It comes out of the night. Especially the night before it’s December 10, 2015 and you’re due to buy a Christmas tree.  And you wonder. Hopefully, it’ll go okay.

Remember when scholars of the Queen’s English derided “hopefully”? As a way of vocalizing and expressing the idea of hope?  That it wasn’t good enough?  It wasn’t British?  That the proper way of speaking is, “It is to be hoped”?  Remember?  Let’s forget it then.  But “hopefully” has made huge strides in the last several decades.  It means what it says.

DSCN3570Nobody’s tried to contact us about this.  We’re here.  Go ahead.  It’s when ‘you’re struggling in the moment’ that clichés ‘come home to roost’.

4:25 pm.  Lord Byng’s not a bad lord.  From what we see from the “Staff Parking Lot Do Not Enter”.  We ignore that forbidding sign and drive right in.  All you teachers, we don’t much care about your rules.  We’re here to obtain a Christmas tree.  Hopefully.

I was looking up at the great edifice of Lord Byng high school.  It’s been here a long time.  A fine gentleman, a couple of them, actually, that I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing and who have died, but they were very old, attended Lord Byng in the 1930s.  Exact same school in the exact same place.DSCN3573Their lives are forfeit and their skins are stuffed but if that was your sailing ship and if that was your grizzly bear you might revise your opinion of taxidermy, mister.

The taxidermy shop is gone and so is the taxidermist.  For years, years ago, I remember driving past the place.  It used to be right across the street from “Central Park”.  I never knew either why they called it “Central Park”.  Central to what?  The park’s on the extreme keening edge of the western extremity of the City of Burnaby.  A lot of things make no sense.

The students attending the Christmas tree lot were friendly and helpful.  They were professional, but not professional students.  They were the real thing.  One fine young gentleman packed our preferred, usual, semi-scrawny selection to the trunk of our vehicle.  Big trunk and with one of the back seats down it disappeared right in there and we dropped the trunk-lid with a satisfying ka-thunk.

DSCN3578Don’t just walk away, Renée.  It’s taxidermy time.  Lost Sunday.  It’s dead.  Not interested.  Or something poignant, something out of Satie.  Mystery moments.

Author: Steven Brown


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