Those of you who took a cruise during the Spring Break raise your hands … not so fast, Hookey.
But don’t feel sorry for me because I didn’t miss a thing.
You all listened to gurgling rivers on those tropical islands and you marvelled at the beauty of salt-water fish … so did I. And you probably had a back massage and read lots of books … me, too. And, in the evening you enjoyed the night sky … yup. And, oh the entertainment you must have watched … doesn’t compare to what I watched.
And I did it all on my lunch hour. Here’s how I did it:
12:00 Left the International Head Office of What’s Up, Yukon.
12:05 Arrived at the Elijah Smith Federal Building. Sat on the ledge of a pond and watched the gold fish and listened to the gurgle of the waterfall. Over by the Commissionaire’s Desk there was a pile of our little magazine, but I had read it already, so I picked up The Atlin Claim. I left at 12:11.
12:13 At Paradise Alley I covered my eyes as I hurried past the sinful selection of chocolates. At the back, I found the stuffed chair and sat down with the plush dog on my lap. From that spot, I could watch the salt-water aquarium and the fireplace (it was electric, but still made me feel cozy). And there was a juke-box that allowed me to listen to any Yukon musician I wanted. The staff told me I could even play the piano if I had time. Perhaps I will buy a how-to book and give it a try next week. I left at 12:18.
12:20 Stopped at the bank. God, how I love cash machines. A young man in a suit, with a CIBC name tag, even held the door open for me. Talk about pampered. In and out by 12:22.
12:25 At Alpine Health, in the Horwood’s Mall, I dragged the anti-gravity massage chair over to the SAD Lites for the super-bright, full-spectrum healing rays against the lingering Seasonal Affective Disorder. And, oh my, that chair. Little rollers started massaging me right between the shoulder blades and then slowly worked down to the small of my back and back up again. The owner, James Black, told me he had more cushy models coming in and there is even a pad, for $180, that I can take anywhere. For some reason, I was now behind schedule as I left at 12:35.
12:38 Downstairs at Mac’s Fireweed Books, there is a leather wing back chair in the Antiquarian. It is surrounded by old, out-of-print northern books that are lit up so nicely. I could pick any one out and read it. “Only five or 10 people use that chair a week,” said one staffer. “I wish there were more.” Off at 12:42.
12:43 Into Midnight Sun Gallery and Gifts and to the back of the room, there is a chair set up in front of a TV/VCR combo. A video of Yukon’s Aurora Borealis was already keyed and I just had to hit the play button. I then watched the Northern Lights in comfort. As I was leaving, at 12:48, the sales clerk said she could get one of two Yukon Quest videos for me if I was finished that one. “Next time,” I told her.
12:49 Time for some entertainment. I went into Erik’s Audiotronic and watched a music video on its 42-inch, high definition television that was powered with $30,000 worth of audio equipment. It was like I was sitting in that homey’s crib. On my way at 12:52.
12:53 It was my first time in Zola’s Café Dore and it was, “Wow.” I mean it, “Wow.” But enough of that, I was running late, so I plugged a loony into the Internet-ready computer and checked my emails. It was only my mother, so I scooted out at 12:58.
1:00 Back at the office (I swear to God, one hour, I wasn’t late, I was on time) as refreshed as if I had just returned from a cruise … and no airport terminals in between.