The Great White Noise


Wow is the town every white today.

First of all: In 90 minutes the first game of the 2012-2013 (i.e. not so much 2012) NHL season will be taking place at the arena down the street from me. With the old Winnipeg Jets we used to have white pom-poms that we shook while shouting as “white noise” was a crowd rouser. It’s not officially used at games with the new Jets – and with the home jerseys, we’re mostly navy anyway – but the spirit is still there: white ice, a winter sport, in the Great White North.

Second of all: Down the street and around the corner from the hockey game, this weekend the Convention Centre is containing thousands of hysterical consumers looking for ideas and vendors to plan some kind of “special day”. The wedding show will undoubtedly feature white more than any other colour, in spite of its meaning and obsolescence since the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. But I digress. I went to this show three years ago, and I’m very glad I wasn’t invited by my sister.

What really makes the town white today is the light snowfall…and ridiculously gusting winds. It’s Saturday, I run errands on days like this in spite of any meteorological deterrent. With fresh light snow from the past however many hours delicately sitting on top of other layers of fresh light snow from the past however many hours, winds are turning the streets into a snowy Saharan sandstorm. In my errands, however frivolous this was, I decided to cross what in my experience has been the windiest and most weather-intense corner in the city to get to somewhere I didn’t really need to go (and came back empty-handed).

In spite of the blowing snow that gets to right about face-level for people within the average range of height, people are coming. There is nothing that could stop a hockey fan from going to this afternoon’s game. As much as I would prefer it to be this way, there is also nothing that could stop most brides from booking vendors and services or buying the perfect product for their special day. As for me, going to neither, there is nothing that will stop me from earning the privilege of bragging to the less-adept “I walk through this kind of snow storm all the time.”


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