Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (and Whimsy)

Posted on April 13, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with no comments yet

No five hour lineups at Mary Brown’s Chicken


“It’s the end of the world as we know it,

It’s the end of the world as we know it,

It’s the end of the world as we know it,

And I feel fine.”

End of the World – Great Big Sea

It’s the end of the world and I don’t feel fine. With all due respect to that wonderful Newfoundland band, Great Big Sea, I’m not so optimistic about the end of the world. But is sure feels like it’s coming. Fear not. This is not a doomsday piece, but recent events have given me cause to ponder the end of civilization as we know it.

Absurdity: The quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable.

There are many things that I just can’t get my head around. Like so many others, I am watching innocent people being slaughtered in Ukraine. Sadly, this is nothing new. Man’s inhumanity to man has been on display for centuries but watching it in real time, is hard to fathom.

Almost daily, we are witnessing wildfires, floods, and hurricanes of biblical proportions. Climate change deniers would have you believe that this is simply Mother Nature doing her thing.

While these things are a threat to humanity, nothing can match my concern about the human condition than recent behaviour at the official opening of a fast-food restaurant in Halifax.

Mouth- watering crunch and juicy fried chicken bursting with Louisiana flavor.

Tell me. In all honesty, would this description of a fast-food item cause you to get in your car and drive to the newly opened Popeye’s franchise in Halifax and have your car idle for 5 hours, waiting to get an 8-piece box of fried chicken? Oh, merciful god, please spare me. Psychiatrists must be having a field day. Margaret Mead, the noted cultural anthropologist, would be licking her chops (or Popeye’s chicken legs) trying to explain this seemingly (?) rash behaviour. With the ever-escalating price of gasoline, the person who spent 5 precious hours of their lives queueing up to grab a box of nuggets, might have eaten one of the most expensive fast-food meals in the history of mankind.

I realize that gas is very expensive these days and I don’t want a convoy of angry truckers lined up outside my apartment, blaring their horns because of my insensitivity. In more normal times, gas prices fluctuate a few pennies a liter. When I think about absurdity, I often ponder lineups at gas pumps when word leaks out that the price of gas will be going up by say, three cents a liter. People will line up (with their vehicles idling) to save maybe a buck on a tank of gas. If you drive a Hummer, it would be considerably more.

Why are humans prepared to line up for an eternity to get something that is precious? Those of you old enough will remember the pandemonium around Cabbage Patch Dolls in 1982. This “must have” Christmas item created a frenzy like no other. People suffered broken bones while jostling to get into department stores when word got out that the store had received 6 new dolls. The laws of supply and demand writ large.

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” John 8:7

I am the first to admit that I will line up at The Wheel Pizza and Sub Shop on a Friday at supper hour to pick up a slice of pizza but that usually only takes a few minutes.

Let me give you another example of absurd behavior.

Last week, The Masters golf tournament was on television. It is my favourite televised sporting event and every year, my loved ones know that, barring a tsunami down at The Landing, I will be perched in front of my television for 4 days. It’s bad enough that I watched about 24 hours (4×6) of coverage, but it was my behaviour that would give Margaret Mead nightmares. Let’s just say I’m passionate when it comes to certain sporting events, especially The Masters. Luckily my behaviour is generally not witnessed by sensible people. When things start to get tense, I start yelling at the T.V. Like curlers who yell “hurry hard”, I may yell “stop” as a putt trickles off the green into a water hazard. Imagine. A 70-year-old man screaming at his television asking the golfing gods to change the trajectory of a single golf shot. My neighbour, who lives above me, must wonder if I am in mortal danger or if I have finally gone off the deep end.

I will let you, dear readers, decide whether or not lining up for fried chicken for 5 hours is any more ridiculous (absurd) than watching 24 hours of golf… while yelling at the screen.

Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

P.S. As part of my exhaustive research for this piece, I went to Mary Brown’s Chicken at the Bayside Centre in Afton. Mary Brown’s Chicken is an Atlantic Canadian delicacy. To steal a line from the Colonel, “it’s finger licking good”. There were no five- hour lineups. The staff was remarkably friendly, and the chicken, taters and coleslaw were delicious.

P.P.S. Absurdity #3. According to a U.S. source, Nova Scotia has the highest per capita Covid positivity rate in North America. We’re averaging about 1,000 new cases daily. Which is why it is a headscratcher when you watch the province roll out an advertising campaign encouraging Nova Scotians to “get back out there”. Really? Very strange (pun intended) messaging.


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