August 3, 2001
Whether you head to the hills, the lake
or just a shack outside the city, Canadians are always trying
to get out of the city for some part of the summer. Here are
a few ways to tell if you are a true cottager.
There isn't anything you won't try to
cook on the barbeque. It's absolutely true - I just saw a recipe
for a barbequed salad. I'm still trying to find a way to do pancakes
without them running through the grill.
Before putting them in the wash, you
have to check your pants pockets thoroughly for peanuts you carry
for the chipmunks.
Your dump access card is more precious
than your marriage certificate.
You willingly pay the same amount of
property taxes as your city house for a shack in the wilderness
where you have no water, no sewer, no school, no snow plowing
or any other municipal services.
Other people bore you with photos of
their kids - you have an album full of pictures of raccoons in
You believe that the cottage is a calorie-exempt
zone. Even if you are on the strictest diet when in the city,
anything you eat at a cottage on a weekend doesn't count towards
calories. That way you can have back bacon, doughnuts, pie, and
beer for breakfast without fear of consequences.
You fly into an uncontrollable rage at
the mere sound of a JetSki, especially at around 7 am. Regardless
of your politics, you would never vote for Stockwell Day for
the simple reason that he showed the poor judgment of riding
one of the supremely annoying things to his first press conference.
You willingly trust your repair work
to a one-eyed, one-armed local handyman you only know as "Lucky".
He has no phone, no references, and freely admits he's never
even attempted to do what you've hired him to do, but you're
still grateful that he even showed up.
You can speak with authority about the
best way to coax a bat out of a bathroom window.
You ignore any spider smaller than your
There isn't any medical emergency you
can't handle with a pair of tweezers and a bottle of rubbing
You're used to only getting three channels
on your television - the two clearest of which are always in
French. For some reason you can pick up a TV channel in Mississippi
as clear as a bell, but not the local station 20 kilometers away.
You rely on the woman behind the counter
at the beer store for all your local news.
Your bug bites are starting to get less
itchy by Friday, just when it's time to pack up the car and head
back into the woods for some new ones.
You may be the height of fashion in the
city, but on the weekend you wear clothes that would embarrass
a colourblind hobo.
If you got a bug in your salad in the
city, you'd throw the whole thing out. In the country you judge
how big the bug is before you either flick it off or add a little
extra salad dressing and keep eating.
And finally, you know you're a cottager
if you family has given up calling you on weekends.