The Running of the Buffalo

11 February 2011

Running of the Buffalo
by Ron Petrie
Published by DriverWorks Ink
Review by Cindy Wilson
$21 ISBN 978-0-9810394-5-9

What child growing up during a Saskatchewan winter has not put their tongue on a frozen metal object, or been aghast and terrified by seeing someone else make that terrifying (and painful) mistake? Ron Petrie’s Running of the Buffalo will make you forget the pain entirely. This book is filled with enjoyable nonsense, a great deal of local knowledge, and accurate research sometimes hidden beneath the author’s antics. You’ll see yourself, or someone you’re related to, or someone you know in Petrie’s humour and approachable style.

The author, who grew up on a farm in province with largely rural populations, shares his point of view, which others from rural Saskatchewan will relate to. Petrie offers the ridiculous in areas like child rearing, home improvement, sex, and government. You’ll laugh out loud at the author’s take on growing up in Saskatchewan, and at his take on life.

It’s great to read about the province’s rural towns and villages, many of which will be instantly familiar to the seasoned Saskatchewanian. Petrie suggests the names of some towns could mistakenly reflect the type of citizens living there. It could be that those from Dummer or Nut Mountain, for instance, may have something in common with their names. The author also recognizes the problem of what to call the residents. Should we be calling the citizens of Conquest “Conquistadors”, and those from Imperial “Imperialists”, and what do we call “a guy who spends most of his life in Climax?” [SPG Editor’s Note: You’d call that guy my cousin.]

The author also has a list of nominations for Saskatchewan’s official things. Familiar terms are Vi-Co for chocolate milk and the mispronounced name for a favourite ice-cream treat: Revello (in Saskatchewan called a Revel). Apparently our signature seafood dish in Saskatchewan is canned jackfish in a half-pint Gem sealer jar.

Whether confusing “Viterra” with “Viagra”, or “swingers” with “dancers”, Petrie’s humour is always self-directed and is never judgmental. Do yourself a favour, and pick up a copy of Running of the Buffalo by Regina Leader-Post’s foremost humour columnist, Ron Petrie. You won’t be disappointed. You might not even be able to stand up when you’re done reading the book, but that’s hardly the fault of the writer, is it?


One Comment

  • Ron Petrie 7 April 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Cindy

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this note to you.
    Thanks for the wonderful and very well-written review.

    Ron Petrie