For a week now, Vancouver has been swathed in a pea soup fog that rivals London’s. Not the clothing label. Not the tea, which I became very good friends with over the summer. The original London Fog. In fact, we may have switched places with our neighbours across the Pond for that dubious honour this month. So much so that I’m thinking October should be renamed. Why not? Other months on the Julian calendar have been renamed for shocking weather phenomenon. Juneary and Augtober, meet Fogtober. This is my blog about fog.
I’ll admit, it was cute at first. Almost as if someone had hung a giant fog-making machine in the air, creating a rock concert-like atmosphere. A feeling of being in a slow motion, dream-like state even when I was awake. It gave me a privacy barrier of sorts when I ventured outside. An imperative to conduct conversations in reverent whispers. In the morning, when the sun peeked through, there was something akin to an anticipation for something to be revealed.
When I looked at local landmarks like Lions Gate bridge and Grouse Mountain, seemingly aloft in the air, I was transported to the futuristic Cloud City of Bespin and the Hallelujah Mountains of the Star Wars and Avatar universes, respectively. It even occurred to me that the producers of ‘The Fog’ horror film could return to make the sequel without incurring huge overhead costs.
But now I realize that, in addition to the reduced visibilities that drivers and pedestrians alike can rejoice in whilst traveling, having a perpetual wet blanket really puts a dampener on my mood. My constant use of wipers on the windshield is futile and frustrating. Turning the meteorological mystique into a mistake.
I have been in thicker Vancouver fog and dicier road conditions before. When the proverbial butter knife is useless. When driving home with fog lights on only illuminates just how academic these devices are, and how lost I am, with no lit landmarks to guide me. In fog so low to the ground (not surprisingly, called ground fog) that I, quite literally, develop tunnel vision, and every other car on the road is keeping 10 car lengths between themselves and the cars in front of and behind them, and are suddenly obeying the posted maximum speed limit religiously–lest their vehicle scrape the fog curtain encroaching on all sides. Some vehicles were going so slow that brave bikers and pedestrians would be passing them, and tickets could be handed out for the underspeeding motorists. That is, if police cars could find a way in the fog to do so.
But it has never persisted for so long. So while fog might be apropos for this time of the year–with its eerie resemblance to ghosts and wraiths–a week plus’s worth of fog is just a wee bit early for Hallowe’en. So please–make your comeback cameo on October 31, and October 31 only. In the meantime, vamoose. The thrill is gone, and you should be too.