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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 04.01.11
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

April is the season of...

T.S. Elliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month." Nuh-uh, Mr. Elliot. (Or may I call you "T"?) That's not how you spell it. It's c-o-o-l-e-s-t. April is the coolest month.

Of course, when he wrote that, Elliot was probably still reeling from the April Fool's prank an anonymous editor had played on him the year prior: publishing a poem under Eliot's name in the Times of London entitled, "Love Song 2: The Irresistible Pan Flute of J. Alfred Prufrock."

But once you get past the prankster pitfalls and psychological trauma of its first day, April is a pussycat. It's about as laid back as a month can get. Moderate temperatures. Baseball season. Fishing, for God's sake! And surely Easter is the least stressful of all the chocolate-based holidays.

But mostly what sets off April's mellow vibe is the fact that it's the season of renewal.

There's nothing quite like watching the world come back to life after the long winter months. The rhubarb pushing its eager head out of the ground only to be ignored for the rest of the season, because, honestly, that stuff is horrid! Men digging their barbecues out of storage. Women doing the same with their leg razors.

Speaking of miserable chores you have to deal with every now and then, my wife and I will likely celebrate the season of renewal by renewing our passports. We were looking at them the other day, prompting my wife to wonder, somewhat affronted, why I had listed my father on my passport as the emergency contact instead of her.

"Because," I said, "if I die outside the country, you'll probably be with me."

"I'll probably be the one who did it," she replied.

A few days later, I was eating some jujubes, when, ugh, one of them tasted terrible! I couldn't remember, however, which colour I had put in my mouth.

"What colour is this?" I asked my wife, and stuck out my tongue covered in half-chewed jujube.

"Red," she said. "And you're gross."

My point is that I probably shouldn't consider April the season of renewal for my marriage vows.

April, on the other hand, is a good time to get chores done around the yard while you still have the enthusiasm and energy to lug all your tools and equipment across the lawn, unlike later on when you've lost the will to lift.

For example, you might have some rickety stairs that need repairing. Maybe you'll fix the banister or replace that rotting newel post at the bottom of the stairs. After all, April is the season of re-newel.

Then there's all the spring cleaning, with April being the only time you truly feel inspired to give the house a good going over, really get into the hard-to-reach corners and taking a good whiff for any mouldy or noxious smells, unlike later when you've lost the will to whiff.

Me, I like to give our food cupboards a thorough cleaning in April. You know how you end up with all sorts of open packages of spaghetti and other pasta, and sometimes they spill all over the place? Well, I usually just throw them all away. Out with the old boxes of pasta and in with fresh ones. Yes, April is the season of re-noodle.

April also seems to be the time when more kids than ever go door to door selling raffle tickets and goodies. I've bought so much chocolate over the years, I should get a philanthropic award from the candy bar industry. I especially like nougat-filled bars. Sometimes when I feel I've bought too many to eat myself, I give them as gifts, because April is the season of re-nougat.

Mostly, though, many of us look forward to April because it's the end of March, which is National Really Terrible Pun Month -- which I guess, in the end, would make March the cruelest month.

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through www.townships.ca. He can be reached at ross_murray@sympatico.ca.

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