The government of Canada is giving us a flag. Not just a flag — the flag. The one that flies atop the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The one on the twenty-dollar bill. That flag. Giving it to us. Just for being us.
Turns out — we learned yesterday from a tour guide in the nation’s capital — that the Peace Tower flag gets changed at the end of each day. And the retired flag is then given to a Canadian citizen. To get it, you just ask. Specifically, you go online and fill out a request to the Minister of Public Service. What better souvenir of our Big Day in Ottawa? It’s gigantic, but it folds up, so we could surely jam it into our checked luggage. Back home in Vancouver we’ll need a pretty tall flagpole. Maybe a tree. It’d also make a super-cool bedspread.
The request form was simple: honorific, name, address, contact information. We clicked “submit” and an automatic “thank you” message came up. No, thank you, Canada!
And then we saw this:
“Approximate waiting period: 73 years.”
We wondered about that contact information we’d just supplied.
The phone number suddenly looked dubious.
The email address too. Will we even still be using email in the year 2090? Maybe the Web will have evolved into something else. The Internet of Thoughts?
Maybe by then we won’t have names. Maybe we’ll go by numbers. Or a string of emojis.
“Will you still be identifying as female, Mad?” I asked. “I think so,” she said, looking a bit troubled.
It seemed likely the girls would still be living on Earth. But where? “Maybe the desert — the dry air will be easier on your arthritic joints.” Or maybe it’ll pretty much all be desert by then.
“Do you think you two sisters will be living together?”
“No!” Lila said.
Well, that’s good, cuz then we get around the “one flag per household” rule.
“Your mom and I’ll be long gone, so when the first of you gets her flag in the mail — or by drone-drop or whatever — you’ll need to let the other one know that her number is just about up too.”
That idea made me happy.
“See, this will ensure you girls stay in touch with each other for your whole lives.”