I stopped the car alongside the busy highway, got out, gazed skyward. The sun shone brightly on another cloudless day, so typical in this most untypical of B.C. summers. I strained my eyes in every direction. I saw... nothing.
"Perhaps by sea," I thought.
Scanning the tranquil waters of Howe Sound, I spied vast cargo ships, small pleasure craft, the everchanging, patterned waters of swirling currents. But nothing remotely threatening.
"Perhaps in the Pacific, off Vancouver Island," I thought.
Clearly we were under siege. Sinister forces beyond our ability to comprehend let alone control were massed for invasion. It had all the earmarks of a cheesy, Grade B, sci-fi flick. Aliens with powers far beyond our imagination had taken over and turned life as we know it upside down and inside out. For good measure, they'd painted it a different colour as well.
The somber news was intoned with funereal timbre. Our fates were sealed and there was nothing we could do about it. Bleak imagery brought to mind the hideous retribution so vividly captured by Hieronymus Bosch in the right-wing panel of his triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights . That hellscape of cities afire, torture chambers, daemons and wild animals feeding on human flesh, damned masses finding nowhere to hide from the fate awaiting them seemed like paradise compared to the reality about to descend on Canada's Left Coast.
" We have been hit by seismic economic shifts that were unpredictable and brutally deceiving in their speed and force. They rocked our province.... "
Funny though, I didn't feel a thing. No fissures opening in the highway before me, no conga lines of cars careering over the cliff on the southbound side of the road like lemmings plunging to their deaths. I wonder where the epicentre was... perhaps a tsunami?
" Government revenues have been decimated. Billions of dollars have been lost... government's books shifting by hundreds of millions of dollars on a weekly basis.... Record forest fires.... The fiscal cupboard is bare and currently hangs on a wall of deficit spending ."
"OMG! It's the rapture. I was wrong about that no God thing after all," I thought. Well, if this is the end, I wish I had a drink. Or a hamburger for that matter. I'd hate to march to my doom as a reluctant vegan.
Imagine how relieved I was when I discovered it was just the severely monotoned Steven Point - lieutenant governor of all B.C. - delivering Rear-Entry Campbell's throne speech? As soon as I realized this was simply another installment in the ongoing soap opera As the Premier Lies , I breathed a sigh of relief. Resigned relief. No aliens, no invading spaceships, no eternal damnation. Okay, at least four more years of damnation but by no means eternal.