Now on TikTok, in a historic first. I spotted an imported vodka at the liquor store called “Prince Igor” that I thought would be more apt as the rocket fuel for this, but ultimately went with a domestic brand, to keep my money out of Russian coffers. Would’ve thrown in a disclaimer here about how I meant no disrespect to Banff, except that nobody in Banff is actually from Banff. It’s a tourist town, where people might be conceived but are never born or raised. Last time I was there, half the town was Australian.
Last October I constructed a scarecrow-like entity for the annual sacrifice to the autumn sun. An effigy of myself constructed of dry foliage and old clothes and a couple of pruned branches held together with twine, to serve as a physical personification of everything I would like to lose in the coming year. Just for shits and giggles, I used a cardboard cutout of Jason Kenney for its face.
A few weeks ago I revisited the site where this sacrifice occurred, and saw that it had begat new life. It was probably just the THC, but a small part of me was briefly tempted to conclude that the shit Jason Kenney has for brains added more nutrients to the soil.
That macabre time of year is upon us — the time when I take that pile of unwearable old clothes that’s been accumulating for the past year deep into the eerie haunted wood, where I incorporate them in a scarecrow-esque effigy for immediate sacrifice to the dying sun. Stuffed with generous handfuls of that ubiquitous dry foliage that all species deciduous have been shedding like tears…
Part of the autumnal wicker man tradition is to attach a handwritten list somewhere on the effigy, detailing all the things one would like to lose in the coming year. Like a letter to Antisanta. For this ritual is not about gaining things one presently does not have, but about letting go of things one no longer needs. As the forest itself does in fall.
Upon attaching the aforementioned list, it’s time to get the party started and douse the whole thing in booze. This year’s choice of rocket fuel was inspired by a certain man who currently reigns supreme as the most moronic politician in all of Canada…
Speaking of politicians and their moronicity, we had a (highly underwhelming) federal election last month. I brought along a campaign letter I received during said election, which I never bothered to open. Mostly because I didn’t like the sanctimonious tone of the first two letters they sent me. I sensed I’d be none the wiser had I opened the third letter. But I found plenty good use for it in this haunted wood.
I always walk away from this experience feeling like my inner manitou just shed an exoskeleton. I don’t know if it’s the sacred smoke, or the way the pieces of burnt fabric flutter about like faceless dark angels in the wind high above. Or maybe it’s the spectres that always manifest themselves in the flames. Like this one, which immediately struck me as bearing an uncanny resemblance to a young Bernadette Peters…
Or this one. A phoenix rising, which for some reason looked like either a rubber chicken or one of those Instant Martians from the old Looney Tunes shorts that grew to full size when you added water.
Last but not least, there’s this image. You have to use your imagination a bit to see him, but you can vaguely make out the Cat in the Hat.