Counting Beers


Counting Beers

Back in 2000, when we first moved into our place in Dunham, Quebec, on a beautiful spring day, I noticed a pickup truck parked outside by the mailbox. Rotating on its top was a radar thingofamabob which I found curious. There was a woman sitting in the cab looking down at some notes. I noticed a Quebec logo printed on the truck’s door.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Counting beers,” she replied with a smile and went back to her notes.

Hmm, I thought. Big Brother is a big thing out here in the country.

Moving to the country was a subject of discussion not long into my relationship with Naomi. We met in late 1995 and by the spring of 1998 we were sold out on the idea of getting out of Montreal. Actually, the real engine behind the project was Naomi but I was game.

Dunham was a town that we were familiar with. On a bicycle trip to the Eastern Townships in the summer of ’96 we stayed at a B&B in Dunham. One of the owners was an artist and his art was everywhere, indoors and out.

So they count beers in the forest, I thought. Hmm.

Years later, we would on occasion see small military planes and helicopters flying overhead; we heard that they were looking for marijuana plantings which locals placed in the middle of larger cornfields.

But beer?

Not long after this encounter with the government person it hit me: she didn’t say, “We’re counting beers.” But of course! She said: “We’re counting deers.”

Still, I’m impressed with the technology, as early as 15 years ago, whereby you could count deer all around you with a sensor on your truck.

She was saying, “deers”, wasn’t she?



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