And yes, the second pun in that title is also voluntary. 8-)
The other day, I woke up to find a Facebook message from a friend that read : “Put on your big hat and gloves; -24℃ this morning. She lives in Canada, the great land ( second largest behind Russia ) of hockey and polar bears up North. Still, it had me startled : 24 degrees Celsius below before we even reached mid-December? I have lived in such climates and that is darn cold!
I went on with my business sort of forgetting about it but it must have nagged my subconscious since I did manage to write a post about a Winter bike song written then and there and a day later to make Polar stories which can hardly be a coincidence, right?
What I did do though was to check something : Canada is deemed to have a Continental climate!
That would be the same as say : Austria. Further more, it is partially defined thus : “Often winter temperature is cold enough to support a fixed period of snow each year,”? Yeah well, you betcha cuz … another news gives the Eastern province of New Brunswick has having received over 65 cm of snow this week-end? And that wasn’t even the first snow fall of the year. I am very sorry and don’t want to nitpick but -24℃ and nearly a meter of snow total sounds suspiciously like a nordic climate to me! Why? Because winter only officially begins on December 21 for Pete’s sake!
Well, actually, there was another important piece of news that I had skipped over and shouldn’t have as it also relates to Canada. The Royal Canadian Mail has announced ( a day or two after my friends FB message ) that it will cease to deliver mail at the door.
Yes, you read right, the Canada Post ( its real name, hence the first title pun ) corporation has decided to stop delivering mail to houses and that is for urban areas, mind you!. It will set up community mail boxes instead. This is supposed to be the solution to a deficit expected to reach 1 Billion Can. $ by 2020. As you can guess, citizens are on average extremely unhappy with that plan!
I understand that Internet has taken a huge chunk of work from the Mail services all over the modern world countries. It may even be that a discussion on this matter is warranted everywhere to prepare for the eventuality of a paperless world. But mail still has its place. As Christmas nears for instance, in places like Canada that are mostly of Christian culture, many folks will want to send cards to their friends and family. Yes, these also exist in electronic form, true but an E-card does not fit well on the fireplace’s mantle or in the Christmas tree? What’s more, old folks are often fond of the good old letters. The daily visit of the mail man is sometimes their lone link to the outside which I surmise holds especially true in a place where getting out on snow covered ice patches that easily provoke brittle hip bones-breaking falls occur prior to winter i.e. in Fall? Of course, parcels containing chocolates and cookies ( or maybe in such a cold land’s case : a sweater which would be a more appropriate seasonal offering ) that are also delivered by mail will now have to be gotten at the communal mail box?
Unless … unless Canadians chose to use a private delivery service hence as they very well may? Again, why? Because on top of cutting home deliveries, the price of the regular postage stamp will under the same plan rise to 1$ up from 63 cents! Wow! So wait, for a hefty increase of more than 50% in single stamp price, Canadians will now have the pleasure of going to get their mail themselves away from home? I don’t know about you, but if that was offered to me, the old pitchfork and torches way of explaining things to the government would likely cross my mind!
There might be a softer position to be had though. I would strongly suggest to all Canadians to make up a petition on the matter and to include in it their intention to use any service ( UPS, Fedex, etc) to the exclusion of Canada Post if the menace is realized! And of course, these private services should look into making their local prices as attractive as possible? That way, the plan would find its true worth : Canada Post would be running to its definitive demise?
Which brings us to a common complaint of this blogger : as societies, we routinely disregard thinking in advance about clearly predictable problems. Rampant urbanization, pollution and global warming come to mind but things such as this mail problem also fit in there. The Internet is indeed a direct consequence of the need for military, scientific and educational organizations to transfer information instantaneously over great distances. Look ma, no paper was a joyful modification of an earlier expression by the first teams that worked on inter platforms data exchange applications for instance? No matter how fast technology progresses in the computer science domain, the very intent behind it should not come as a surprise? On top of which, this plan by Canada Post could be fought on an environmental basis?
Yes, for ecological reasons, we should try to stop it ( there and in your own country when it happens as it might well ) because it will bring about the disappearance of one of the gnarliest and most admirable species of the animal kingdom : the Canadian mailman! This sub-species of the letter-carrying family manages to thrive in one of the most forbidding environments found on the planet ( as we covered above ) without even going into hibernation! It is remarkably well adapted to its difficult conditions and molts many times through the year to adapt to the weather.
Which, apart from bringing us one step further along the great sissyfication of the Homo Civilitas, may hold a clue to the real reason behind the Canadian mail’s plan ( that other places have averted by adding functions to theirs such as banking services ), namely that the mailman must be costlier than pretty much anywhere else? I mean seriously, it would be highly unfair if the sunglasses & sandals clad Bahamas postmen stopping en route for the occasional Mojito were paid as much as the fur hat and snowshoes equipped Canadian ones pausing to unfrost their feet and fingers, right?
Darn, if I got it right, this is actually an ultra rare occurrence. Had global warming come faster, their pay could have been adjusted down and their jobs saved!
In any case, sorry for Canadians, citizens and postmen alike and as I cannot do much more to relieve their plight, let’s close with a cute related story from the Great north :
Mom and son polar bear are threading steadfastly across the ice cap. Kid is mumbling and grumbling and then goes :
– Mom, was my dad a polar bear?
– Of course, baby!
– Are you sure?
– Of course, I’m sure!
– And my grand-parents were polar bears too?
– Naturally, they were; how else?
– So everyone of my ancestors was a real polar bear?
– YES! Yes and yes; why do you even ask such ridiculous questions?
– ‘Cause I’m coooooold!
Good day all, Tay.
P.S. Kudos to the first to find the second ( reader and pun respectively ), it’s kind of a tough one! 8-)