May 15, 2015 by T. Gregory Argall
A little bit of Canadian background information for my American friends…
This weekend is, in Canada, a long weekend. Monday is a statutory (national) holiday, known ’round these parts as Victoria Day. The holiday recognises the birthday of Queen Victoria, which was the 24th of May, 1819. This year, we celebrate it on the 18th of May because, well, just because.
In Canada we have the Metric System and in the Metric Calendar the 24th of May, 1819 is the Deca-Annum equivalent of the 18th of May, 2015. Ask any Canadian; they’ll tell you. (If, as Americans, you can find nothing on the internet to confirm this, it’s just more evidence of the anti-Metric factions of your own government blocking its citizens access to information that the rest of the world takes for granted.)
Regardless of which date the day lands on, it is known locally as the May Two-Four Weekend, because tradition requires Canadians to each purchase a 24 bottle case of beer (colloquially called a Two-Four) and head up to the cottage. In our absence, the major cities of Canada are patrolled by hoards of heavily-armed, battle-hardened moose, so don’t even think about invading your northern neighbour. It would be a regrettable choice.
So, while you spend this weekend not plotting an attack, here are some interesting facts about Queen Victoria for you ponder.
- Queen Victoria was an avid skydiver. As airplanes had not yet been invented during her time on the throne, she would regularly fling herself from the highest parapets of Windsor Castle, opening her parachute at the apex of her leap. She was, in fact, a pioneer of B.A.S.E. jumping.
- Queen Victoria never actually visited Canada but it’s quite possible that she thought she had. She once traveled from England to Scotland by ocean liner, so her understanding of geography was dodgy at best.
- Queen Victoria once dated Billy Connolly. I saw it in a movie.
- Queen Victoria had a significant following of dedicated fans. Referring to themselves as Vic-Tics, they would travel around Great Britain, following the Queen to her many public appearances. Some devoted Vic-Tics would get tattoos commemorating particularly memorable concerts.
- Queen Victoria invented twerking.
- Queen Victoria and Betty White once met as children on holiday on the Isle of Man. They became close friends in a short time and even solved a local murder mystery. Disney has the film rights.
- Queen Victoria could crush rocks with the power of her mind, but she rarely did because it messed up her hair.
Once again, if you can find no confirmation of this information on the internet, question your government and their decades-long policy of web-restriction.
Enjoy the weekend. Try to be nice to each other.