OP/ED: Don't worry, Spokane, Canada's blowing a lot of smoke, too

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
August 22nd, 2018

Caleb Moon is a 29-year-old yard master for a railroad in Spokane, and the creator of the Facebook event entitled, “Blow Spokane’s Smoke Away to Canada.”

The event description is as follows, “There are roughly 550,000 residents of the Spokane, Washington metropolitan area (per worldpopulationreview.com). To get rid of this smoke, we have to work together as a community. After much deliberation and mathematical calculation, we have figured that it is absolutely possible for us to blow this smoke away with high powered fans. This Friday, every resident must place at least 5 box fans on their roof. Turn your fans on to the highest setting, and aim them toward northeastern Canada. Team work makes the dream work. Let’s do this, Spokanites. Let’s send this smoke right back to those Canucks!
“Make sure to share the event with all your friends so everyone is informed

It’s as if he asked himself this question: what happens when a group of friends get together and jokingly create a Facebook event so completely and utterly ridiculous, so absurd, they’re sure everyone will see they’re kidding?

Well, the whole world goes stark raving mad, apparently.

Moon was – dare I say it – blown away.

“It was a joke – just me and a group of friends being silly,” said Moon in a telephone interview Wednesday. “The next day, I look and there’s, like, 2,000 people on there. I couldn’t believe it.”

Media outlets, up to and including KHQ TV, did segments on the story – but treated it as if Moon was actually serious in his fan plan. This media attention was apparently some sort of siren beckoning that elusive, rarely seen creature, the angry Canadian, to flock to social media and blow up, decrying Moon, his plan, and Americans in general.

Although by being angry they proved they hadn’t done any legwork at all, not even read the event page, just reacted with immediate rage and condemnation (blowing off?), the angry Canadians also proved their talent for irony by making repeated denigrating references to Trump.

Meanwhile, on the event page itself, links to a variety of organizations and charities where people can donate to help those impacted by wildfires began to appear – this, the brain-child of Moon’s friend Hanna Calbick, as a compassionate, not to mention incredibly clever, way to make good use of the unexpected audience of thousands of people.

Moon says there are now as many as a dozen media outlets working on articles about his event.
“I even got a call from a talk show in Florida,” he said, laughing. “I mean, they’re nowhere near here.”

As for the donations, he thinks the page is getting some real traction.

“It seems to be working,” he said. “There’s no way we can track that, but it’s getting so much attention …”

And, as is the historical norm, the pleasant, cheerful Canadians waded into the fray and appear to have largely drowned out their angry, reactive brethren, issuing a collective, “We’re sorry,” and thanking Moon and his friends for their efforts.

Has all this maple-tainted malarkey made Moon eschew all things above the 48th parallel? Not at all –  in fact, though he’s never been to Canada, he’s considering some great white trips in the future.

“I’m probably going to do that, if the fine people of Canada will let me in after this.”

All joking aside, he and his friends have amassed some excellent links to help and support the people and animals of B.C. during this firestorm, and they’ve done it with grace and good humour. The page is well worth a visit at https://www.facebook.com/events/2049472562029769/

Categories: Op/Ed


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