A 20/20 Perspective, Or What’s Happened Since We Thought The World Could End

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

If I have ever written a column that I didn’t know where it was going to end up, it is this one. (‘Oh really’ I hear you say, ‘I thought that was all of them.’) I had actually started a harangue about The Donald’s gentlemanly exit from the disastrous world of American politics until it occurred to me he still has the power to carpet-bomb Orillia and wouldn’t think twice about it. What a mess the Americans have made of democracy. History will not be kind to them. But let’s not get into that, or even worse, the pandemic.

I’m sure the news media will have mentioned a hundred times over the past few days that exactly 20 years ago we were all worried about what would happen when the clock struck twelve on Y2K. Would computers shut everything down, would the world come to an end, would Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston ever get back together, or would it be just business as usual with most of us nursing hangovers on the First of January and swearing never do that again? I mean, tequila shots and beer chasers, come on.

Did you think about that this New Year’s Eve? My epistle the following Tuesday started with ‘If you are reading this column I have to assume that the world didn’t come to an end last Friday at midnight. Of course it may well be that just you and I survived and everyone else is just so much radioactive space dust.’

Why I was thinking about that at 3 in the morning I have no idea, but I was and I took it much farther, I began to think of all the changes that have happened here in Canada and in the States over the past twenty years.

Bill Clinton was the President of the United States. I don’t know if you remember him but he was known for bringing joy into the lives of half the women from Maine to California and for making cigars popular once again.

Up here in God’s country, Jean Chretien was our Prime Minister and will long be remembered for putting a choke-hold on a protester teaching us all that you don’t screw around with Canadian politicians.

In 2000 I had not become the near-professional status golfer that I am now. I birdied a hole at Lake St. George Golf and Country Club in 1993 and almost got another one in 2014 but I was so excited I missed the hole by 12 feet. So close, but yet so far.

I am going to cheat a bit and reprint part of the column I came across from January 4, 2001, not so much because I am lazy, well I am, but I liked it. I don’t know if you will remember but there was some weird stuff going on in the Sunshine City at the time.

I had hoped that 1999 would have ended with the news that Orillians had finally moved into the 19th century and stopped believing in miracle cures like mayonnaise head rubs for falling hair and applesauce enemas for the relief of hemorrhoids. But alas I heard on Jack and Heather’s morning show that our citizens are now buying up cases of Bag Balm to keep their skin young and wrinkle-free.

In case you missed the show, Bag Balm is a cream that dairy persons rub on cows’ udders to keep them from drying out or exploding or something. Most of us city folks know zilch about raising cattle and the little problems that Elsie faces each day just to supply us with cream for our coffee. Very few of us even know where the udders are, let alone worry whether they dry up and fall off. Granted some of us have rural beginnings and like to keep a hand in. Some still keep salt blocks beside the table for the occasional lick whenever the wife’s lasagna tastes a little flat.  But for the most part we are blissfully unaware of the perils of the dairy industry and rarely are we seen lined up at the Co-Op for the Annual Boxing Day Udder Cream Sale.

This year it’s different however. The word got out that Shania Twain rubs the stuff on her skin to keep it soft and beautiful – especially around her belly button which seems to be showing most of the time. The strangest thing about this latest miracle cream is the stuff actually works. Eileen McGarvey and I have been rubbing it on Pete for several weeks now and he’s beginning to look like a Twain. Unfortunately he’s now the spitting image of Mark, not Shania. Nevertheless we’ll keep on rubbing – anything will be better than what we started out with.  So far he’s showing very few side effects, except for the horns and the unusually large number of flies that seem to follow him around. It doesn’t seem to bother him though. He just swishes his tail and they fly off to Jay Cody’s house. Jay has been using horse liniment to cure his rheumatism. From what I hear the liniment not only has cured his aches and pains, but has also solved his receding hairline problem. He now combs his mane over it.

Alas Pete and Jay have both gone, so has my wife, Sharon, my Mom and Dad, Ken and Millie Brown, Wilf Arnold, Paul Orser…  too  many friends and family to even begin to mention and I miss them all. In many ways it has been a tough twenty years for all of us, but we survived and will continue to survive and be happy once again. As my good friend, the late Dave Broadfoot, used to say, “All we can do is carry on carrying on.”

I almost forgot, Happy New Year!

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