Reminiscences (2)

So Michaëlle Jean, our new Gov­er­nor-Gen­er­al, is mak­ing her first offi­cial vis­it as the Cana­di­an head of state*, and she chose Man­i­to­ba, my province, as her first offi­cial des­ti­na­tion. (“Trav­el Man­i­to­ba! Just like the queen-by-proxy! See the sights!”)

They wel­comed her with a twen­ty-one-gun salute, which remind­ed me of an exchange I had with a friend back in my uni­ver­si­ty days. He’d just fin­ished watch­ing a funer­al scene in Back­draft, new­ly released on video, and he said to me, “Pat, when I die, I want a twen­ty-one-gun salute.”

Me: I’ll see what I can—

Him: Right into my coffin.

Me: [amused and con­fused silence]

Him: I’m afraid of being buried alive.

* As she rep­re­sents the Queen, she is in fact in charge of our government.

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