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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

A blister from the sun

BY Sonny Orr Apr 19, 2024

I phoned my brother to give him some sad news about myself. I admitted that I’ve been sick and needed to let him know. His bravely solemn tone indicated that this wasn’t what he was expecting to hear from me. He wanted to know what was wrong and I stated rather seriously that I had goose fever. 

His face contorted a bit and his sadness changed to a “hey you got me” grin in a flash and he knew that he had to make a comeback. He said that he was already planning my funeral when he first heard what I said. With a loud voice I declared “April Fools”, and I could see that it bothered him to admit that I got him good.

Aside from a belated April Fools’ joke, which was funny even though the victim thought about me as an ailing man on the verge of death, it was a good laugh between siblings. For a moment, I thought I should have shared my news with him on April 1. But then he would have seen right through my lie and wouldn’t have been caught off guard. So, timing did matter for this joke, unexpected and thoroughly believable enough to make it laughable for at least an hour.

Then Mother Nature played a joke on everyone in the south by raining and letting the raindrops freeze all over the power lines and trees, enough to cause our country’s capital to nearly shut down. This happened during a regional hockey tournament, where nearly all of the players come from the North. The bad weather didn’t do much to stop the Crees who considered this just a slight glitch in the weather network and played on. 

Meanwhile, up north, the weather was really warm, and sunshine lit up the snow until it sparkled so bright that the sun couldn’t compete with its own brilliance. Time to pull out the ultraviolet Ray-Bans and place them on your nose to protect those irises from frying out and blinding yourself. 

Now, the sun and the moon had some trickery up their celestial sleeves and produced a well-received solar eclipse, which promised madness amongst the masses if they were citizens of centuries past. Today, the solar eclipse elicited some fears on social media. This was to be expected, as the attention span for your average reader is about as long as a flip of the finger on your device. 

No one had enough time to amass the people and jump off cliffs like lemmings in an old Disney production just because it was the end of the world. Fortunately, the eclipse only blinded several million people and disappointed a few others who thought they could get a concentrated ray of light that would speed up their tanning process. But that only worked for the flat earthers, and no one really noticed them burn up in flames.

I, unfortunately, was a bit too far north to notice anything different, noting that if the skies weren’t so clear, the slight dimming was less than what a cloud would produce. So, I was part of the disappointed crowd. 

I did, however, witness someone who had a third eye burnt into their forehead by using a magnifying glass to get a better view. But it was only the size of a hummingbird eye and could have passed for a large pimple rather than an all-seeing eye from the ancient times. 

Yet another one of my conspiracy theories goes bust. Next time, I promise a live sacrifice of some DNA, perhaps just a strand of hair, will be offered to the sun god so that our lives can continue without worry.

Other than that, I will have to be satisfied with the eclipse of the moon, which lasts 27 days and only becomes full once a month.

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.