My wife announced this weekend that we were being visited by the all the devils of hell. I can always tell when she has been talking to her Irish Catholic girlfriends. The gravity of any situation is greatly enhanced when described properly. Before seriously considering what might be behind her pronouncement, three scenarios popped into my mind.
(1.) a number of people from the Prime Minister's Office were at the door to inform me I had been qualified as a Stephan Harper resembler! Not literally, of course, but more figuratively. In the PM's ongoing attempt to make a break-through with the Canadian voter, his acolytes at my door had been told that: (a.) I stood up to pee; (b.) I knew that Canadian Forces had introduced hockey to Afghanastan; (c.) I had declined to be a franchisee for a new chain of coffee shops in Kandahar, called Afghan Stan's, which was to complete directly with Tim Horton's. I knew I would feign interest as long as there was a possibility of them giving me one of those cool Stephan Harper safari vests, for free, before telling them to take a hike.
(2). the annual spring-time team of teenage door-to-door marketers had arrived to save me, for another five years, from paying outrageously high gas prices to heat my home. They always have a huge clipboard with important records about me, none of which point out that I am not connected to the gas main. When this fails to dissuade them, I immediately point out that my home is one the lucky few, situated on the Oak Ridges Moraine, that is heated geo-thermally with hot water and steam from beneath the earth. I say it is free, requires no maintenance and has no odour. Some start to laugh, but I stay perfectly calm and in control. Others...their eyes glaze over. Some are speechless. I always thank them profusely while shutting the door.
(3.) Lastly, 'all the devils of hell' could mean that my grandchildren have arrived for a visit.
I only have two grandchildren and they're both barely a year old, but I don't think you can start too early to impress them with how important they are to you. I therefore resolve, from this day forward, to greet their arrival, each and every time, with a wicked, but loving, "Tis all the devils of hell come for a visit".
What Linda was referring to, when she made her pronouncement about the devils of hell visiting, was our collective health. She's just getting over some surgery and I've had a brush with pneumonia. Hacking, coughing and sneezing has kept me from the grandkids for a week now and I desperately, desperately, miss them.