Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 10.27.15
Stanstead, Quebec


We are all 50 together forever!

Now that the federal election is over and we've wiped the rabid foam off our television and computer screens, we can all stop pretending we know what we're talking about and get back to what's really important in this country: my birthday.

There is barely a month left, and we all know how time flies when you're having fungus professionally removed from your basement. (Remember: November is National Mould Removal Month, with this year's theme "Check Your Spouse for Spores!" Look for Neil Young as the campaign spokesperson singing the promotional ad, "Mould Man, Look at My Wife.")

After such a long and divisive campaign, my 50th birthday is exactly the unifying farce this country needs.

Oh, it's not for me. If I had my way, I would turn 50 all alone in a dark, cold room with a bowl of vanilla pudding and a thick book by Jonathan Franzen to yell at ("If you can't write about sex properly, don't write about sex at all!"), you know, like every other day. I'm a bit of a shrinking violet, really, mostly because I don't get enough calcium. The doctor warned me I was going to get smaller and smaller. That was his osteoprognosis.

Where was I?

Oh, my birthday! Yes, you see, Canada is back to feeling good again. We're a giving country again. So I think my 50th birthday could make the country feel good about giving me gfts. Gifts, cash, bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau – - it's really a win-wine situation.

But it's not all fun and games and the brand new Guitar Hero. This is work – - mostly for my wife. But also for me because, you see, I'm a role model. Once I sat for a photo shoot with people dressed up as side dishes and I was a dinner roll model, but that's a story for another time.

It all goes back to 1984, when I accepted the honour of being class valedictorian at John Hugh Gillis Regional High School. There was much more to it than blue polyester gowns and quotes randomly pulled out of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, for on that day I made a solemn oath to live up to the motto printed on the cover of our yearbook: "Together Forever." Forever, people! Even when we turn 50! We are in this together!

And to Cindy, who in her yearbook autograph bet that at university I would have all the girls chasing me: correct.

It's up to me to prove to my classmates, who are likewise turning 50 or have already done so, that we are still vital, that we are anything but over the hill, that, honest, the girls were chasing me all over the place. I have photos.

Sure, the best time of the day is sweatpants time, and your social ambitions are in a constant battle with inertia and chocolate, and you spend too much time worrying about insurance and slipping in the shower, and you don't understand why your kids giggle when you say "Netflix and chill," which was something you heard somewhere so you repeated it because, dammit, you're still hip, and you have a hard time focussing.

Speaking of hip, did you see that Bloom County is back?

What were we talking about?

Right: turning 50. My point. My point? My point is this national celebration would not simply be for me turning 50 but for all of us turning 50. Except mostly me. Together Forever! So for the good of the country, for the good of a very specific demographic, for the good of me being the centre of attention, I hope you will all come together to join me watching you do all the work to make this a birthday that we – but again, mostly I – - will remember. The only thing I ask is that this not turn out to be like my 40th birthday. It was a good time and all, and I truly appreciated the subscription to Penguin-Of-The-Month™, but the local water supply is only just now becoming drinkable again.

Come on, Canada. Don't be so selfish! It's the least you can do for electing a prime minister younger than me, because that has totally weirded me out.