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Religion & Philosophy
By misslake (Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 02:29:59 PM EST) cyborgs, misslake's eyes, ignorance, hometowns (all tags)
i called my pa and ma.
they keep me up on all the small ontario hometown news.

my ma is eagerly looking for a chance to fight. she isn't a big lady, not much into hand to hand combat anymore, but she can soundly crush anyone with a look or a scolding.

my pa laughs easier than he used to. i think it is because he is rapidly replacing all of his old, worn parts with metal and plastic, science and machinery. he's a cyborg. a jolly one.

"we're getting in a big fight!" my ma tells me eagerly, "you'll never guess what is going on now!"

the town is on the shore of lake ontario. it's quaint, picturesque, has various heritage designations, and was settled by catholics, protestants and empire loyalists. later, a reservation was set up nearby and some natives were forced to resettle there.

the last scandal they were involved with featured their church, the minister was trying to fire the organist for being an atheist.

this scandal is town wide.

"the beach is filled from the pier to the breakers with tourists from toronto!" she says it in her most scandalous voice. i immediately pick up from her inflection that she is using "toronto" as a substitution for whatever horrible racial epithet the locals are using. actually, the locals often use "toronto" directly as the horrible slur. it covers everyone who doesn't live in town, even the white ones.

they tell me how it's blown up in the local paper, how everyone is talking about it, at bridge, on the golf course, at the market.

"there are muslims on the beach." she says, "whole extended families, whole reunions, whole raucous parties of them. Ihave never seen so many people out having a nice time on the beach before. and the locals HATE THEM!!"

"they are so ignorant!" chuckles my dad.

"the letters in the paper talk all about how they bring their own food, and how bad it smells!" she goes on, "how they are not supporting the local economy, how they never buy anything!"

"they can't be expected to eat anything from the canteen, it's all filthy, overpriced and laced with pork." adds my pa. "i certainly bring my own food to the beach." he find the tourists sensible, reasonable humans, quite unlike his neighbours.

even the people who want to appear goodly and unracist come across as ignorant, the chief of police said they should welcome them because those people don't drink so they never cause any trouble.

"well, that's shocking, but not out of the ordinary for cobourg. so what are you going to do? open a halal kebab stand and be the only ones willing to serve the people from toronto?" i ask.

"oh, it gets worse." says my ma.

"and they all tell US all about it!!" breaks in my pa, "WE PASS FOR WHITE!" he whoops with laughter. "i'm passing for WHITE IN COBOURG!!"
i imagine the ridiculousness of that. after a summer playing golf every day, working on his yard and his acreage of swamp and forest. my father will be burnished to a dark complexion, like old leather, ruddy. black hair and sharply carved features. how anyone could mistake him for white is beyond me. his youth was very difficult, his family lost their land, they were judged because they were natives. he struggled with prejudice all his life.
"they are all so stupid and ignorant they think WE'RE WHITE!!" he laughs and laughs. "they think we'd agree with them!"
"i'll Fix Their Wagons," my mother has a unique capacity for mangling homilies with proverbs and making them seem really, really, threatening. "don't you worry."

the truly shocking part is the public swimming pool. my mother tells me she noticed a brand new sign up the last time she was there. "no one will be allowed to swim without a bathing suit"
my mother, always looking for some scandal said she asked about it. she imagined an outbreak of teen aged Lolitas having wardrobe malfunctions and swimming bare-breasted. or mothers who let their children go in naked when they were clearly much too old for that.
"but it's not to prevent nudity." she said, "it is really devious, i never would have imagined it if i didn't hear it from the people at the pool. it's to keep the muslim women from using the pool. they can't be out in public with bare arms and legs! they need to wear shirts and pants in the pool. they put up the sign to keep them from swimming! you aren't allowed to swim wearing clothing."

i was speechless. that was really devious.

"i haven't decided where to strike first." says my mother, clearly enjoying it. "i'm going to Change Their Numbers, pretty darn quick, too." she was menacing.

"not that there is much point, they are too stupid and ignorant. we won't be able to change much, they are all too set in their ways." my father is worn down from years of it.

i said i would come visit soon, and help them in whatever action they thought best. my pa told me when his next appointments in the city were, to have his upgrades inspected, we made plans to visit then.

it is so close to the city, and yet so very, very different from here.

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small town woes | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)
Swiming merit badge taught me: by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 04:26:30 PM EST
that being in water while wearing a boy scout uniform is a quick way to drown*. Wading while clothed might be another matter.

