Latest posts by Beerguyrob (see all)
First, the history lesson, courtesy the fine folks at the TedTalks:
Now, the significance.
In Canada, Labour Day marks the end of summer.
All Canadians must leave the fishing, logging or mining camps where they have laboured during the summer and return to their hometowns. It’s a long journey, for the Canada Act mandates that Canadians must venture a minimum of 500 kilometres north of their current location and commence whatever physical labour is required to maintain maple syrup production. Of course, there are other jobs, like clubbing baby seals off Newfoundland and taking gullible tourists Sasquatch hunting in the Rockies, but the majority of work these days is in preparing Canada’s other favourite amber for export.
There used to be more work in hockey stick production, but thanks to those damned Europeans and their affection for composite sticks, quantity has won out over quality. There are still some old forms in production, but people these days seem to value IKEA banality over character product.
Mostly, this annual ritual serves only to arrange purchase & transport of Tim Hortons coffee back up country. However, upon completing their return trek, all Canadians (men & women) aged 18-40 must submit for government inspection, for it is also the season for restocking the hockey teams. First, they must possess the right “hockey name” – preferably something that can be enhanced by adding an “-ie” or “-by”. Further, candidates under 5’8″ will be sentenced to two years mandatory grain threshing, where it’s hoped the tough, menial labour will transform them into remorseless elbowing machines.
After that first elimination process, they will be tested on skating speed, passing accuracy, and ability to spell “Gretzky”, “Barilko” and “Mosienko”. The few that succeed are sent off to training facilities in Rouyn, Quebec, The Pas, Manitoba and Rainy River, Ontario. [It’s said that for every 100 who apply, only four are chosen.] Here, their mettle will be hardened into steel, and then those lucky few who survive will be peppered throughout North American amateur & minor hockey leagues. After that comes tryouts for the national teams, where the selection process is even more severe.
The unsuccessful candidates will be sold off as bartenders to chain restaurants in Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal, where they will regale tourists and inspire new immigrants with tales of, “Man, if I’d just had a break…” They will be hated by all, especially themselves, because if they’d just had a chance…
In America, this year, they will mark Labor Day by announcing the deportation of children.
- Argos at Tiger-Cats – 6:30PM | TSN
- Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech – 8:00PM | ESPN
- Blue Jays at Red Sox – 7:00Pm | Sportsnet
- U.S. Open Tennis: Round of 16 – 7:00PM | ESPN2 / TSN2
- Monday Night Raw – 8:00PM | USA / Sportsnet360
Enjoy your freedom, for tomorrow the work year begins anew. An even worse fate? PATRIOTS THURSDAY!