Call this a January lament. The month that follows the Holiday Season is truly the longest month of the year – an endurance test like no other.
Among the financial challenges is a special one for front end Baby Boomers like yours truly. In the spirit of Christmas, our federal government sent us our monthly OAS and CPP payments on December 22nd, a full week earlier than the rest of the year! With larger than usual bills to pay, how on earth are we supposed to balance our checkbooks in January?
My MacLean’s magazine arrived in the mail. You know, that bundle of joy from the folks at Rogers that gave Winnipeggers a new list of reasons to feel ashamed a year ago? Back then, our hometown was condemned as ‘the most racist city in Canada’. Now the cover story has given the whole country a slap in the face, calling us a ‘nation of winter wusses’.
Indeed there’s quite a bit of evidence to support that accusation. Hundreds of thousands of us – again led by those damn Boomers – leave the True North earlier and earlier, heading south before the Grey Cup is played, and staying away as long as we can, without risking our health coverage or facing the possibility of being taxed by Uncle Sam.
This year, winter has hardly been a factor in much of the country. We can almost count on one hand the number of days that gloves were urgently needed, but still we complain that it’s “too darn cold”.
I wonder how low the Canadian Peso will have to fall before it keeps more of us at home in the winter? When you think about it, one of the people we should blame for all of this is Gary Bettman. He neatly figured it out that with our love for that great winter sport called hockey, it only made sense to play the game in air conditioned buildings in south Florida and the Arizona desert. How’s that working out for you Gary? When you’re done, can you please give us back the Stanley Cup? I’m asking nicely, even though it’s January.
I’m Roger Currie