Friday, March 24, 2006

10 Provinces: Manitoba

Slips & Falls: Nightmare on Ice

There are many things worth knowing about Manitoba. It is nestled between Ontario, Saskatchewan, Hudson Bay, and the territory of Nunavut. One of its most striking features is the presence of lot of big lakes. The province has a population of approx. 1.2 million (Wikipedia).

But did you know that 400,000 of that population is not human? Dun dun DUN!

In 1865, southern Manitoba was a very violent place. British settlers clashed with French and German settlers, who meanwhile clashed with the native population, who were becoming seriously tired of all the Europeans' crap. Insisting that there was enough room for everyone to live peacefully, a small group of British explorers led by George Slips and Thomas Falls packed their bags and headed north. They did not realize that the rest of the province had been settled long ago by a completely different kind of inhabitant. Also, Falls forgot his toothbrush, but a dandy twig was soon found to replace it.

The nightmare began when the explorers woke up during the third night to find their crew mauled and eaten by polar bears. Slips and Falls were devastated. At the crack of dawn, the explorers began their journey home. The polar bears followed and a chase began. It was by sheer luck that Slips and Falls encountered a travelling group of Metis to help. The travellers explained that the polar bears arrived 10 years earlier from Great Bear Lake. Having overheard that all the new settlers were in Manitoba, the bears followed the gullible (and tasty) new food source into the province.

Determined to put aside their differences and establish postive human-bear relations, Slips nominated himself official British ambassador to the Polar Bear nation. When he was eaten that same day, Falls bravely took his place. After two weeks of negotiation, Falls drafted a peace treaty with the bears. The bears agreed to take no more than one human per day and not travel south of Winnipeg. Falls was, of course, also eaten, but not before establishing the settlement of Churchill together with his bear friends. Today, cultural anthropologists regularly visit the city to study its unique socio-political status. Unfortunately, few of their reports have ever been published. You know... Because of the constant eatings.

[mp3] The Weakerthans - One Great City!
[mp3] Tom Russell - Winnipeg
[mp3] Tapes 'n Tapes - Manitoba
[mp3] Alexisonfire - Polaroids of Polar Bears

* Buy a Melissa & Doug Polar Bear

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dammit man! You forgot "Prairie Town" by Randy Bachman from his eternal album "Any Road". It's a great ode to Manitoba's other great explorers Portage and Main.

Anonymous said...

"Prairie Town" also features Neil Young! Woop!