Harley Hay

Harley Hay: To stay-cay or not to stay-cay

Just thinking about holidays takes me back to being a kid when we didn’t have a car and so mostly our summer holidays were basically not having one. A real holiday, I mean. But when you’re ten and it’s about a hundred years ago when the world seemed so much safer and simpler and the only phone around was screwed to the wall by the kitchen instead of in everybody’s face, having summer holidays at home was enough. More than enough.

But these days, after a very long year and a half of dismal damn-demic lockdown, a “staycation” just seems to be a little more “been there, done that” than “here’s a great idea – let’s stay home this year!”

So many folks are twitchin’ and itchin’ to go somewhere – anywhere – this summer and do something – anything – anywhere else! Unless of course there are still travel restrictions that include your first, second, and third choices for a holiday destination.

So, what to do when you darn sure need a getaway and your getaway has got up and gone? Well, here at the Daze we (reluctantly) turn to the one “expert” who will answer our calls…

Hay’s Daze: (ring, ring) Hello, is this Reggie Smoot?

Dr. Reginald Smoot: (crackle, crackle) This is Dr. Reginald Smoot, PhD, Professor of Sociology at the University of Correspondence, Carrot River, Saskatchewan speaking to you as we speak.

H.D.: I can hardly hear you, the reception seems… (crackle)

Smoot: (clunk, bang, crash) (groan) Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? I just stepped off my e-scooter, but I should have stopped the e-scooter first…

H.D.: Yes, I can hear you much better. But, are you OK?

Smoot: Finer than frog’s hair, as a student of mine named Basil used to say. He was one of my best academics. Used to sign all his essays: “See you in the funny papers.” I wonder what ever happened to him…

H.D.: Really? Hey, there used to be a street fellow in Red Deer that…

Smoot: Never mind, you probably want my expert opinion on something. You’re the only one who ever calls my work number.

H.D.: Right. My readers and I were just discussing the idea of attempting a soul-saving vacation during challenging times, when society is in an unprecedented upheaval.

Smoot: Upheaval, what upheaval? Things are what I like to call “tickity boo” here in Saskatchewan. We have e-scooters and northern pike and the mighty Rough Riders, and speaking of vacations, I’m flying to Vegas next week.

H.D.: This is exactly what we’re talking about, Smoot! How can we even think about a happy holiday when borders are closed, entire provinces are burning and people have a hate on for each other because some believe they have the right to make others sick and others think some people should just take their medicine and shut the front door.

Smoot: Wait. Did you say something about closed borders? That would be a significant societal issue worth talking about.

H.D.: Finally! So in your opinion, how should society balance the need for safety of all citizens versus the need for sanity for individual citizens?

Smoot: Yes, this is very serious, indeed. I mean, this could possibly result in myself not personally going to Las Vegas next week. And believe me, I really need a vacation. Also, I think I hurt myself falling off the e-scooter just now, and I hear the United States has good orthopedic surgeons.

H.D.: So, as usual, you don’t have any insights or useful advice for us on what to do about having a vacation this year, do you.

Smoot: Of course I do. Make sure you get cancellation insurance. I sure wish I did.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. Send him a column idea at harleyhay1@hotmail.com.