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mark wood

by Mark Wood

When In Rome, Burn It Down

Welcome to Newfoundland Labrador, the cultural and financial epicentre of North America. Our tour guides Smokin’ Joe and Jimmy Two Fires will brief you on how to make the most of your vacation here this summer, where to go, what to do and how to do it.

Smokin Joe: “Go and have a look at some icebergs and whales but don’t get too close to the edge of the cliff. It drops off right sharp just like it does on the map. There’s a fine line between sightseeing and you being just another blip in the news.”

Jimmy Two Fires: “Try the local cuisine. The menu might advertise a large fish and chip with dressing and gravy but ask for a massive Fi/Chi/D & G with a large fork.”

SJ: “Do not get Screeched In. The practise of downing shots of rum was merely a ploy by the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation to sell more of their product to tourists. With the development of our oil fields we’ve abandoned the cultural mockery and have no need to stoop to such shenanigans. We’ve got lots of money now.”

J2F: “Not to say that you can’t have fun though.”

SJ: “Absolutely! When in Rome, burn it down.”

J2F: “Everybody whose anybody is hanging around the fire pit bailing back the Smokey Browns and practising the fine art of conversation.”

SJ: “Lots of mainlanders like yourself coming here looking for jobs these days too.”

J2F: “ Yep, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen even worked here recently.”

SJ: “We’ve even got a name for people who come here to work. We call them Newfoundlanders.”

J2F: “It’s a compliment. If you can eke out an existence here you can survive anywhere.”

Enjoy your visit and watch for moose, on a menu they’re great, on a highway...not so great.

Mark Wood is a feature writer for the Independent(.ca)
Smokin’ Joe is a recluse with cult status.
Jimmy Two Fires handles all our correspondence.