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Sudbury. 1986. A clear winter's day. A man. His grandson. A plastic bag.

This is a picture of me with my Pappa.

It is Sudbury, 1986, and I am 5 or 6 years old.  Unlike the last picture that I posted of him and me, I am in what appears to be a plastic bag.  I am dressed in one of those one-piece snowsuits that keep you from getting ice down your butt, which was not a problem at the time because I am in a plastic bag.  I am wearing a red knitted cap in the style of the indigenous tribes of South America (ties up over my ears and under my chin).  It has “CHILE” printed across it.  And I am in a plastic bag.

My Pappa (Finnish for “grandpa”) was big on preserving things.  He spent many years hacking his way through brush and jungle and wilderness, often hundreds or thousands of miles from civilization, so he knows the value of keeping things fresh for as long as possible.  He told me stories of hanging up a moose carcass from a tree and “scraping off the green bits to get at the good meat that was still underneath.”

(My personal opinion of meat is that when it grows any new fur at all, there is no more “good meat” in it.)

So I can only assume that this is some experiment designed to show me how one can preserve carcasses in the dead of winter in Northern Ontario.

Other possibilities to explain this picture:

  • Pappa bought me the new Hasbro Fun Bag 3000© and we are taking it out for a spin.
  • We are headed to the lake to try out our new diving bag so we can observe the fish under the ice.
  • My mother shipped me to Sudbury for a visit via UPS.  Moments earlier, this bag was filled with Styrofoam peanuts.  Pappa is dragging me home from the post office.
  • I never dealt well with being born, so until I was seven I spent 20 hours a day in my plastic “Transition Womb.”
  • Through a series of misadventures I was kidnapped by a bunch of carnies, and Pappa had to win me back by throwing plastic balls at milk bottles.  He chose me as the prize from the rack of goldfish in similar plastic bags.