I have figured out how to stick a visitor counter on my blog, to see how many people read it and to get a rough idea where they come from.
There have been a couple of interesting discoveries.
The first is that as far as I can tell, my friend Lemon Gloria may very well be the only person who has visited this page more than once.
And that’s fine, because I haven’t told anyone about it; I’m not a link on Drudge or GreatUnheardOfWriters.com. I’m willing to give the magic of the internet time to work.
Another interesting stat is that someone from Kingston, Ontario blew through the page once. I say "blew through" because the person only stayed on for 2 seconds, hardly enough time to digest the weight of my words.
What makes it interesting is that, not only have I been to Kingston, I’ve been to Kingston many times. I actually went through some sort of strange time warp or wormhole there… more on that in a second.
My family has a cabin on a lake in Ontario, about an hour north of Kingston. For years I only knew of the city because it had the nearest hospital, in case my grandparents ever tumbled down their hill. It’s a long ride from the cottage to the Kingston hospital for an 83-year-old woman, but Mema was fine and able to laugh about it for years afterward.
Once I was old enough to have a car up there, Kingston was a daytrip to get away from the rest of the family for a bit. It has stores and bars and restaurants and a big canon aimed across Lake Ontario. They say the canon was to fend off invaders during the War of 1812. I’m not so sure. We need to watch those Kingstonians to make sure they aren’t priming the guns for a surprise assault on Burnham Point, N.Y.
Shopping in Kingston is interesting, because everything is in Canadian dollars, and it’s easy to forget whether you’re getting a good deal or a terrible one. $15.00 for a paperback seems like a lot, but is it really? No one really knows. Plus, there’s the added value of it being a Canadian paperback as opposed to a regular old American book. That has to be worth something.
They also have a Canadian Tires store in Kingston, which is the single greatest store in the world. Any place that sells car batteries, hockey equipment, linens and DVDs deserves its own blog entry.
Now, the time warp.
One summer I was up at the cottage with friends and we took a daytrip to Kingston. We shopped, ate and drank until dark.
I need you to set up your mental map here…
We were on the EAST side of town. We drove WEST, with the lake to our left and the distinctive domed City Hall to our right.
We continued this way for about 20 minutes, and then turned right, or NORTH. We believe this was the only turn we made.
We didn’t recognize the road, but it was dark, and heading NORTH, as my internal brain compass confirmed, would take us up to the lake.
La la la… so we drove, until one of my passengers said look, that building looks just like the distinctive domed City Hall in Kingston. Why, yes, yes it did.
It was coming up on our right.
There was a large body of water on our left, looking a lot like Lake Ontario.
Lake on the left, City Hall on the right… we were not just in the general area of where we had started. We were at the exact same place where we had started our trip back to the cottage: We were on the EAST side of town, with the lake to our left and the distinctive domed City Hall to our right.
How the f#%k did that happen?
The only explanation was the supernatural.
And that’s another reason to love Kingston.