Monday, May 21, 2007

happy birthday Q-Vic!

The Monday before or on May 24 is a statutory holiday in Canada, most commonly referred to as "May Two-Four weekend" (a "two-four" is a slang term meaning a case of 24 bottles of beer). It's the official gateway to summer, when theme parks and campgrounds open for business, barbeques are fired up, and outdoor cafes and patios become packed with pasty-skinned locals thirsty from hibernation.

But we owe this holiday to two formidable forces: the Banks, who will grab onto any ol' day off and make it a national institution until the end of time; and Queen Victoria, who was born on May 24, 1819. If you can read the quote on the photo, she seems worthy of the attention: "Give my people beer, plenty of beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them." OK, say what you want about the monarchy, but that's one smart bitch.

Once known as "Empire Day" and "Commonwealth Day", this holiday now known officially in Canada as "Victoria Day" is also celebrated in other Commonwealth countries with fireworks, parties and government-sanctioned public drinking.

If you want the whole history of the holiday, you can read it here.

Like the majority of Canadians, I have spent my holiday weekend working on some minor home improvement and landscaping projects (damn, I'm handy! And I can cook too! I think I'll keep me around for awhile.) . I think the Old Gal would approve of my labours: a new pulse massage showerhead, a totally smokin' hot floral and herb garden, a sexycool cocktail bar, and a new sculptural lighting installation in my living room. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I have been drinking while decorating, though not to excess, because I love all my fingers and toes with equal passion. And tonight, I shall toast each and every one of you when I'm blitzkreiged at the city waterfront, watching fireworks and tazering black flies.

I don't really have any special bond with the Queen, be it Victoria or Elizabeth, but I greatly appreciate the holidays, and I've rather enjoyed most of her movies (The Queen, Elizabeth, Mrs Brown, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert). I'm a little sad that we don't have a national holiday for Queen Elizabeth II's real birthday on April 21. That woman has been large and in-charge for 55 years. Imagine! FIFTY FIVE YEARS!! Okay, Q-Vic reigned for 63 years, but she didn't have the British tabloids on her lawn and trainwrecks like Fergie in her house. So give the woman a freakin holiday. Besides, I could use more time-off between Easter and May TwoFour.


Snooze said...

Bar, garden - those are home renos I believe in. Happy Victoria Day!

pistols at dawn said...

I love the idea of Empire Day. I would rename it "Hey, Let's All Get Drunk And Colonize Some Place" Day.

And if you really like fixing things, I am pretty good at breaking stuff, so one day we should get an apartment or a sitcom. However, the pulsating showerhead makes me fairly redundant, unless you also like buying booze but hate drinking it.

Excelsior on the ol' holiday, and start a revolution against your liver in fine fashion.

katrocket said...

hey snooze - happy VD to you too! chin-chin!

pistols: I really only get the Handybitch Itch once a year, so if you can manage to break things only during the one-week period leading up to May Two-Four, we have a deal. There's always room at El Rancho Rocket for multiple showerheads.

Bert Bananas said...

Seriously, do the Irish celebrate HV Day?

I always wanted to be Scottish, but even after watching Darby O'Gill and his little people, the Irish held no attraction for me.

pistols at dawn said...

I am unable to fix just about anything. As a few of my friends have pooled their dole checks to purchase houses (shanties or bivouacs, mostly) that are perpetually in need of repairs, I instantly shy away from homeownership, not because I can't afford it (though I can't), but because I don't want to become one of those people who thinks other people are interested in a 40 minute conversation about how their new doors are so different. Do they still open and shut? Is the new one a robot? End of conversation.

katrocket said...

For me personally, owning property is impractical. I don't like commitments, so I rent. The property manager is supposed to fix things for me, but he usually does a sloppy half-assed job, and stuff just breaks again, so I prefer to do things for myself.

pistols at dawn said...

I believe that was the initial inspiration for "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves," because "Hey Landlord, Fix My Leaky Faucet" didn't test as well.

The Guv'ner said...

I got all psyched for one of those pulsating showerheads but it was short lived once I figured out my shower head is stationery, non-adjustable and I'm not an acrobat or a gymnast.

(my toes will have to STAY dirty)

Even though I live in the NYC now, in the Village in particular, which is FULL of queens, we still don't get any holidays relating to them. So well done!

Leonesse said...

I am much more interested in hearing about the "totally smokin' Herb and Hot Flower garden".

I have heard those Jamaicans were invading and I think your place is their first stop on the UnderWeed Railroad.

katrocket said...

Leonesse: I wish, but it's just a "smokin HOT floral & herb garden" mostly pink & purple petunias, and the herbs are of the cooking variety, not the smoking variety. I'm a serious disappointment to all those people who voted me "Most Likely to Rule Over a Columbian Drug Cartel" in high school.