I am startled by how the name of "Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan" keeps popping up, most recently on the jacket bio of Karen Solie's terrific new book from Farrar Strauss and Giroux: "Karen Solie was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan." I suspect people just find it so incredible that a place named Moose Jaw could exist that they can't resist repeating it.
Well, just for the record my dad was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and in our summer trips north and east from Vancouver to Waskesiu Lake in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, we'd drive through a town called Medicine Hat, Alberta. I myself was born in the exotically named Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on the banks of the Saskatchewan River (home to Saskatchewan's famous ski jump) and I know a funny story about that:
A man and a woman from south of the American border were on a road trip in Canada and they were a little lost (sparsely settled up there). They spot a farmer ploughing. "Ask him where we are," the husband, who was driving, says to his wife. She jumps out, asks, returns to the car. "He says we're in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan," she says. "I guess they don't speak English up here."