Had we been driving toward a checkpoint in Kandahar, I have no doubt that we would have been shot on the spot (by our own troops). I wouldn't have blamed them either, we looked both armed and dangerous. We would have deserved their suspicion. The camo Da Kine roof rack pads just made us that much more menacing looking.
Our car was loaded with old paint cans, empty gasoline jugs, various obsolete chemicals and a nasty collection of recyclables. We were loaded to the gills. Put a rocking chair on our roof and we were the Beverly Hillbillies. You never would have guessed that we were driving to Fredericton so that my wife could receive the highest honour awarded in our province: the Order of New Brunswick.
My wife is certainly deserving of the award. She has done a lot to further the cultural and musical scene in this province. She left the rodent race of Toronto in 1992 and made Cambridge-Narrows her home base. Her colleagues were suggesting that the move would turn into career suicide. We're still chuckling over that. New Brunswick was far from career suicide...it gave Wendy, me, and our son, a chance to grow in a place of natural beauty and relative safety. I say 'relative safety' because it was a dangerous place until Richard Flynn realized that he was no longer in England and started driving on the right side of the road.
Wendy lives as close to an idyllic life as can be imagined. She travels the world and gets her fix of city life: culture, music and sushi, then returns to the bucolic Washademoak Lake and shares what she has learned with other aspiring artists, singers and the leisurologist. Not a bad life at all.
Wendy is a class act, at least ninety-nine percent of her. Yesterday, on the drive into Kandahar, I mean Fredericton, I caught a glimpse of the other one percent of Wendy Nielsen...the dark side. Wendy (Darth Nielsen) said something that I'm sure she wished she could have retracted immediately. I suppose she could have nipped my ears off with her light saber, but she didn't. Being in the presence of the editor and publisher of theleisurologist.blogspot is dangerous business. Anything spoken aloud in my presence is considered part of the public domain. Once it's out of the mouth, it's mine! And yours.
As I mentioned earlier, our car was jammed packed with recyclables that were destined for the big blue bins of Oromocto, just across the street from the insanely busy Tim Fatwa Hortons donut reglazing factory. As were were driving through the Base Gagetown woods Wendy was thinking about unloading our cans, plastics and papers when she blurted out the following:
"A good place to rob people would be the recycling drop-off."
I said "pardon?"
She explained her comment to me. To her credit, she wasn't thinking that it would be a good place for her to rob others, as if she needed a few extra dollars for drugs or bingo. There was irony in her comment, though, given that I was delivering her to receive the Order of New Brunswick. She really thought that it would be a good place for someone to rob her. Her purse would be sitting in the car unattended as we were distracted by unloading our three metric tons of reusable rubbish.
Wendy is always thinking of others. She's getting the Order of New Brunswick this morning for her musical contributions to the province, but she could just as easily get it for her compassion for others.