LAKE OF THE ISLES, NY – Signed by over 35 million Canadians, with messages in more than 50 different languages, a 100-metre high sympathy card appeared on the American side of the stunning Thousand Islands Border Crossing this morning, apparently in response to the United States taking a first step last night on the road to recovering from a particularly virulent bout of popumonia – one that’s been accompanied by a worrying numbness in its rural extremities.
“Glad to hear you’re starting to feel a little better!” read one of the lower notes, written at eye height in the enormous card, which was found balancing precariously on the ancient exposed granite of the Frontenac Axis that links the two nations; an undulating spine of stone that cares as little for borders and its opportunistic champions as it does decades, centuries, or millennia – all of which roll as unnoticed as squirrel farts off of its hewn back.
“Shame about that nasty infection in your DC,” said another commenter, from Belleville, Ontario. “I find an echinacea poultice applied directly to the intolerance can really help knock the swelling down. Don’t skimp. You cannot overdo it. And if that doesn’t work, amputate.”
The card appeared overnight, transported across the international bridge that spans the St. Lawrence River in this section of the world’s longest undefended border. Its arrival initially went unnoticed by the Americans, glued as they were to their television screens, computers, and phones, as they watched the results of the midterms roll in; and either cheered for any sign of a break in the odd fever that has roiled their body politic into a two-year delirium of arbitrary nationalism and intolerance, or gladly welcomed more projectile regression.
“Right now we’re working on how we’re supposed to charge duty on it,” said a tired-looking U.S. Customers and Border Protection agent. “It says $4.99 in ten-foot high letters on the back, but that seems like a bit of a lowball right there. I mean, the damn thing’s the size of an apartment building right? So someone’s gotta pay something here. Nice sentiment or not – and I think plenty of Americans would say we’re just fine with this 104° fever we’ve got going thanks very much – there are rules about this sort of thing.”
While no official representatives of Canada have commented on the card, a few suspiciously-pointed messages have already been located by a helicopter-assisted survey of the towering note.
“Sorry to hear you’ve been a little under the tyrant the last couple of years. Let me know if there’s anything non-military I can do,” read one remark, about halfway up on the left side of the card, signed ‘JT’.
“Call it NAFTA. Call it USMCA. Just don’t call me late to be your friend,” said another, almost immediately below the Prime Minister’s, and completed with a simple, cursive ‘Chrystia’.
Once duty is assessed and no one steps forward to pay it, U.S. authorities say the card will either be transported to the White House to be formally presented to the president, or burned in-situ. A vote in the House of Representatives is expected in early 2019 to decide. In the meanwhile the well-wishes will stand, overlooking the changing seasons.