We're now a week into the dump fire and, if nothing else, I've grown to appreciate the very dark sense of humour that people around town have developed towards it. These are a few of my favourites so far, with attribution where I can remember them:
Song lyrics: "The dump, the dump, the dump is on FIRE! We don't need no water. Let the motherfucker burn! Burn motherfucker burn! (with apologies to Anne, who will yank my ear for that much profanity) - Vinnie Karetak.
Cultural perspective: "Oh look, Iqaluit now has the world's largest Qulliq."
Tourism signage #1: "Welcome to Iqaluit. (1) days since our dump was on fire." - Chris Windeyer
Tourism singage #2: "Iqaluit Dump Fire Established Sept. 2010." - Kent Driscoll
Contest: Stay tuned for announcement next @NunatsiaqNews contest: predict the date Iqaluit dump fire ends, win a prize. - Jim Bell
I've also heard talk of office betting pools on when the dump is going to stop burning. So yes, we're finding ways to amuse ourselves while the dump goes up in the flames. Of course, it's easier to have a black sense of humour about it as long as the smoke is not blowing into town. Miraculously, that's been happening most of the week the dump has been on fire (It caught on fire on Sept. 24 and might have been smoldering for days before that. So I'm calling this Dump Fire Season instead of Fall).
That changed today, however, when the smoke blew into Apex, forcing the school to close. Then the wind shifted some more, causing it to hover over the town for part of the afternoon. Then the jokes seem to have a bit more of an edge to it. I also heard a couple of businesses might have closed because people were feeling nauseous.
Fire Chief Walter Oliver also sounds like he's getting pretty frustrated over all the comments, criticism and suggestions about putting out the fire if this story is any indication. I confess, his explanation makes some sense and perhaps my idea of using water bombers on the dump fire for three days might be a bit ill-informed.
Still, the chief better get used to the griping if the wind keeps blowing the smoke over town. And the city is probably going to have to come up with something other than close your doors and don't open windows. It's a pretty vile smell, plus you can taste it in your mouth when you breath it in. Get a couple days straight of that and people are going to freak.
The other Iqaluit-related story that was more amusing that dramatic was the upcoming changes to the local cinemas. Yes, welcome to the north where the local theatre getting a digital projector is a news story. I tease, but I actually found this interesting.
I confess, part of me is going to miss the comforting noise of the projector making noise behind me. And getting to see movies in 3D does nothing for me as there have been about five movies, maybe, that have actually looked good in the 3D process (Avatar, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me and, well, I'm sure there are two others somewhere). But getting major movies in a more timely fashion and fewer projector breakdowns, that would be nice.
1. Winter (live) - Tori Amos
2. Late in the evening - Paul Simon
3. And now the day is done - Ron Sexsmith
4. The bones of an idol - The New Pornographers
5. Tickle Cove Pond - Ron Hynes*