Man, could I ever have used a Rendezvous this year.
The past month was a particularly dark sinkhole of a time for yours truly, and unfortunately these flatlanders in the town they call “Toon”, only seem to get together and celebrate when the Riders are on the field.
I’m not sure exactly how February got stuck with the stigma of being the dreariest month of the year, but most people with whom I’ve discussed this topic agree: this time of year, the “blahs” hit the hardest.
In a completely unscientific study, I talked with three people (more or less in a row) who all swore to a certainty that the “blahs” were very much, a real phenomena. Even though the darkest days have already past, it seems like there’s a collective angst funnelled into this time of year.
This makes some sort of sense. The afterglow of the holiday season is well past, and now the drudgery of clocking in 9 to 5 through the rest of winter really starts to set in. A day bookended by darkness gets a little tired after a while.
And let’s not forget the psychic vortex that is St. Valentine’s Day. You have a few million people filled with hope and love, and a few million more on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. It’s practically inescapable and if you are into avoiding that sort of thing, it likely compounds them already heightened “blahs”.
And this is exactly what Rendezvous is meant to combat.
There are countless towns in Canada that have their own version of a cabin fever festival, but most of those are in the North. Having the monopoly on the dark and cold aspects of winter, it’s a natural fit.
However, I posit that the entirety of this country could do with a little Rendezvous action at the end of February. Here in Saskatchewan, the flatness makes for its own particular version of a frozen wasteland.
Blowing snow and whiteness that stretches off to the horizon: stare at that for a few months and you, too, will get a little squirrelly, and start thinking about the logic of having an entire town-sanctioned festival of debauchery.
Now of course I know that isn’t the focus of these Rendezvous-type festivals, but I’d say the biggest aspect is that great collective need to release a lot of pent-up negative energy.
And should that release need to manifest itself as a week of dancing in long red underwear, hucking chainsaws dangerously close to spectators and a booze-fuelled Kubasa-eating contest – there’s nothing to do but drown those “blahs” in the good cheer that hundreds of others are sharing.
Without a doubt, the Yukon knows how to cap off the “blah-est” of months. I just wish the rest of the country would follow suit.
I think a National Sam contest has a good ring to it. Discuss.
So here’s to the coming of spring and all the sunnier, meltier goodness contained within.
All I ask is that until the rest of Canada follows your lead, when you’re getting ready to “Burn Away the Winter Blues”, you pitch an extra match on that sucker for me.