By Jonah Kondro
I’ve rode through enough rainstorms on a motorcycle to know eventually an overpass affords a little respite from the rain; or other times pushing through till the end of the storm means I’m neutralizing my shivers in the bathtub. I’ve always made it home, and there has always been another sunny day to ride my motorcycle.
The worst rainstorm I’ve ever been through was late last summer. I was at the tail end of a month long motorcycle mission and riding up the Coquihalla Highway in B.C. The sun had long since extinguished for the day, the rain was unrelenting, and I had been shivering so much that I thought I was warm again (maybe that was a small dose of hypothermia setting in). Doesn’t all that sound a little like an economic recession? Misery, gloom, and sobriety.
These days recession has become a dirty word like suicide, terrorism, or the cost of a barrel of oil. I rode through the 2008 financial storm and yet I still remade all the same poor choices as the collapse of Alberta’s economy approached in 2015.
I know enough to know that I should have saved more of my nickels when the work was there; just like how I know I should pack an extra pair socks when riding my motorcycle—a little something just in case I run out.
Riding through these storms hasn’t changed my attitude. What I think is worse is the fact that I survived. If I know what I must do to beat the storm, then I’ll simply put that action into place when the time arrives. I won’t try to avoid the bad weather, financial or otherwise. I believe there will be another overpass to hide under, or another economic trigger that will get people making money again.
I’m a middle class college student that doesn’t have the middle class pay cheques anymore. Some of my college peers just celebrated graduating high school. My ten year high school reunion just pasted last summer. The funny thing about talking with some college kids is that they aren’t talking about overpasses or the price of oil. They haven’t been caught in the rain yet, so to speak.
It sounds like I’m desiring to pontificate a vast amount of middle class life knowledge; and that all these younger generations should be venerating my existence. But I’ll stop myself right there before an old timer shows up on my doorstep and starts yammering on about the interest rates in the 1980s.
I’ve had to wait under an overpass or two waiting for the weather to let up, had a chocolate bar in my bag, and a nip of a little something something in a 375ml bottle. The work and the sun will be back (someday), and maybe by then I’ll have a degree finished up and I’ll more than happy to get back into the workforce.
If the ghost of Ralph Klein is reading this, please let there be another oil boom. I’ll promise not to *** it all away next time.