And it wasn’t just in Bobcaygeon. Across Canada today, astronomers are scrambling to explain a rare, once-in-a-lifetime occurrence which led to millions of Canadians witnessing the constellations reveal themselves, one star at a time, in the broad daylight.
“The historic record last references this happening in 1867,” said Bernie Sambrook, lead astronomer at the Victoria Centre Observatory, in Victoria, BC. “And it wasn’t projected to occur again for 250 years after that. So at this stage we’re estimating it to have been ahead by a century.”
The celestial event was first noticed by Hugh Maclennan, resident of Brandon, Manitoba, just east of the hundredth meridian. The 38 year-old, who admits to never having kissed a girl, says he had just finished blocking off main street for the town’s annual faith parade, when he happened to look up and notice that – despite the bright morning sun – he could, in fact, see stars shining straight through the blue sky.
“It happened a little after nine. And it struck me that it was very beautiful, and very fitting. It could have been the Willie Nelson, and sure, it could have been the wine, it’s been a hard day. But I knew right away that this was special.”
A little further west, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, local police officer Davis Manning said he too found himself looking up at the sky in amazement.
“Usually that only happens after sundown, seeing stars like that out here in the Paris of the prairies. The only other time I remember coming across anything even remotely similar to this was when they shot a movie once in my home town. Everyone was in it, and they had this big, dark purple, felt curtain they used to mimic dusk, onto which they projected a nighttime scene. A lot of folks thought it was weird as hell, but not me. I can pretty much get behind anything.”
In a late breaking story on the CBC, the Canadian scientific community claimed to have developed a working theory on what led to the stars being visible to millions of saddened onlookers during daylight hours.
“Whilst we can’t be certain,” said Dr. Feldman, “Our preliminary results indicate that a combination of rain falling through the night, plus the number of non-swimmers in a sinking New Orleans, and a nationwide sale on highballs for $2.50 – or a buck and half for a beer – were all contributing factors to the unusual event. But we must caution you, this is just a hypothesis. Frankly none of us really put in much effort today after hearing of the passing of the best of us: Gord Downie. It’s my personal recommendation that tonight you all just appreciate there are no dress rehearsals, this is our life.” The astronomer paused then, removing his glasses while the host of The National, Rosemary Barton, patiently waited for him to conclude.
“I’m sorry, the disappointment is getting me down. Rest in peace Gord. We love you.”