Lima Al-Azzeh

Couldn’t Have Said It Better… Maisonneuve

In Couldn't Have Said It Better, Other People's Opinions on September 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

English Bay, Vancouver, BC by JamesZ_Flickr

I was just reading the latest addition to my “Other People’s Opinions” page – a blog post about what writer Christopher DeWolf deems “Vancouver’s Best Public Space” (English Bay) – and it invoked a grand memory I had from this summer. Allow me now to whirlwind back through my nostalgia files on this rainiest and foul weathered days …

I hadn’t seen my friend Colin in a while and usually our outings tend to be of the simple and budget-friendly variety the likes of renting a movie or, our favourite, go for a walk-and-talk. On a particular summer evening we decided to celebrate the fine weather with our classic pastime, his good friend and roommate joining us to take advantage of the fewer and fewer still-breeze evenings. At around 1o pm we found ourselves sitting on a bench in English Bay enjoying the view, people watching and occasionally, making fun of the people we were watching (mind you not in a mean spirited way, more of in an observational way as in the “Hey, that guy looks just like his dog!” kind of way).

Night drew onwards and the sky filled with luminescent stars, it was just like DeWolf’s description, “when the sky is clear, the beach becomes a giant amphitheatre where thousands gather to watch the nightly spectacle.” On this night, we were suddenly struck dumb by a magnificent spectacle – the clearest, largest portrait of the Big Dipper hanging in the sky.  I’ve never been particularly interested in astronomy, but even I knew what it was and that its appearance like this was just … special.

There it was, a perfectly aligned seven-star stick and bucket (or “the ladle” as they referred to it in grade nine science). Nary a star was around it, giving the constellation room alone to shine and light up the sky. We marvelled over this image for quite some time. It just blew our ever-loving minds.

The conversation went on a tangent as we cracked jokes about “the big dipper”. Lewd jokes, silly jokes, nonsensical jokes, let’s face it, we just wanted to say the words “big dipper”. It then occurred to us that the “big dipper” could really assert itself as a euphemism for almost any “handle & bucket” object: a smoking pipe, a ladle, a cooking pot … we even went to great lengths developing an idea to market a new line of cookware (“astroware”) where we sold myriads of “big dipper” items. We laughed and laughed until we eventually settled down and continued to gaze reflectively on this most unique scene, when Colin finally broke the silence:

“Throughout that entire conversation, I couldn’t come up with one big dipper joke. I tried and I tried, but nothing came. This is the most depressing day of my life.”

Ah summertime at English Bay, I shall miss you.


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