In the morning, the train continued on its journey along the shore of Kamloops Lake and the Fraser River. The Fraser Canyon is a well-known avalanche zone. Their route took them through numerous tunnels and rock sheds, and they crossed the river several times as they twisted through the canyon on the way to Vancouver.
On arrival in Vancouver, Laetitia took her group to their hotel and then went off in search of a happy hour. She was going to do a city tour with tomorrow’s group. The bar she found was called “The Grinch,” undoubtedly named for Dr. Seuss’ green character that stole Christmas before his Scrooge-like conversion. As often happens, popular words come to have new slang meanings. A grinch, for example, might be an unhygienic vagina; a person who gripes about holiday crowds; a verb meaning to steal Christmas lawn decorations; a verb meaning to dump one’s significant other on Christmas Eve; marijuana; or an intolerant, irrational, oppressive person.
Laetitia was having these thoughts as she perched on a bar stool sipping a pint of Alberta Crude oatmeal stout and watching a man work through the crowd, hitting on all the women. He wore a beret and spoke in a nasal tone that he must have thought sounded French. His line was that he was a French vintner, a descendent of the Valois dynasty who had turned a wine-making secret and his meager inheritance into a fortune. He was looking for a deserving woman to be his queen and help him spend the money. Each time the ploy failed he berated the recalcitrant woman as undeserving. Soon he made an exit leaving behind several tables of chuckling women. Laetitia distilled their conversations into the limerick of the day.
His manner of speech was faux French
And he hoped to be viewed as a mensch
But his phony French oeuvre
Fell flat in Vancouver
And the ladies just thought him a Grinch.