Top Ten reasons I’ve been unable to catch some shuteye

Very calm, very cool. Nothing wrong here. Illustration: Siloam Yeung / The Peak

By: Clarence Ndabahwerize, SFU Student

  1. The collapse of liberal western democracy

Imagine waking up to find the Scottish unicorn on your passport in your room helping itself to your SFU acceptance letter. You know, that same one you left in your hastily purchased suitcase. Doesn’t make sense, does it? 

Well to catch you up, a series of recent events, only worthy of appearing on Homeland (they already did a “patriots” vs. government storyline), occurred. A man that could only be described as “dressed like a Viking,” roamed the halls of the United States Capitol. It was simply an attempt to subvert democracy by reminding us all that the first Europeans to set foot on this continent were indeed Vikings. Apparently, he’s now been arrested for this terrible insurrection but has access to a requested all-organic diet. 

On the plus side, now we all know from one famous image, what “Out Of One, Many” is in Latin: E Pluribus Unum. In God We (have to) Trust because, if this is only the start of many unimaginable incidents and escalations, we’re in for a ride.

2. The border is closed, but what about the Peace Arch gates?

I know they are never meant to be closed in a grand gesture of symbolism, but there’s an opportunity here to take symbolism to the next level. Imagine the headlines, the coverage, the buzz. Think of a picture (or Snapchat story) in which two people are on opposite sides of the gate, one an American, another a Canadian. A pictorial representation of these truly unprecedented times! The Peace Arch will be an absolute tourist attraction once the gates reopen. Everyone will want a slice of that history and to say, “I went to the place where it happened.” The pictures, at that moment, will be telling of our current troubles. Where can I buy a commemorative t-shirt?

3. An alternative and totally plausible plot for the second Sicario film

A film that tries to establish a conflict based on a vague and constructed connection between radical Islamic terrorism and the human/drug trafficking at the US-Mexico border only manages to build castles in the air. As the pandemic has many of us watching films for entertainment or passing time when needed, watching the follow-up to the 2015 hit film was not a very sound idea. Could there possibly be a trivialization and misrepresentation of the issues associated with both topics and areas of concern? Wouldn’t be Hollywood’s first foray into such territory . . . Perhaps the writers should watch a bit more news and leave the cultural incompetency to small things like having Tostitos not just with salsa or guac, but hummus, too. They could get chipotle flavoured hummus for an added extra effect to tie that all together very well! Maybe, that is the film . . . ?

4. Robert. C. Brown Hall

I haven’t been, but it’s apparently a rendition of Daedalus’ most famous creation: the labyrinth. Unfortunately, instead of a minotaur, I’ve found myself concerned there’s a really buff kangaroo with boxing gloves that’s going to hop after me late at night to recreate Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed, and against that beast, “there ain’t gonna be no rematch.” On the plus side, the bus loop is nearby, and many fine medical establishments are within reach as soon as I leave the confines of the mountain. Suddenly, the gondola makes a lot of sense in any catastrophic situation that may befall those on Burnaby Mountain — especially with kangaroos.

5. How are snow days going to work this semester?

For obvious reasons, there will sadly be none; however, if you look deep within and channel your inner optimist, you’ll most certainly see the positives in this. First, no perilous trips up the mountain with a significant chance of being stranded atop it. Second, no pushing buses, because my nine year-old Vans really won’t allow it. Third, no having to stress out about your pals at other universities having no classes while you do! Especially with an increased chance of camping in the AQ overnight rather than sleeping in your own bed. Hold on a minute, there’s nothing eager and academic about all that . . . I’ll stick with breakout rooms, unfortunately.

6. Gross income vs. net income

Self-employment (don’t forget being an artist) has never looked so daunting. Hopefully, the whole debacle doesn’t turn into those three infamous R’s. Rethink, Reskill, Reboot; because the pandemic killed your industry, and your next job could be in cyber. Oh, you were thinking of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Your customers will be reducing, all right.

7. Is the EU on the brink?

Everyone can’t stop talking about this (not really), but Brexit is official! Is the EU in trouble? No. Everyone’s going to be okay. Referendums are easy to hold and unfortunately effective on that little grey rainy isle if stuff isn’t working as it (inherently) ought to. Given that 2021 really isn’t working too well, either, maybe the UK will hold a referendum on whether to stay in or leave the year!

8. Why on Earth aren’t IKEA and Volvo doing business together?

No, not because they’re both Swedish brands! There’s an opportunity here to convince unsuspecting couch and coffee table shoppers to get a brand-new station wagon or SUV that will most definitely be safe for not only the entire family, but pedestrians too! The catchphrase could be, “you’ve sampled all our most wonderful furniture, our most wonderful cuisine while you were at it, how about also financing a car made with a most wonderful similar (unspecified) ethos!?” Ambiguous instruction manuals included, of course. Now, where’s that Allen key?

9. BC property assessment

How can it be that the Downtown Eastside single room occupancy hotels are as valuable as that? Aren’t such amazing living conditions supposed to drive up the value of real estate? Inflation, property taxation, real estate, oh my!

10. Should we start dropping apples on people’s heads when we’re angry? (gently, of course)

This sounds like a good way to let someone know you aren’t too happy with them. Maybe you could talk about Sir Isaac Newton after sorting out your beef? Maybe, gravity was discovered because one apple tree couldn’t stand this budding young physicist in its shade. Do we owe one of humanity’s greatest discoveries to anger? What else (both good and bad) has humanity discovered out of anger? Air conditioning? Drive-thrus? Aforementioned property assessments? The microwave? One explosive atom-splitting apparatus of doom?