Monday, July 23, 2012

Absenteeism


Today is my first day back to work after holidays.

I could talk about all the fun I had with the family, the things we did, the frustration of coming back to work, or I could even touch on my thoughts in regards to the shooting in Colorado or the whole Penn State/JoePa thing.

But I'm not going to.

Instead, I'm going to tell you of the thing that's slowly been bugging me during my entire holidays.

Elk.

Particularly the lack of them.

Do you see that sign up there? There are literally hundreds of them along the highway - the minute you've driven past the 6km warning for those Elk, there's another sign telling you to look out for more. We traveled up and down the Island during my week off, and I saw so many of these signs that you'd think there was an epidemic.

For those of you who haven't ventured into Canada, your first visit must seem like a wild safari, where herds of Elk are about to spring from the bush any minute and haphazardly trample your rented SUV. Why would they have the signs if the danger wasn't there?

I'll tell you a secret: I've lived on Vancouver Island for 25 years, and I've yet to see an Elk. Ever. No mommy elk, no baby elk, and no majestic bucks ready to leap over the 4-lanes of highway.
I've seen deer, bears, cougars, (both wild and in-the-bar kind) - but not one single Elk. I've seen them in the Yukon, but not once on Vancouver Island. I guess they hate the cost of the ferry just as much as I do.

So why all the signage?

Why not warn me about the sketchy hitchhikers, horrible gas prices, and slow-moving elder drivers instead? Warn me about something I'll actually see, instead of some mythological horned beast who's going to endanger me with his presence - this isn't the Bible belt, people.

I think the signage is to make it seem like there are tons of them out there. Keep the tourists on the lookout for imaginary Elk so they don't notice us gouging them with our food and fuel prices.
I'm sure there's an Elk out there - the Government wouldn't lie - but he's probably old, in ill health, and doesn't get within 20km of a highway since a run-in with some Vegan hunters in 1969 who wanted to "commune" with him.

But that's just my theory.

And its a good theory too - one I'll keep reminding myself of every time I see one of those signs....






Later.

2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed reading that :) reminded me of the mythical black panther in the lower south island of New Zealand, don't know how many there are though. maybe only one? http://www.mysteriousnewzealand.co.nz/mysteries_strangeness/animals/bigcats/bigcats_sample.html < check that link out here

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