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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

BY Sonny Orr Dec 6, 2019

The phone rings and we dash around looking for it, a bit too late as the answering machine picks up. Damn, I think out loud. Then a foreign accent plays on the machine, and I realize that it’s a scammer. 

I wish I picked it up and got his social insurance number. I’m getting pretty adept at extracting information from scammers, and it’s becoming a bit of a pastime for me. I like pestering them for information as it’s one of the few pleasurable dislikes I tend to relish in my need to protect my identity. “What is your social insurance number?” I ask. “I need to confirm your identity, it’s for your protection.” Then there is usually a quick hang-up.

Another tactic I like using is to tap very loudly on a keyboard and sound like I’m talking to someone else by muffling my voice but not enough to cover up the furtive questioning. “You got him yet? I think I can get him to hang in longer!” That sometime does the trick. The worst are the legitimate ones, who I tend to deal with during lengthy talks. I am usually quite professional, as there is no use losing face to someone you barely know.

This leads up to the annual question of how to finance Christmas. This year, Christmas melded into our psych effortlessly as snow blanketed most of the northern hemisphere right after Halloween. I for one, opted to get a shovel and promised to myself and the ramp leading to my door that I would keep it free from deep snow all winter. My shovel is already feeling the weight of an early winter. I should simulate a cardiac stress test to see if my aching heart can withstand the heavy snow. 

Apparently shoveling snow is right up there as a leading cause of heart failure, so I guess I better outsource the snow removal to someone younger. For instance, to those who are now having fun making snowmen and snow angels and snow everything. At least it makes for sleepy children early in the evening and hungry ones in the morning.

This year, I managed to get some decent tires, which I discovered were made in China. They don’t work well with nails as three plugs were used so far but they seem to hold up in snow. I can’t wait for the three-foot drifts to see if they work as well as the fine print said they would. 

On another note, people are readying for the annual tournament in Val-d’Or and hopefully, some young talents will show us a good time. It’s the crowds in the stands you have to watch as adrenaline soars high and testosterone battles for supremacy. This year features a new rule – no imports. I’m wondering which people it referred to, but I don’t want to get fired over a slip of the lip, or, in this case, the finger on my keyboard. I don’t have to wear tartan suits to get into trouble.

Again, I have to appease the home crowds and pledge my allegiance to some hockey team and perhaps make a bet or two. So, I’m crying out to the rest of the province to support any beleaguered team they wish as I will hope that a quarter of a hundredth cup will arrive back in Quebec. My bet is 20 loonies or 10 toonies, whichever the greater bet shall suffice.

And back to Christmas season. Well, it’s in for the long run so just enjoy the spectacles and try not to get crushed in the annual seasonal sales. And remember, it’s about giving, not pushing and shoving. Or shoveling.

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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.