Twin towers call out for art 


"Now that's just ridiculous," I thought, momentarily flashing back to those long, soul-sapping drives across the prairies.

On a clear day, driving west out of Kenora, Ontario, if you squint and look hard, you can just see the tops of the Rockies in the far, far horizon. If the weather stays nice, you'll be seeing them for the next three or four days. The only thing of visual note between you and them are several hundred grain elevators that puncture the landscape like excited missile silos standing on guard for thee.

The elevators and grain silos of the prairies strike a chord of grounded familiarity at the core of all true Canadians. They are the exclamation marks of success of countless waves of pioneers, immigrants and, of course, modern day agribusiness. They are Canada's fruited plains. Or, perhaps, Canada's grained plains. Whatever.

But I wasn't in the prairies. Wasn't even in the Rockies. Where I was, was the downhill side of Mons, coming into town from Alpine, trying not to pay much attention to the mayhem happening on the west side of the road. But there, on my right, like transplanted hallucinations were grain silos.

"Cool," I thought. "Think global, eat local."

As fond as I am of the 160 Kilometre (100 Mile) Diet, my affection is hypothetical, slamming up as it does against the realities of agriculture in the Great White North. Until energy prices climb high enough to make international commerce a quaint memory or global warming lets us grow bananas in the Fraser Valley, eating local will always be a sparse smorgasbord. "When they pry my olive oil from my cold, dead fingers," etcetera, etcetera.

Citrus, exotic spices - does anyone still consider pepper exotic? - scotch and chocolate are reason enough to abandon any but the most Quixotic attempt at exclusively eating local. Still, with the very verdant lands upstream of the Fraser delta, large greenhouses and Pemberton potatoes, one could eke out a diet more well-rounded than Whistler's bears enjoy, if leaving one susceptible to mid-winter screaming rages at the sight of yet another flavourful variant of turnip casserole with a side of flaccid carrots.

So for a moment, my thought was indeed, "Cool. Someone's growing grain locally. I wonder what kind." Wheat? Why would they? Canola? Ditto. Momentary giddy distraction pondering the medical marijuana storage capacity of an erection like that.

Drawing closer, I thought I might find an answer. Lettering began appearing on the side. Maybe that'd shed some light on it. Con-Agra? ADM? B.C. Wheat Board? First letter E, then D, I... oh yeah, I'm reading it backwards.

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