April Fools Jokes and Other Misadventures

Greetings and salutations from Timmins, where it is currently–wait for it–hailing. Today, as promised, Bri and I visited the Shania Twain Centre, an entire museum devoted to the city’s favourite daughter. We also went bowling; in the lane next to us was a man wearing a Lottario hat and a black sweatshirt with a picture of a keg and the caption, “Y2KEG ANYONE?” I love Northern Ontario.

But first, I had to play an April Fools joke. I toyed with various ideas, among them having Bri’s landlord call our hotel room and tell her she was being evicted, but ultimately settled on something much simpler, much crueler and much, much funnier. At 11:15am, forty-five minutes before the unofficial end of April Fools Day, I called my parents and announced, nonchalantly:

“Bri and I got engaged last night.”

I figured they’d see right through me…I mean, come on, if Bri and I were going to get engaged would we really be doing it in Timmins? My parents, however, swallowed hook, line and sinker. “Congratulations!” my father exclaimed. My mom actually sounded like she was choking up: “Congratulations! What brought this on?” They actually believed me! I didn’t know what to do; I really wanted to string them along, but they were so excited I couldn’t bear to do it. So I confessed, and I’ve spent the last three hours feeling guilty. But it was so worth it. (For the record, I’m still not sure if my dad understands it was a joke–but that’s another matter.)

With that, we left for the Shania Twain Centre, which is located on–surprise, surprise–Shania Twain Drive. The museum was exactly what you’d expect it to be; what I didn’t expect was to learn that my girlfriend is actually a closet Shania Twain fan who knows the words to practically every one of her songs (which begs the question why I was the one who paid…but I digress). Afterwards, we went bowling because, well, we figured it was something we had to do while we were in Timmins. So we went to Midtown Bowl–housed atop an abandoned Shoppers Drug Mart–and played two games of five-pin bowling. Again, we felt obliged. Our presence effectively lowered the average age in the place by about ten years: we’d apparently wandered into a seniors’ bowling convention which had attracted visitors from as far afield as Kirkland Lake and Smooth Rock Falls. (Again, I love Northern Ontario). Flickr updates to follow soon, among them a picture of the greatest hat you’ll ever see.

We’re now back at the hotel, with lofty ambitions for the next few hours: namely, to play Scrabble, pack up Bri’s things, eat dinner and go to the airport. I’ll be spending one more night here in Timmins, and then tomorrow it’s off to South Porcupine and Iroquois Falls before a four-hour drive south to Sudbury…and my first cup of Starbucks coffee in eight days. Can’t wait! In the meantime, congratulations to Kevin Du Manoir on quitting his job. Happy April Fools Day, everyone!

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