Saskatchewanians more prepared for visitors than any other Canadians

When you can see visitors arriving for hours, you have loads of time to hide the laundry under the beds and spot-vacuum.

Sask. might be derided for its flatness, but many fail to see the benefits of its horizontal topography

Saskatchewan's flatness a negative attribute? Think again. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

There's a reason that jab about Saskatchewan keeps getting repeated the one about how you can watch your dog run away for three days.

It's not untrue; in many parts of the province, this is the exact reason there are windows on all four walls of a house. But the part that's never spoken of (possibly because in The Great Guide to Saskatchewan Living residents are instructed to never speak of it) is that you can also watch them come home for three days.

An example of a visitor approaching a home in Saskatchewan. (Jillian Bell)

This is important. It means Saskatchewanians are always prepared.

The idea that prairie homes are always kept neat and tidy? Horse puckey. (Except for yours, Joanne in Climax.)

When you can see visitors arriving for hours, you have loads of time to hide laundry under beds and spot-vacuum. In fact, the more prairie there is, the better you can judge exactly how long it's going to take you to weed the flower beds or mow the lawn.

If you live near Kyle, in southwest Saskatchewan, you've probably got a good half day before the visitors on the horizon arrive in your yard, so you can have a cup of coffee before you put on the tidying boots. In Theodore, in the eastern part of the province, the (extremely moderate) hilliness means you might only have a couple of hours before you see the telltale signs of Approaching Social Calls.

Up north, things are different. There are entire areas of the province where you can't see a dang thing for lack of trying. With thick, coniferous forest milling about and messing up the view, you have to keep a pretty tight yard and house, because visitors creep up on you like birthdays. You know they're coming, but they always arrive earlier than you thought they would.

Saskatchewan northerners trying to see if they have any visitors arriving by canoe, with view-obstructing trees behind them. (Submitted by Maggie Thomas)

Of course, north of Prince Albert, people call ahead (as dictated in The Great Guide to Saskatchewan Living), understanding that with so much dastardly foliage in the way, proper advance notice is nigh impossible.

Perhaps the best you can hope for when it comes to Social Preparedness in the North is living on the shore of one of Saskatchewan's thousands of lakes. After Buster runs away, he might be gone for good, but visitors via canoe? You've got yourself a good hour to stuff those undercrackers in the washing machine before you start hearing the ubiquitous "hallooo."

"Halloooing" is the Saskatchewan equivalent of "calling ahead" in other places. The great thing about the province is that in hilly or brush areas, you can often hear a hallooo several minutes before you observe a potential visitor. (There's actual science behind this, which has to do with the speed of light relative to the speed of cheerful greetings, but I've only got about 700 words, so you'll just have to take my word for it.)

So, yes, you can watch your dog run away for three days if you live in parts of southern Saskatchewan, but the beauty of this province is that that dog is unlikely lost forever, and you also have plenty of time to pick the zucchini that is a traditional parting gift.

This piece is intended as comedy.

About the Author

Jillian S. Bell

Freelance writer

Jillian Bell is a writer and freelance editor living in the impossibly beautiful Qu'Appelle Valley. She is an avid reader, gamer, textile artist and passable oboeist. Oboer? She plays oboe. Also, the deer eat her garden, so she's also keen on buying produce from local farmers' markets.