Mash-Ups

Robinson beach in last weekend’s snowfall.

One of my favorite stations to listen to on my way to a swim is a Canadian rock station called The Q. Like a lot of things, Canadians do radio right, whether it’s neutral news reporting, funny commercials, or listener games. 

100.3 The Q does a game called Polka Monster, where someone calls in and tries to name the popular rock song being played live by the DJ, on an accordion, in 3/4 time. 

No joke. (It’s really hard!)

Ed Bain on The Q morning show.

Sometimes the Catholic radio station in Edmonds will cut into The Q’s airwaves while I’m listening. A lot of static can be heard when this hostile takeover happens, but every once in awhile, I get a clear mash-up of rock and religion. Ozzy Osborne’s Crazy Train popping in and out of their program called Father Knows Best. A Tragically Hip song mixed with advice from the Bible about depression.

I cannot make this stuff up. I’m not that funny. But it’s worth suffering through the static for these woven moments of unintentional comedic gold.

Laughter is a sacrament. So is water. The two together often get me through these cold cold frickin cold days of swimming. (Did I mention it’s cold?)

Whidbey got snow last weekend, and it stuck around long enough for me to post a swim at Robinson beach. A good six inches fell, and naturally everyone wanted to swim. It was something different from the gray rainy days we’ve been pulling ourselves through the last four months.

Running out of the water after the swim (I call it my “get the hell to the towel” move), I looked down long enough to see my bare feet in snow. I couldn’t feel them, so it didn’t feel strange.

But it looked strange, a weird mash-up. Bare feet mean summer sunshine, “toes in the sand”, everything associated with beaches and feet. Now here was snow, rather out of place with my icy, incredibly red, feet. 

Swimming and snowfall is also a weird mash-up. But there’s a buzz about it, a few extra endorphins maybe, a thrill knowing not too many others would want to do this. 

But then, not too many people listen through static for a chance to hear a priest’s benediction blessing through Rush’s Prime Mover.

Anything can happen. Go in peace.

–TJ Wiley Forsyth

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