Blessed be the good people at Tim Hortons and their Roll Up The Rim contest.
If it were not for them, how would we Yukoners know it is spring.
Indeed, how would we know we are still in Canada if it weren’t for the sight of these cups in garbage cans everywhere. It is true Canadiana.
But just as various “It-Girls” come and go, the Roll Up The Rim’s turn as the “It-Cultural Touchstone” of Canada is coming to the top of its popularity arc and sliding down. Soon, it will just be a riff of a washed-up comic somewhere.
We need something Canadian-ish to grab onto to hold this country together in a bond of humour … the gentle, self-effacing humour that we are famous for.
It has to be something that can be found anywhere (like Tim Hortons) and unassuming (like Tim Hortons) and consistently good (like Tim Hortons). To sum up, it needs to be something we all feel good about in such a way that we can have a comfortable laugh at … no … a laugh with.
Aha, dear reader, you know me too well. You know that I already have an idea because, otherwise, I would be writing about some knee-jerk social issue instead.
OK, here it is: those blue elastics that Canada Post uses.
Right off the bat: you all know what I am talking about … immediately. That is the first step toward becoming a cultural touchstone.
Let’s run through the criteria: Can the blue elastics used by Canada Post be found anywhere? Heck, yeah!
The next time you are walking along a sidewalk that those rain/sleet/gloom of night defiers tread, look down for just a moment or two and you will see them.
You can also find them wrapped around recycled newspapers, around deflated air mattresses and sleeping bags, holding computer cables together, keeping toys in one piece and holding down the hood of a Ford Tempo (yes, there is a story behind that).
Next item of the criteria: Are they unassuming? Well, yeah! Did any of you suspect you would become involved in a discourse on the blue elastics used by Canada Post today?
When was the last time the blue elastics used by Canada Post was the punchline of a joke, the topic of conversation around the dinner table or the reason for being late to work?
We take these little guys for granted. They are part of the landscape and are as uncommented on as flower baskets on Main Street … until they get squeezed out of the municipal budget, of course.
And are the blue elastics used by Canada Post consistently good? Well, try to break one. If it is new and hasn’t dried out yet, it won’t break before you become too scared and stop pulling. There will be so much tension that you will be certain it will snap with such force that it will take your eye out. That’s an I-told-you-so just waiting to happen.
As I write this, I have slipped the elastic off of my wrist, where it often sits so comfortably, and I am twirling it around the fingers of my left hand. So, it is entertaining, too.
The next time you are casting about for a cultural relevance that proves you are witty and connected, please consider the blue elastics used by Canada Post.
Only in Canada, eh? Pity. (Sorry, that was, like, so last century.)