Road Trip – Day 2: Hot Tubs and World Peace!
It’s Day 2 of the big road trip and we were up at the crack of mid-morning which kind of surprised me. I can sleep through a nuclear war but usually Maggie wakes up with the birds – especially if the flock is heading to the mall and that’s where we were heading today.
Because it was well-after eight when we hauled butt out of bed, we had our showers and packed but opted to skip the hotel’s delightfully over-cooked breakfast and hit the road. It is a road trip after all and you can’t do a road trip effectively sitting around on your ass.
Dressed, packed, Jasper watered and then emptied, we hit the road and headed for the border between the land of maple syrup and the great and wonderful Oz where premium brand outlet malls are scattered across the landscape like Munchkins along the Yellow Brick Road. We had gassed up the car the night before so we only stopped long enough to fuel up at Tim Horton’s with a couple of large coffees and a nutritional muffin for the Maggster and a couple of plain doughnuts for me.
The original plan was to drive to Niagara Falls and cross into La La Land via the Rainbow Bridge. That seemed not only to be the most direct route but kind of appropriate for making the transition from the Great Bland North to OZ.
Maggie, however, suggested she knew a better way.
Now – y’all need to understand that I love this woman to death. I really do. Quite frankly, my life wouldn’t be worth living without her – but and there is always a but – Maggie’s contributions to changes in plan are more good intentions than good practice.
We got to the border, taking the route she suggested. I say got to the border in a very generous use of the term. We got to within about ½ a kilometer of the border and then came to a complete stand still along with about 1,000 other explorers and shoppers.
The road leading up the American Immigration check points was under construction.
This was not Maggie’s fault although that knowledge didn’t improve my mood or make me any more patient. We inched forward over the next hour and half; it was more like creeping into the United States than driving.
When we finally got to the checkpoint, the Customs and Immigration Officer took our passports, checked them asked where we were going and told us to enjoy our visit.
That’s it. We were in line for more than an hour for less than thirty seconds of security clearance. I’ve been more thoroughly checked by librarians suspicious that I might be smuggling out a book. It made me wonder what the point is to all this lining up. Clearly it doesn’t serve to increase border security if asking where we’re going is the big question of the day.
I think it’s to provide the illusion of national security. The more the travelling public is inconvenienced, the more government believes we will think, “Wow. These guys are on they ball and really take this stuff seriously!” If that were true, it would certainly help to explain why you can’t do anything with any part of government without having to line up first.
We were in line so long, the check engine light came on and that is never good. I don’t know anything about cars but I’ve learned over the years that the check engine light is usually a sign from God that your ass is grass. Fortunately, it was nothing serious and with a song in our hearts we were soon just whizzing along again.
Ok, I admit I didn’t have song in my heart but at least I was talking to Maggie again.
Three hours later we arrived at the hotel and that, at least, has turned out better than expected.
It’s surrounded by parkland and duck ponds which makes walking Jasper very pleasant although I never walk Jasper so I’m going on an assumption. The room is quite spacious and pleasant and it has an indoor pool.
Maggie took Jasper out to sniff trees and I set up my computer to check that I hadn’t missed anything important since leaving Canada. I hadn’t.
Maggie brought the dog back and then went down to the pool for a swim. I finished what I was doing and went down to the pool area where I had a revelation. It was like a vission from God; as if a voice had spoken to me from the mountain top although that hadn’t really happened – there are no mountain tops where we are. But it was sort of, almost like that.
It was a revelation about world peace and the elimination of hate, violence and discord in our world.
As I sat there and let the warm water soothe my soul, not to mention my body; I realized that it is virtually impossible to be at war with the world or to hate anyone when you’re in a hot tub..
It got me thinking that instead of sending arms to the rebels in Syria or more fighter jets to the military in Egypt, what we should be doing is sending hot tubs; thousands and thousands of hot tubs.
We could even paraphrase Roosevelt’s ‘chicken in every pot” slogan following the Great Depression with something like, “a hot tub in every pot”. Ok, I admit it needs work but you can see where I’m going with this.
Imagine how the world would be changed if we populated it with hot tubs.
Al Qaeda and Hezbollah would lay down their arms and stop blowing people up. They’d change from being crafty to making crafts and to sell at craft fairs and Christmas markets. Racism and bigotry would be eliminated as people like Gwendolyn Landolt and Camille Paglia donned bikinis to share a bottle of wine in a grotto hot tub.
Barack Obama and Congress would embrace and work together to reduce the deficit. The European Union would stop trying to fix things with solutions that are worse than the original problem and environmentalists would become aware of the fact that the stuff they’re protesting is the stuff that’s fueling their SUVs and all those flights they take to protests around the world.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper would develop a personality and his Minister for Democratic Reform, Pierre Polievre would stop using the word honourable until he had looked it up in a dictionary and knew what it meant. Justin Trudeau would reconnect with reality – or maybe not – I suppose there are some things that even hot tubs can’t fix.
But I believe they could fix a lot and compared to an F-35 fighter jet, they’re cheap.
We could buy millions of these things and ship them all over the world. Imagine how much better the Israeli/Palestinian peace talks might go if Netanyahu and Abbas were to slip into Speedos and hold their meetings in a diplomatic hot tub.
Canadian Senators would be so reluctant to leave the Senate tubs that the Senate’s travel expenses would plummet exponentially and we’d no longer be filled with angst.
I think it’s time we recognize that the old ways of trying to resolve our problems just aren’t working. Sending weapons to help one side or another in a conflict only guarantees that even more people will die.
More hot tubs would bring peace and harmony to the world; but let’s be smart about it. Let’s just buy them retail because if we let government procurement offices handle this they’ll end up costing as much as an F-35 and we’ll be right back where we are now.
Tomorrow – the Premium Outlet Mall followed by as much time in the hotel’s hot tub as I can squeeze in. If you don’t hear from me by tomorrow night, either I’m lost in a mall or drowned in the hot tub.
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