Every year, when the spring is so early it's still actually winter, my dad would hold forth about how Canadians are crazy. There'd always be a handy example around, usually a male specimen, flaunting the crazy in public, lending credence to the stereotype. Conditions need to be right to spot the Crazy Canuck - a slight warming trend in the weather, on the plus side of zero, but still only in single digits and in order to qualify as Crazy instead of merely misguided, it should be about February, as this is the time when SAD is at its highest and cabin fever have everyone ready to snap.
Last week, we had two days with 9°C (about 48F) and it was positively balmy compared to the deep freeze of the week before. We all got a little giddy, thinking maybe it was all over, just as we do every year when Mother Nature gives us a break from the bone chilling cold and snow and warms up the place as a treat. Or plays cruelly with our sanity. It all depends on your point of view and by now most of us have such a severe case of winter fatigue that we lean towards the latter.
But back to last week. Perfect weather for the first Crazy Canuck to be spotted in the wild and I was keeping my eyes peeled. I hadn't seen any yet despite keeping a lookout, but conditions were perfect and after spending the previous week in the killing kind of cold, the kind that makes you want to cry and curl up under your covers, sucking your thumb, I was ready. It was only a matter of time and I was very much looking forward to the sighting - this would be one of the earliest I'd have would ever recorded. As these are always a daytime occurrence, I had eased my vigilance on Thursday evening and prepared to go out for dinner with Ken. And then it happened.
There's one every year and this year, it was a friend of mine.
Shorts. In February. When there's still snow on the ground.