NMA nominee: Humour
· Illustrated by Thomas Libetti
One morning we came back from town to find a strange car parked under the white pines beside our cottage. An old Citroën, the kind where the chassis goes up and down hydraulically. Yellow. Nobody we knew drove a Citroën. Our son Ryan ran down the long switchback of wooden steps that lead to the lake.
“There’s somebody out on the lake,” he yelled, “on the air mattress.”
Paul shaded his eyes. A pale, small, but visibly adult figure, with a Tilley hat tied under his chin was paddling toward our dock.
“I need the binocs,” Paul said, and went and retrieved them from the cottage. He studied the figure for a long moment.
“This is really weird,” he said, “but whoever that is looks exactly like Bob Dylan.” He passed the binoculars to me. And it did look like him a little guy with a pencil moustache, wearing Ryan’s flippers, on our air mattress.
“See? Only older.”
“Well, he is older.”
The figure paddled closer. Paul waved and called out.
“Hi. We’re back from town.”
I waved too. It could, remotely, be some friend of a friend, dropping by on his way up to another cottage. Our place had no phone, no email, and cell connection was dodgy because of the granite cliffs. Sometimes people we scarcely knew just turned up. “Yeah, I’m back too,” the Dylan-person called. Then he started singing in a slightly hokey, Nashville Skyline voice, “Back here on Kashagawigamog.”
Canada & its place in the world. Published by
the non-profit charitable Walrus Foundation