I'd love to drop by someplace enforcing and point out that the swim team has to give up those expensive racing non-suits.

wumpus * the other was that the trick in turning long pants into a life vest really works. Of course I never asked how quick you freeze to death, considering what type of weather it would take to make a 12 year old wear long pants.

long pants into a life jacket?!?! by misslake (2.00 / 0) #2 Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 04:45:37 PM EST
that sounds like a great trick!
how do you do it?

[ Parent ]
Learned this one in the Navy... by ana (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 06:09:11 PM EST
You take the pants off, tie knots in the ends of the legs (which is why navy uniforms often feature bell-bottoms, for realz). Then you come up spluttering, whip the pants through the air over your head, thus catching air inside them, and hold the waist band under water with the (now inflated) legs around your neck. Maybe you were supposed to tie the legs together. One forgets.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
You can do either method by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 06:53:33 PM EST
depending upon the leg length. You can also inflate them by holding the waistband underwater and splashing near the edge.

Misslake, that explains your exotic good looks. Where's Poppa from?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
But... by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 02:51:26 AM EST
 ....surely the trouser material is permeable and lets air and water through the material?

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Yes, but slowly. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 04:02:51 AM EST
Denim and BDU (poly/cotton blend) material works fine.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
slow enough... by gzt (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 02:14:05 PM EST keep you alive. Things shut down very quickly in cold water.

[ Parent ]
iirc by clover kicker (4.00 / 2) #8 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 07:19:39 AM EST
Misslake's ancestors were the original Canadians.

[ Parent ]
She's Scottish? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #15 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 03:33:07 PM EST
I had no idea. Her eyes are so dark though!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
She's Solutrean. -nt by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #18 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 11:47:49 PM EST

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
One of my high school teachers used to tell us by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #19 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 11:56:07 PM EST
If you're not part of the Solutrean, you're part of the Precipice.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
We had to by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 06:14:58 AM EST
Swim 50m in clothing then remove trousers and top, down to our cossies before we were allowed in canoes, back when I was a Scout.

It really does make you see the value of a lifejacket, though.

[ Parent ]
Dad sings in the choir by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 07:58:28 AM EST
He's an atheist. But he loves the music, and the socializing. The preacher gets a good laugh out of it. The solid churchgoing atheist.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

so what are they going to do ... by R343L (4.00 / 2) #10 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 08:37:22 AM EST
When a nice lady shows up wearing something like from this manufacturer? Surely they can't reasonably specify only immodest suits? I don't think it's necessarily reasonable to swim in so many clothes, but I do understand not wanting to wear so little clothing as is usual with current Western fashion in front of strangers for whatever reason. I might even wear this one. Handy in colder waters I would think.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
I have seen in the past pools saying by garlic (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 11:13:32 AM EST
cutoff jeans could not be worn in the pool. I had presumed this was a pool maintenance issue, but it could have been a 'keep the poors out of the pool' issue.

[ Parent ]
Even better by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #12 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 11:31:56 AM EST
 wear a neoprene wetsuit. Modestly covers head and legs, definitely can swim in it!

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
the modesty issue by R343L (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 01:44:42 PM EST
Extends to form-fitting clothing being immodest, so wetsuits are probably out. Thus, you'll note most of those suits have a tighter inner layer and a more flowing outer layer.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
hmmmmmm.... by misslake (4.00 / 1) #16 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 04:58:03 PM EST
i wonder what would happen to misslake and Mrs.Lake if we showed up in a couple of those sassy little numbers.

though back to the extreme ignorance bit, some of those likely will not be recognised as swimwear.

if i can find a couple of those for less than 65 USD it could get really interesting.

[ Parent ]
I bet you'd look cute! by R343L (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Aug 16, 2010 at 06:08:17 PM EST
Extreme ignorance indeed. But it's always a good idea to tweak the ignorant, likely bigoted rulemakers, err, in the rule book. Just because.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Go steampunk by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #20 Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 03:51:55 AM EST
Hunt down Victorian swimwear (the type they used to change into in little caravans rolled down to the water for modesty) and claim some obscurely strict set of protestantism requires it of you/

[ Parent ]
I would love one of those by littlestar (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 11:16:40 AM EST
outfits. With the frilly edges. Hee hee hee... positively delightful for prancing. 

[ Parent ]
You will have to please keep us posted! by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 11:05:31 AM EST
I think your mom is going to have some righteous fun.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

small town woes | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden)