Canadian Heritage Moment

Fresh-faced Peter Mansbridge, the young newly-hired grocery clerk with locks of thick and vital flaxen hair braided beyond his waist like a horse’s mane, picks up the intercom microphone at SafeWay, a grocery store chain that is spreading like ice over the northern parts of North America, the sub-arctic tundra known to its thick-skinned residents only as the Great White North. “Clean up in aisle 7,” Mansbridge announces. In the dairy section, flickering in and out of existence under the fluorescent blue light that keeps the cottage cheese cool, a gnome pricks up his ears. Seconds go by. With urgency, Mansbridge repeats: “Clean up in aisle 7, tonight!” The gnome quickly mounts his trusty steed and gallops down through frozen foods, across the bakery, and up aisle 7, being sure to hurdle over its cause for cleanup – a child’s sick from tasting a spoilt sample of salmon paté in aisle 13. Wide-eyed and snatching young Mansbridge by his apron-stringed lapels, the gnome shouts, “YOU, grocery clerk! We must have YOU and your errand boy voice for our Canadian Broadcasting Corporation!”