Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Giant Squid of Dildo

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Summer weather varies from year to year in Newfoundland.  Several people told us that last year they had no summer, and one shopkeeper said that at this time a year ago he went around wearing gloves.  But the weather on this trip has been perfect.  When I step outside in the morning I'm stopped dead by the clean smell of the air, and then by the warm feel of it on my face.  It doesn't hurt that to a city kid's ears, Brigus is astonishingly quiet:  No planes flying by overhead and only rarely does one hear a car go by.  If you were here with me now, you'd be casting a speculative eye on the houses that are up for sale.

Yesterday we went to Heart's Content to see where the Transatlantic cables come out of the ocean and the building there (now preserved as a museum) where the message traffic was handled.  (Photo of me clutching one of the cables below.)

We also went to see the Giant Squid of Dildo, a some-expenses-spared replica of the giant squid that washed up nearby.  The story is that some men were out in a small boat collecting firewood when drift ice forced them to put ashore on an inconvenient strand and walk home.  The next day they went back to recover the firewood and found a forty-foot squid had washed up there.

Sometimes reality comes up with a story that you could make up.

That's me with the squid up above.

And because you all have dirty minds . . .

No, the town isn't named after you-know-what.  It's named after nearby Dildo Island.  And Dildo Island isn't named after that either.  It's named after the Basque fishing port of Dildo in Spain.  As for the Spanish fishing port . . . well, who knows what the Basques think?  They keep their own counsel.




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3 comments:

Unknown said...

I am reminded of the Arrogant Worms song A Night On Dildo that is all about the various place names in Newfoundland.
http://www.arrogantworms.com/music/a-night-on-dildo/

ckovacs said...

That the band isn't from Newfoundland shows in how they mispronounced a few things, especially Quidi Vidi which is kiddy-viddy, not chiddy-viddi as they seemed to sing.

I do think that the drive from Dildo to Spread Eagle to Come By Chance does imply a certain narrative, even in the reverse direction.

The road signs indicating the distance to Dildo are subject to theft or artistic embellishments such as DILDO 12 (for 12 km) being changed to DILDO 12". And the name of the town's annual festival, DILDO DAYS, can raise eyebrows.

Ryan Boyles said...

Thanks for explaining why the place was named “Dildo”. Dirty minds might misunderstand your post if you did not explain. LOL

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