Life In The H.C., Part One

My family has claimed residence in the H.C. (Huron County, for all you uninitiated) for over 20 years. The H.C. extends from–well, the left side is Lake Huron, and Goderich is somewhere in it, and so is the first town we lived in when we moved to the county, Dashwood, and a bunch of other towns that I’ve never been to.

I’ve known for years that the H.C. is famous for a few things, namely drunk driving, drunk driving accidents, divorce, and domestic violence. Some legacy, huh?!

But now that I’m out and about this small portion of the County, I’m slowly picking up on a few other things that I somehow missed before joining the “real” work force. Oh, the culture that I never realized I had foregone by not going to bush parties or gravel running, and avoiding Buck ‘N’ Does (or Stag ‘N’ Does, etc.).

I never heard about the insanity of teenagers working in the barn and the fields till 10:00 pm, then picking up a 40-ouncer (that would be alcohol, ladies and gents) and a couple of girls, “touring” till the booze was gone, getting a couple hours of sleep, then hitting the barn again at 5:30 am. Day in and day out!

Who knew that entire towns were rife with gossip about who is building something on their property, who is moving in with whom, whose business has gone bankrupt, who hasn’t shown up to the coffee shop in a couple of weeks?!

There’s actually a whole other accent I’ve stumbled upon, too: a nearby town I’ve always known as Clinton (CLIN-ton) is pronounced by some Huronites as Clinton (CLA-n).

But my absolute personal favourite is this: 3:00 means coffee break. For everyone, duh! My boss will venture to ask somewhere in the vicinity of the hour if I feel like coffee. Usually, I’ve had at least two cups by then, and, in favour of my body’s general health, I reply that I’m fine. The response, “Oh, well, it’s about 3:00 so I was just thinkin’ you might want coffee.” How is it possible that 3:00 has come and gone every day for 20 years here in the H.C. and I am only now learning that it is an hour synonymous with coffee?! Help a girl out!