Monday, October 12, 2009

The Real Story of the Moose

I've been asked what's the real story with the moose? Your mom didn't really get out of the car and chase a moose, did she? It goes to show how well some of you know my mom that you think she could jump out of the car and do such a thing. (I haven't figured out how to import the photos and have the text go neatly underneath. This program wraps it all together, so the pacing is a little off. Sorry)

Here's the setting. We are in the car, a kind of worn out Toyota. The driver is Steve and I am in the front passenger seat. Mom, I will call her Riky for those of you not of her loins, is in the back seat and behind the driver. This is already a brave thing to do because Steve is simply spewing. He has a cold and it is hard and violent and about every two kilometres, he has a sneezing attack. The inside of the car is ladened with germs and boogers and assorted expulsions. I know... GROSS. But the poor man is driving, he is the only able driver and we are on the Cape Breton Trail. We are not sure he can actually see, his eyes are so swollen, so we figure ask no questions, know no fear.

The Cape Breton Trail during the autumn colours is quite splendid. There are trees every where (luckily not in the middle of the road except during les Souettes) and they are complying by being in perfect fall colours. Streams are doing a good job of trickling and burbling and the one time we all climbed out of the car to follow a nice stream side trail (with a box of kleenex and a handy garbage bag for you know who), the stream obliged by streaming along.

We stopped at two fabulous look offs, one that was along a pebbly/rocky/bouldery beach that looked off towards Jamaica. Maybe Barbados, its hard to tell those islands apart in the distance.

These two look offs weren't tricky to look out of from, one gets out of the car, closes the door and stands there, murmuring words of admiration .

or possibly words of “do you think there is a bathroom coming up soon?” Either will do

We are at the spot where the road winds back and we have gone as far as the trail (don't kid yourselves, it is a highway) can go without taking a side trail (secondary road) and poor Steve is almost under the steering wheel. Mom is bravely sitting behind Steve and I am resignedly handing the second box of kleenex to Steve.

Now there is one thing you have to know about Riky. Sometimes she spells her name Riki and I can't ever remember which is the one she prefers. Maybe it is Ricky? More importantly, she is deaf in one of her ears. This is another tricky thing about Riky. She has never revealed which ear is the deaf one. This is why we call her Tricky Ricky. As you walk along with her, she has been known to leap in front of you, spin in a half circle and come along on your other side. First she is here and then she is there. Politely, we don't make mention of this peculiar habit but we always wonder, “am I talking into her good ear now or is she tired of the conversation and has switched to her deaf ear so she can ignore me?”... Tricky, that Ricky.

Riky pipes up from the back seat and says, “It would be nice to see a moose.” There is silence from the front seat. I am wondering how to organize a moose and Steve is thinking “I wisch people would thud up.” Riky has been known to be greeted by groans at the local Bingo Game because every time she attends, she wins the jack pot. There she is known as Lucky Riky. And lo... she has spoken... out pops a moose.

“oo...Oo...OO” says Riki.”Stop the car!” Steve is disinclined to stop the car, it is a highway with bendy, curvey turns all over the place and traffic is kind of mad. Other drivers seem pretty certain there is a nicer fall coloured tree just up ahead and zoom along, whereas we have figured that most of the trees are either red, orange, yellow or green and it ain't gonna change much in the next hour. Stopping seems kind of grumpy or obstructive to other drivers. But Riky raps on Steve's head and says “I said stop the car.” so he slows down a bit and says “Roll down your window Laureen, and take a picsure.” I roll down my window and try to comply but that moose has other ideas.

Here he is, trying to run along a nice stretch of road, maybe race a few cars before dinner and this mad driver is going too slow. He turns to us and sort of kicks up his head as if to say, (imagine a deep voice here), “Come on, I'll race you.” Well... Ricky unbuckles her seat belt, slides over to the other side of the car and LEAPS out. “THIT” Steve screams, since the car hasn't stopped yet. The moose is some startled so he bounds down the gully and into the woods. Poor Riky shouts, “Come back here, you moose, I didn't get a picture.” and doesn't the moose bound back up the gully. I try to take a picture but am uncertain if it is any good, so mom grabs the camera and says, “Stand still moose.” You guessed it, the moose stands still and she takes another one. She tosses the camera back in the window and stands there on the side of the road, arms on her hips and says, “Now let's see how fast you can run.” And off she trots, up the road and comes abreast of the moose, who is looking rather surprised. “On your mark, get set”... and she cheats and takes off. The moose gets a glint in his eye and stamps his foot and says (voice a little higher here with surprise) “I'm not losing a race to a CFA (come from away) shorty Oma.” and off he trots. Except, she is trotting faster than he is. The moose has to put on some gas to catch up (Riki is ahead, behind the road sign so you can't see her)

and then the two of them are neck and neck for the next mile or so. It isn't until a hill commences that the moose begins to pull ahead. Riky, not to be outdone by a moose decides it is time to stop and shouts out “HA, I won!” and the moose's shoulders slump and he slithers back down the gully and into the woods.

Steve has meanwhile been driving along behind the pair of racers and has the emergency lights flashing so the drivers behind us won't pass and kill the two mad dashers. “What ith the matter with that woman?” he shouts at me. I hand him another kleenex because it has been two miles and more sneezing is expected. Yup he sneezes and veers all over the place.

The moose is gone and mom is on the side of the road, breathing lightly. Steve pulls alongside and in the back seat climbs Riki. She sits behind me, and I figure her deaf ear must be on the left side because that is the ear facing Steve who has a few things to say about racing moose, none of it intelligeable. Its not that we are ignoring him, we just can't figure out what the hell all those “th's and sh's and sch's” mean. Thankfully, another two mile signpost comes along and he starts sneezing again. Poor man, he really was sick during that drive and he was a trooper, driving us over that entire trail.

Many of you know that before I was able to marry Steve, I had to promise on all kinds of sacred objects that I wouldn't tell any more lies. Except for Christmas presents, I agreed. I can exaggerate all I like and I usually exaggerate so much, there is no confusion between the truth and the exaggeration. This story contains one eensy weensy lie, it is about half a paragraph long. And, there is hardly any exaggeration either.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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