Tag Archives: Nonsuch

The Sneeze

Hello again very neglected blog. I have something to share with you.

Just a moment ago, I was bent over the cutlery drawer selecting a fork to eat my lunch with when I was overcome by a sudden and violent sneeze. Nothing untoward came out. At least, nothing that was visible. But I was stymied! What now? Do I wash every single piece of cutlery in the drawer? How long do germs last on a surface? I don’t have company for meals at my home because I’m a disaster in the kitchen sooooooooo it’s just me and my own germs … and with one last inspection to make sure I hadn’t missed any blobs, closed the drawer again.

What this reminds me of is when a dear friend (who shall remain nameless) and I visited the Museum of Man and Nature in our early 20s. I believe that in the name of gender neutrality the name of the museum in Winnipeg has been changed the Manitoba Museum and that could be a blog about the origins and evolution of the meaning of the word “man” all on its own but, I’m not smart enough to articulate an opinion on that subject and this is funnier.

I’m sure every kid in Winnipeg had a school field trip to that museum once a year from Kindergarten to Grade 9 at least so it’s a bit like going home to visit it. The first thing you’d encounter was the bison hunt diorama and, memorably, there was the polar bear exhibit with the fake ice and low winter lighting and stars and the sound of the wind howling. There was the giant mosquito hanging from the ceiling bigger than many birds and who could forget The Nonsuch!!! Love that ship and the smells and canned sounds of the gulls and life on the pier and port.

I suppose we went back to tour it because neither of us had been in a few years and the place is part of the fabric of our childhoods. Familiarity is comfort sometimes.  I know we took a camera (with REAL film even!) and were taking silly photos like sitting on the steamer trunks and posing with the immigrant mannequins headed for Canada.

But here’s the thing that I remembered from that day a few minutes ago. We had entered a dark passage and came upon an inset exhibit of a voyageur mannequin sitting next to a campfire at night time. The diorama had the campsite and canoe posed in it behind him. The two of us grew up canoeing on extended trips through the Winnipeg YM/YWCA Camp Stephens and had been immersed in the stories of the great voyageurs and their expeditions. In fact, we met on a six week canoe trip and have been fast friends going on 25 years.

So we’re standing there all reverent for the first time that day when all the sudden, she was overcome with a sudden and violent sneeze. Only, unlike my luck today, she did hork a loogie that went soaring through the air and landed on the exhibit.

Well there was that silent moment of disbelief and then we bust into gales of laughter. I thought I’d die from lack of air and she’s one of those laughers who doubles over and runs in circles snorting so it was all too much. I mean, what do you do?!?! You can’t climb over the barrier and into the diorama to clean it off though you’d like to. You’d probably trip some kind of alarm and then how do you explain yourself to security? You don’t want to just leave it hanging there. You’re super embarrassed but it’s so freaking funny at the same time.

Well, not unlike my closing the cutlery drawer today … we just hightailed it out of there.

I’ve recalled that story so many times over the years and it still makes me laugh. What a pair of putzes!


Posted by on December 29, 2013 in PonderQs


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