Fredericton — When Parks Canada announced they’d be giving out free admission to national parks and historic sites for all of 2017, posers who’ve never had any interest in the outdoors jumped at the opportunity to have passes mailed out to them. People were so eager to get the passes that they even crashed the Parks Canada website in December 2016.
Most of these Canadians, however, didn’t bother to visit so much as one national park, but still have the passes hanging in their cars, visible to all.
“I don’t like camping, but I like to look like I like camping,” said Tamara Green, who was hanging out at Radical Edge in Fredericton for some reason. “So getting the parks pass and keeping it indefinitely was a no-brainer for me. I also put a lot of carabiners all over my bags and belt loops — it’s another good way to show the world that you would definitely be up for going climbing if someone were to ask you and if you had no other plans.
“I buy a lot of Clif bars in case I want to go for a spontaneous hike sometime,” added the woman who has clearly never even walked uphill, “and I have a headlamp in my glove compartment because ya really never know when you might spy a cave and want to go spelunking.” (We looked up that word and it’s basically a douchey way of saying “walking around in a cave.”)
Many Canadians actually managed to convince themselves they’d use the parks pass during Canada 150 celebrations.
“I’m a busy guy, but back in the day I used to go camping and hiking like, every weekend,” said local poser Jeff MacMurtrie. (The Manatee looked into it and found that MacMurtrie was referring to one single day in 1988 when he went canoeing with some friends for an hour.) “These days, with the kids, it’s been a bit tougher, but I thought having the parks pass in my window might inspire me to get outside more. Unfortunately, it didn’t, but ya know…I leave it up in case this year it does motivate me. And because it just looks cool.”
Our reporter visited the Regent Mall, where security guard Manny Ellis was patrolling the grounds.
“Oh yeah, every friggin’ Subaru in the parking lot has had that little green parks pass hanging on the mirror all year, just to up their hipster cred — but now it’s Janauary 2018, and nothing’s changed,” Ellis said. “You just know they’re all in there buying camping gear at Sport Chek, those stupid-looking hiking poles, backpacks, tents. They’re only interesting in buying things, not doing things.”
Fundy National Park ranger Sara Osborne said that the people who did take advantage of the free passes stayed for an hour — just long enough to take pictures for Instagram.
“They really just want to brag to everyone else about how fit and active and adventurous they are,” she said, sighing. “It’s just like the people who go skiing once and then wear their Crabbe Mountain lift ticket on their jacket all winter. Exact same thing.”