver, a stuffed animal that has become something of a mascot over the years. It’s traditional for us to enjoy some lovely Canadian Wines, from British Columbia (a place that is neither British nor Columbian), swap hockey stories and talk about Zamboni’s while apologizing to one another. We all eat poutine and make fun of people we love from Newfoundland, and generally act in an understated but quietly superior way, while listening to The Tragically Hip, 54 40, Five Man Electrical Band, Rush and many other great Canadian bands.
I told Max, “Darling, calm down. My beaver is open to everyone, just give me a moment to prepare it! You’ll get your turn. Just don’t get too excited. It’s Canada Day, you’ll have to pace yourself.”
We have so many wonderful traditions in Canada. Being Canadian means so many wonderful things to all the peoples of our country. We love our diversity, our first nations people and our democracy, which we value enough to protect.
If Max gets over excited, of course, it will be over before it’s really started. It can happen to us all. I handed him a pot of maple syrup and suggested he put it out on the garden table while I went down to get the noble beast, and then he could examine my beaver to his hearts content.
This year’s wine of choice is Quill, a distinctive Rose from Vancouver Island, which is quite delightful and goes rather well with the short skirt I’m wearing. It’s light, a little cheeky and subtly stimulating. The wine’s not bad either. I know we’ll be toasting Sylvester, who has decided to commit to a course learning to drive a Zamboni at the local hockey arena. I must get things ready for the party shortly, so this will be a short email.
It may come as a surprise to some of you, but Marjory (my delightful lesbian neighbor) got her hand stuck in my beaver recently while trying to replace some of the stuffing. She was wedged right in there! I know what you’re thinking, what was she of all people doing, jammed up there? Well, she does fancy herself as something of an amateur taxidermist. Strange woman. She’s from Alaska, you know. Eventually we got her hand out, but ever since she’s been acting most strangely. She’s said on more than one occasion that she wishes her hands were a little smaller. I can’t think why! It’s almost as though she’s never heard of lube. I understand it softens the skin nicely and taxidermists swear by it.
I hurried down to the basement and found my beaver, then carried it up to my garden table, already bathed in warm summer sunshine. In the sunlight I could see it has begun to look a little tired. I suppose one can not be surprised. After all, my beaver has been fingered by many over the passing years. And yet, surprisingly it continues to put a contented smile on many of my friends faces. However, I do believe a beaver should be well groomed and well presented. I will speak to my local taxidermist and have him restuff it later this month.
With this in mind I resolved to make a Canada Day offer to all my friends and members. Anyone who emails me with the words in the subject line “Fiona, I’ll stuff your beaver!” before the end of Canada Day weekend, July 3rd, can have a free membership to My Little Black Book. This is worth $2.95 a month for crossdressing gurls, and $4.95 a month to Admirers. So, get your digits moving and I can help get some more members in there.
Have a wonderful Canada day weekend.