It’s Friday. Up here in Alpine Nirvana, you know, five hours straight north from the home of the Gonzaga Bulldogs, a gaggle of Ducks fans sit, fidgeting nervously, wondering what to do with their new-found free time this weekend. Yes, we — Ducks fans that is — are everywhere, even in Kaslo, British Columbia, a tiny, isolated village that’s like a real-world version of Cicely, Alaska, the fictional town that provided the backdrop for that ’90s television classic, Northern Exposure.
There’s me and Osa, both of us South Eugene High School grads. There’s Paul and Donna, who moved here from Cottage Grove. There’s Jeff, the owner of Irlybird Hardware, who’s never been to Oregon but digs the Ducks because of their uniforms and overall style of play. And of course there’s my neighbor, Macker, an Edmonton Eskimos fanatic, a team that also features green and yellow as its base colors. He grins and gives me the “O” sign every time he walks by the house.
So what on earth are we Ducks fanatics here in Kaslo to do tomorrow — watch plodding Alabama bump heads with boring Mississippi State? No, I have a better idea. Well, five, actually…
No. 1: CHOP SOME MORE FIREWOOD
Hey, winter approaches. The mountains all around us are plastered with snow. We’re sending all the cheap electricity down to Seattle and Portland. There are dead trees out there for the felling. Grab a chainsaw and get busy.
No. 2: TAKE THE DOG FOR A WALK
Good for him. Good for you. Ease him into it, though — he’s not used to any action on Saturdays in the autumn.
No. 3: SAVE THE GOLDFISH
It’s getting cold. The pond’s freezing. Your wife loves the fish. She’s named them, for God’s sake. Grab an ice axe and start chopping.
No. 4: WASH THE CAR
OK, so it’s not a car. This isn’t West Linn or Lake Oswego. It’s a 1988 Japanese right-hand drive BJ 74 turbodiesel Toyota Landcruiser, aka Tenzing. Takes you anywhere and everywhere. Here’s your chance to return the love. Beside, the Ducks decals will show up better afterward.
No. 5: STARE AT A BLANK TV SCREEN FOR A WHILE
OK, it’s Saturday evening. Pour yourself a drink. Bring along some healthy snacks. Sit down in the ol’ Laz-y-Boy and stare at your blank TV screen. Don’t twitch or reach for the remote. Let your mind relax and wander to next Saturday — you know, November 22, when the Ducks will crush Colorado at Autzen. Visualize another victory. And bask in all you’ve achieved.
See? Bye weeks aren’t so bad after all.