The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Extra Day...and it's a SNOWDAY

Every four years this big old clock needs correcting.  On each rotation we gain a little time and every so often at the end of February we need to balance the books.  Today is the extra day that shakes everything out and keeps us regular.

It's an extra day for the kids, too, but they're calling it by a different name:


One of the benefits for children in Canada is the SNOWDAY.  I capitalize it because you only ever hear it yelled by children.  Today was a SNOWDAY for the kids.

Excuse me for a moment while I shift into curmudgeon mode.  Ahhh, there we are - all I need now is my walkin' stick...

What we have today wasn't really a true and for real SNOWDAY.  No sir!  What we have today is an anticipatory SNOWDAY.  With nary a flake on the ground they cancelled the buses (when I'm in curmudgeon mode "they" takes on that non-specific universal quality.  I'm speaking of the transportation provider right now but when you're a curmudgeon it is always "they" or "them").  And they did it with only the promise of snow.  Something as flighty as a forecast did away with the buses today.  Why, I remember when I was boy in rural Ontario that there'd need to be a good solid six inches of fresh snow on the ground before they'd think of cancelling the buses and invoke a SNOWDAY.  A SNOWDAY used to mean something back then.  They were rare things and meant to be savoured  and were, by their very nature, magical.

Anticipatory SNOWDAYS hardly deserve capitalization.  When something as simple as a forecast can spawn a SNOWDAY they become common things, devoid of the magic they once had.

But my kids enjoy a good SNOWDAY none the less.  Once the snow, which I'm promised will be formidable, finally arrives we will head out to build castles and persons of snow and to engage in the bloodsport of the season - the snowball fight.

Ah, to hell with being a curmudgeon.

I guess even anticipatory SNOWDAYS are pretty damn magical, especially on the 29th of February.