Friday, 25 May 2007 03:52
Written by Tom & Joe
When the idea was presented to us to write a piece for each issue of Winnipeg Men magazine, I was really excited. First of all, I love the mag, and I assumed Joe and I would sit down together and have a great time writing about whatever was on our minds. After all, we’ve been interacting on air for hours each morning, for years now. In fact, we do everything together, from the morning show, to public appearances, to charity events and so on. This would be just an extension of that in another medium. Or so I thought, until Joe exclaimed: “We don’t write this together you moron! You write your part and I write mine.”
What!!?......I don’t write! At least not alone! I haven’t written anything alone since high school! And even then I was never really alone (thanks Coles Notes). I couldn’t wrap my head around how this would work doing it separately, until Joe showed me what he meant.
The topic we had agreed on was the hottest one at the moment to write about—the new provincial holiday for February, and how thousands of 92 CITI FM listeners had signed our petition, forcing the government’s hand to create the stat. It’s a great story of a grassroots movement getting things done. And as you see, Joe tells it very well...without me. Turns out, he’s a hell of a writer, as well as a broadcaster. Just don’t ask him to act....but that’s a story for another issue.
So read on and enjoy. It’s great to be joining you on these pages. I’m sure Joe will have something really interesting again for you next issue.
I remember some Canadian historian once said that the Saskatchewan/ Manitoba rivalry started the day the government laid down the border between the two provinces. Growing up a sports fan, and never being a deep thinker, I always thought the gloves came off for the first time with the first ever Labour Day Classic between the Roughriders and the Bombers. That annual battle between the two provinces had its prairie fire stoked even more when Bomber kicker Troy Westwood called Rider fans Banjo Pickin’ Hillbillies. So now the Winnipeg rematch between the two teams, or maybe communities in this case, is called the “Banjo Bowl”.
Then came the last straw. At the beginning of February, the team at 92 CITI FM heard something that struck a chord, and it sounded a lot worse than something coming from an out-of-tune banjo. Saskatchewan was getting something we didn’t have.... a February holiday! It hurt. It really, really hurt.
Hey, Manitoba is the superior province, we all know that. Yet with their mid-winter holiday, we felt like Saskatchewan was sticking it to us. We were getting about as much respect as Ned Beatty did in the movie Deliverance—ouch! The only thing wider than the gap between the teeth of the star hillbilly in that movie is probably the gap between New Year’s Day and Easter. Our winters are long, and who couldn’t use a day off for whatever. We as Manitobans pride ourselves in being hard working people, so why not a day to do nothing at all if you like?
It was a no-brainer: something had to be done to get us back on even prairie ground with our neighbours. The idea for the 92 CITI FM Holiday Petition hatched so fast it would have made the Manitoba Egg Producers proud. Within days, over 25,000 Manitoba holiday seekers had signed it. Even the political powers-that-be were quickly taking notice. Both opposition parties had given their support and the Manitoba Holiday “Just Doer” campaign only needed to hear from one more. Ten days into the rally, Labour Minister Nancy Allen came on our morning show and said it was a done deal. Manitoba will be getting a February holiday! Congratulations, you deserve it.
Now, there are only two questions left to ask. What do we name this holiday? And what do you do that day?
To celebrate the first one in 2008, I think I might just lock myself up at home and rent some flicks. Maybe even a Ned Beatty movie marathon. But not Deliverance....again.