Flames of Wrath: Summer Funtimes Guide

Yellowknife, last summer | Illustration by Tomasz Jedruszek

Flamin’ Raven | SATIRE

Last year, Yellowknife saw one of the worst summers in recent memory, an apocalyptic, near-permanent deluge of ash and smoke thanks to the hundreds of forest fires that burned in and around the territory. With this summer looking like it might take a similar turn according to recent statements by Minister of Things on Fire Michael Miltenberger, the Flamin’ Raven has decided to take his knowledge of all things flammable and help you achieve the best summer ever!

Media outlets and Facebook forecasters focused on the negative effects of living in a giant bong for weeks and weeks on end, so it’s easy to overlook the positive, downright thrilling opportunities that will abound in “le grand fumoir.” See, it already sounds more fun when you give it a fancy French name. I will have to try this for my ongoing “bataille pour la garde!” I’m already excited!

Smoke makes things better; Bacon, fish, Tommy Chong. Fashionable women the world over try desperately to achieve that smoky eye look with expensive makeup and online tutorials. Here, the ” l’été des filles du Yellowknife” are already way ahead of the game, with lovely red accents from hemorrhaging blood vessels in their eyes adding to the effect. “Trop belle!”

There are plenty of ways smoke can make regular activities even more awesome:

Extreme Hide and Seek. Regular Hide and Seek is for suckers who hate a challenge. The real challenge begins when the air itself is near-opaque with particle pollutants. You can literally walk 20 feet away from someone and they’ll never have a chance to find you come July. Add an element of danger and a self-regulating time limit by not allowing participants to carry inhalers. Last person standing/breathing wins.

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Smoke on the Rocks. If you’ve ever been to a big arena rock concert, you’ll see that bands spend big bucks on pyrotechnics and smoke shows. Our summer music festival can do this like no other. You can practically taste the music.

Garage Sales. The rush is on as you stake your claim on used goods before smoke damage renders them worthless. Although, a couch that smells like an ashtray is perfectly fine when everything smells like an ashtray.

A Walk around the Lake. Reduced visibility is a chance to use your imagination. Why not pretend you are taking a  foggy Olde English walk along the banks of the Thames in oh, say, 1888?  Why, who’s that coming down the trail towards you? Jack the Ripper? Pip pip, cheerio!

Zombie Walk. The juxtaposition of dozens of pretend zombies walking through a fully-functional downtown on a sunny day is okay for some, but the added realism of a city under the smoky veil of destruction will create the perfect illusion of the end of times. And all those bronchial chest-coughs will add extra aural authenticity.

A Day at the Beach. While traveling to the beach may not be advisable if fires get to close to Long Lake, we could bring the beach to us! The whole town could participate! We truck as much sand to the centre of the city and create a super fun wall around us…

So don’t moan about another smoky Yellowknife summer. Get out there and make the most of it! And remember the one activity that brought us all closer together as a community, and even gave us national media coverage last year: complaining about smoke.


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