Michigan has long winters, and like lots of places with fleeting, beautiful summers, people can go a little crazy with their recreation while it lasts. There’s an event — unofficial, guerrilla, no known sponsor, you get the picture — out of Port Huron called the Float Down. Port Huron is situated where Lake Huron empties into the St. Clair River, which empties into Lake St. Clair, near where I live. From there it goes into the Detroit River and on into Lake Erie, and if you remember your 6th grade geography, you know where it goes from there.
But I’m overexplaining the geography here. The Float Down, a group rafting experience down the St. Clair River, only goes from Port Huron to a park a few miles south of there. No registration, no rules, just show up with your raft or floaty and step into the river, and pull yourselves out downstream.
This is how it’s supposed to work, anyway. On Sunday, the day of the Float Down, a front was blowing in hard out of the west, and if there’s one thing that’s no match for a stiff breeze on a moving river, it’s a rubber-duck floaty with a fat, drunk Michigander in it. Or 1,500 of them, as it turns out.
That’s how many Float Down floaters found themselves in Canada on Sunday. Illegally, because of course practically no one was carrying an oar that might have kept them on course, let alone a passport or the enhanced Michigan ID that would allow them to drift across an international border in a rubber raft with — just guessing here — maybe a crumpled 12-pack in there, too.
As you can imagine, the stories are hilarious, but for pure sweet Canadian earnestness, nothing beats the CBC:
“There were people in places you’d never think something would float, but there were Americans everywhere,” Peter Garapick of the Canadian Coast Guard said. …”The people who take part in this are not mariners,” Garapick said. “They don’t look at the wind, the weather and the waves. We knew from the get-go, the winds were going to cause a problem. There’s no question they were involuntarily coming to Canada.”
Americans everywhere! And so many of them!
They had to be rescued by Sarnia police, the OPP, the Canadian Coast Guard, Canada Border Service Agency and employees from a nearby chemical company Lanxess Canada.
In the Canadian Coast Guard video below, you can hear thankful Americans praising Canada for its rescue efforts.
“God bless Canada!” shouts one floater.
“Thank you, Canada!” yells another.
The illegal immigrants were warmed up — some Canadians literally offered the shirts off their back — packed on buses and taken back across the Blue Water bridge, with a police escort, to their home country.
Talk about wetbacks.
Maybe Mr. Trudeau will be here soon to advocate building a wall, or at least a stout cable barrier, and to make us pay for it.
Speaking of that guy… Let’s get to the bloggage. Because it was a Monday here, and nothing much happened. Politico does a little pearl-clutching on what might happen when Trump loses, if he sticks to his it-was-rigged narrative:
“Among the values most necessary for a functioning democracy is the peaceful transition of power that’s gone on uninterrupted since 1797. What enables that is the acceptance of the election’s outcome by the losers,” said Steve Schmidt, the GOP operative who was McCain’s campaign strategist in 2008.
“Here you have a candidate after a terrible three weeks, which has all been self-inflicted, saying the only way we lose is if it’s ‘rigged’ or stolen — in a media culture where people increasingly don’t buy into generally accepted facts and turn to places to have their opinions validated where there’s no wall between extreme and mainstream positions. That’s an assault on some of the pillars that undergird our system. People need to understand just how radical a departure this is from the mean of American politics.”
Yes, that would be worrisome. But who made this bed, guys? We all have to lie in it.
The AP went looking at the social-media accounts of Trump staffers and contractors. You’ll never guess what they found.
Finally, because I know we have some recovery vets here, as well as teetotalers, social drinkers and friends of Bill, et al, two pieces on drinking, one short (Neil Steinberg, here) and one long (Kristi Coulter, here). Both worth your time.
On to Tuesday! Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps on at its petty pace. Try not to drift off-course.