THE CNR transcontinental was booming west on the high iron out of Winnipeg. In the observation car sat a lean, grim-faced officer of the Royal Navy. His braid—and he wore a lot of it—bore the salt-water tarnish of many months at sea .
From the grapevine that functions on trains his fellow passengers learned that his last ship had been torpedoed in the North Atlantic, that he had been picked up and landed at Halifax, and was now on his way to Vancouver for a Pacific posting.
The RN officer sat with his back straight and his chin pulled in against
his neck, while the locomotive sucked the prairie miles under her pony trucks and rolled them out astern. Suddenly he gripped the arms of his chair until his knuckles whitened. Still with his eyes fixed on that remote point where steel, sky and wheatland met, he exploded harshly:
“Earth! ... Earth! ... I never saw so much damned earth!”
• • •
From Vancouver comes a reverse version of the shortage-born yarn about the city slicker who drops into a country store, finds the proprietor has never even heard of Field Marshal Montgomery, and drives away with a car full of rationed loot. This story, which our scout swears is true, concerns a Vancouver Board of Trade party which rolled into a sun-baked Cariboo town that cherishes dreams of longvanished gold-rush days.
Sure, the storekeeper had ladies’ stockings . . . lots of ’em, the thin kind that it’s ’most a scandal for a gal to wear. Been in stock quite some time . . . so long he’d clean forgot about ’em.
The Board of Trade party perked a collective ear. The whisper went round, “Nylons!” Then the stampede, 1945 style, was on. A reporter tagging the party put the story on the wire, and down in Vancouver 41 wives squealed with joy.
But the delight gave way to barbed comments on male dumbness when they opened their packages later. Not nylons but rayons . . . just nice practical rayons.
• • •
British Columbia summer school officials weren’t prepared for the response when they announced they had arranged housing for 900 teachers during this year’s session at Victoria.
The list of those who have acquired a sudden, keen interest in teachers’ training courses includes housewives, farmers, butchers, welders and boilermakers. Some of the letters come from halfway across Canada, and many are marked by spelling of a sort that would cause a pedagogue to cringe and quail.
“It’s odd how few replies we get when we write asking for the numbers and dates of their teaching certificates,” the summer school director comments. He adds, a trifle sadly, “Even some of the bona fide teachers are giving us trouble—they want to bring half a dozen relatives!”
• • •
Add Manpower Shortage: Front the “City Council Notes” in the Prince Rupert Daily News: “Six or seven
applications have been received by the city for the position of poll tax and dog tax collector. The possibility of obtaining a man who could act as building inspector and city engineer as well is being considered.”
• • •
Some Saint John, N.B., youngsters are going to catch it, according to this advertisement in the Telegraph-Journal —“Correspondence is invited from a very strict, capable lady who is a firm believer in corporal punishment and efficient in administering it.”
• • •
The extra-special guardian angel who watches over the composing room of The Canadian Churchman got caught with his wings down the other day. It got into print this way:
“The choir should realize that it is their primary duty to lead. They can
show a lack of inspiration. They can rise in a slow and slovenly way. No one wants a choir to behave like soldiers, but their movements and their sinning should have the precision that is expected of leaders.”
• • •
Without comment, we offer this three-liner from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix classified:
FOR SALE—ONE HOMEMADE COFFIN. Never been used. Fit 6’ 2". Reason for selling: improved health.
Contributions to Parade should be of general interest, recent origin, and refer to happenings within or closely connected to Canada. Items should be accompanied by some substantiating evidence. Accepted contributions are paid for at regular rates. No contributions can be returned
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