I have just booked myself and Lena a wonderful three days in the beautiful British Columbia for the first weekend in February! Gleefully taking full advantage of the tanking economy which is resulting in ridiculously cheap airfares, the two of us are going to finally meet the new baby boy born to one of my closest friends last October. This friend fled Saskatchewan many years ago, but we have managed to stay in touch and can usually pull off a visit or two each year. I can hardly wait until I get to grab that new baby and eat his face.
There are a few other reasons I am very excited about this trip, not the least of which is the fact that BC is WARM. Well, it’s Canadian warm. I’m pretty sure Casey in Florida would still freeze her ass off, but for everyone north of Montana it might as well be Hawaii. Also, I don't get much one on one time with Lena, so this trip will be a nice break for the two of us. The only thing left to contend with is the ‘BC Effect’.
For those of you not familiar with the BC Effect, it is a syndrome that inflicts all people that come to the decision to make BC their permanent residence. Once the u-haul crosses the border from Alberta to British Columbia an invisible mist engulfs the head of the soon-to-be resident and alters their molecular structure in a way that makes them forever convinced that BC is indeed the most extraordinary place on the planet. No other square foot of earth on any continent can contend with the enchantment that is British Columbia. I have family, friends, former co-workers and even mild acquaintances who have all moved to BC, and they all suffer from the BC Effect.
Now, I will concede that there are definite advantages to BC. It scores big points for scenery, warm winter weather, an impressive cultural element and the shopping is spectacular. And the people, for the most part, are very positive. Really, really positive. Stepford, positive. Nobody is fat, or smokes, or harms the environment or drives around in an obnoxious oversized pick-up with naked women on the mud flaps. They walk everywhere possible, recycle and eat organic food. It can be quite enjoyable.
The BC Effect does, however, remove all logical perspective and the ability to have a solid base in reality. This manifests itself in many ways including a consistent (albeit subtle and polite) distaste for other locations to live (mostly directed at the province from which the BC Effect sufferer originated), as well as a burning desire to convert the non-believers. I’ve known born-again Christians in my life, and they have the same unwavering conviction found in people with BC Effect.
An example of BC Effect is the legend of the February flowers. Since it’s much warmer in BC than other places in this country their flowers bloom relatively soon into the new year – usually around the middle of February. I have heard about these mystical flowers from every single person I know with BC Effect, and to hear them tell it by February of each year the minute you step out your door step you are greeted by masses of blooming bouquets so exquisite that you are immediately rendered mute by their splendor. These flowers are in fact so amazing, that BC Tourism passes out little packets of kleenex at the airport so the new arrivals can appropriately deal with the aftermath of the exploding orgasm that will inevitably occur once eyes are first laid on the February flowers.
Not being able to resist the temptation of the flower orgasm, my last trip to BC was during the month of February. The airplane ride was the best foreplay I’ve ever had. The building anticipation of seeing the February flowers was extremely overwhelming. I was heading to the Mecca. I was off to the promise land. I was going to get as close to seeing God as any mortal has come before…..
I got off the plane experiencing heights of anticipation I have never known previously and raced outside breathless with expectation.
These, ladies and gentlemen, THESE were the February flowers:
Me: Huh? That sorry little group of crocuses? THOSE are the February flowers?
BC Effect sufferer: Yes! But….. they are flowers! In FEBRUARY!
Me: Oh. Umm..yeah, they’re nice.
BC Effect sufferer: It’s FEBRUARY! And there are flowers, right there! And there is no snow on the ground!!
Me: Yeah, but it’s pouring rain and I’m just as freezing as I was when I left Saskatchewan.
BC Effect sufferer: But, I have flowers at my house too! Just wait until you see them! Flowers! In February!
Me: Hey, yeah….okay. They're great. Ummm……. do you need to borrow my kleenex?