During the war of 1812, The McKenzie family (comprising of Tobias and Elsie, the parents, their alcoholic son, Stephen, and their comely daughter, Margaret, and whose future successors were the famous McKenzie Brothers of International fame, fictiously played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) were commissioned by the government of Upper Canada to infiltrate the American battalions and scour for information concerning battle plans.
While Tobias and Elsie acquired most of their information through games of chance and thievery, Margaret McKenzie acquired the bulk of the information gathered by the family through flirtation and the subsequent blackmail of American officers. Stephen, however, rarely contributed to the family business, and merely participated in, and won, numerous drinking competitions with the Americans, due to their weak beer.
While the information gathered by the McKenzie Family was crucial to nearly all Canadian victories, their crowning acheivement was when Stephen and Margaret had teamed up to inebriate Americans and then place them in compromising situations, to be used for blackmail against their wives. They had done this in Queenston, Upper Canada, in June, 1813, when they found out that the Americans were going to stage a surprise attack against Lt. Fitzgibbon at Beaver Dams. Heroically, the entire family jumped into a canoe and rowed all the way to Beaver Dams, where they told Fitzgibbon the Americans’ plans. Unfortunately for the McKenzies, while they were the first to arrive with the information, Chocolatier Laura Secord also came with the identical information, whose sweet truffles left a much sweeter memory for Fitzgibbon, who gave Secord the credit.
Unofficially, the government of Upper Canada made the third february of every year “McKenzie Family Day.” nearly 200 years later, the Ontario government recognized the holiday and made it statuatory for all employers who felt like following it. Unfortunately, the name McKenzie had been lost to the annals of time and bureaucracy, leaving only our time-honoured “Family Day.”
*UPDATE* Apparently there are those out there who don’t know enough Canadian history to know this is fake. So officially, I made this all up. Capiche?
Hallowe’en. Apparently this is the worst day ever for Christians, the Anti-Holiday. Having grown up in the culture that makes hallowe’en what it is in Canada, before spending any time in the Christian Sub-Culture, I’m always interested in people’s views about it. Some are vehemently against it, while some don’t see the big deal.
I understand the fear behind Hallowe’en. It has pagan roots (from Samhain, a druidic holiday from thousands of years ago), it seems to glorify evil, and a whole slough of other problems. I understand that since the 80′s, with reports of Satanic Ritual Abuse (with all reports that have been put forth seriously being found fraudulent) and the evils of Dungeons and Dragons (seriously?), Evangelical Christians have put their foot down and decided that Harvest Festivals are the way to go. May I give an alternative solution?
Our current Hallowe’en consists of dressing up in costumes and adorning our houses with jack o’ lanterns and at times, attempting to scare each other a little. Ghouls, Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves and their ilk, as we know them, exist only within our imagination, as archetypes for monsters – the unknown. Monsters aren’t real – they help teach and give kids tools to imagine. While the kids may dress up as a vampire one night, every other day they imagine fighting the vampire instead. These archetypes hold no evil over us. Simple as that. And just because Jack O’Lanterns have their roots in Samhain, to ward off evil spirits, it doesn’t mean you can’t carve some wicked cool pumpkins.
Obviously, I don’t want to downplay the real evil in the world, nor will I say that witchcraft and demons don’t exist – but the reality of these is so far removed from Hallowe’en that there is a substantial disconnect between the two.
Obviously, it’s your choice in what you will do tonight – I’m going to party dressed as a classic, 1990′s Emo (real emo, not the goth-pop-punk rampant today – see Copeland, Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, the Juliana Theory) – just make sure you do it because of what you believe and not what Christian Culture told you to do.
Have a Mad Monster Party.