Fifty shades of red

Sackville Tribune - - OP-ED - Steve Bartlett The Deep End Steve Bartlett is an ed­i­tor with Saltwire Net­work. He dives into the Deep End Mon­days to es­cape re­al­ity and Ri­hanna videos. Reach him at sbartlett@thetele­ Cour­tesy of New Brunswick’s De­part­ment of Her­itage.

It was kinda awk­ward. A friend took a call from her daugh­ter and I couldn’t help but over­hear part of the con­ver­sa­tion.

I was try­ing to un­hear it, but my friend filled in the blanks.

“Oh, she’s about to grad­u­ate, they are hav­ing her high school pip day, and they’re do­ing a scav­enger hunt, and one of the items on the list is (an adult toy, cen­sored by blush­ing colum­nist),” she told me.

CLUE: There is a place in New­found­land with the same name as this ... ah ... de­vice, and it al­most rhymes with “Bilbo,” the first name of the lead char­ac­ter in “The Hob­bit.”

Any­way, I wasn’t ex­pect­ing this ex­pla­na­tion, or what fol­lowed.

“And,” my friend con­tin­ued, “she wants me to go buy it, be­cause she’s not old enough to shop at the adult store.”



“You know, Steve,” my friend sug­gested, “you should go buy it for her and write a col­umn about it.”

Hmmm. It was a tempt­ing of­fer be­cause some of the best col­umns come from un­com­fort­able predica­ments.

As some­one who blushes at the sight of a La Senza bag, adult shops are com­pletely out of my com­fort zone.

Mak­ing a pur­chase there would lead to id­io­pathic cran­io­fa­cial ery­thema or what you might de­scribe as ex­ces­sive blush­ing, what my grand­mother would con­sider turn­ing “red as a beet.”

(Id­io­pathic cran­io­fa­cial ery­thema! Don’t tell me read­ing news­pa­pers don’t make you smarter.)

I con­sid­ered mak­ing the pur­chase, go­ing through this in­cred­i­ble dis­com­fort, and putting the “id­iot” in id­io­pathic.

That train of thought was abruptly de­railed, though, by the pos­si­ble news cov­er­age if things went south.

I imag­ined Mans­bridge star­ing into the cam­era with one eye­brow low­ered and read­ing, “A group of par­ents are protesting af­ter a news­pa­per colum­nist pur­chased an adult toy ...”

I won­dered what the guys at hockey would say – “Steve, did you bring an ex­tra jock for your friend?”

And I thought of how it might play out on the play­ground for my kids – “Ding dang dong, what your daddy bought was wrong ...”

Hence, I didn’t take my friend up on the of­fer.

But I’ve been trou­bled about the fu­ture ever since.

I’m not con­cerned about to­day’s gen­er­a­tion or any­thing like that, though. The kids are all right. It’s awe­some they are com­fort­able dis­cussing these things with their par­ents, and mak­ing such re­quests. The only adult toy I re­quested as a teen is a dirt bike.

Nope, what trou­bles me is that, some­day, my kids will be grad­u­at­ing high school and they might be ask­ing me to make such a pur­chase. the first train en­gine makes an in­au­gu­ral cross­ing.

June 15, 1988 – Con­tralto, teacher and com­poser Anna Malen­fant dies in Mon­treal. Born in She­diac in 1902, Anna Malen­fant was a lead­ing lady in Cana­dian opera through­out the 1930s and ’40s.

June 16, 1755 – Colonel

Robert Mon­ck­ton cap­tures Fort Beauséjour af­ter a 14-day siege, forc­ing Com­man­der de Ver­gor to re­treat to Louis­bourg. Mon­ck­ton strength­ens the fortress, re­nam­ing it Fort Cum­ber­land, and es­tab­lishes a base for mil­i­tary oper­a­tions in the re­gion.

June 16, 1783 – The “June Fleet” of Loy­al­ist evac­u­a­tions de­part New York, bound for the river St. John. They ar­rive in the har­bour on July 5.

June 16, 1874 – In Sackville, Charles C. Barnes patents the

Vane Pump, de­signed to cre­ate a con­tin­u­ous suc­tion of air from an in­let open­ing through to an out­let. This de­sign is still used to­day.

June 17, 1755 – Fort Gas­pareau at Bay Verte on the Northum­ber­land Strait is sur­ren­dered to Colonel Robert Mon­ck­ton. Later the French fort at the mouth of the St. John River is aban­doned.

June 17, 1790 – Wil­liam David­son, ship­builder, lum­ber baron and founder of the first English­s­peak­ing set­tle­ment on the Mi­ramichi, dies and is buried within sight of Beaubear’s Is­land.

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