Google killed the family debate

Last week I talked about how being part of a family is like attending World Peace University.

Last week I talked about how being part of a family is like attending World Peace University.

It’s a training ground for learning how to get along, despite the inevitable differences. Tolerance, kindness and a great sense of humour are all important weapons, but I’d have to say the one that has brought the most peace to our family gatherings is Google.

Before internet and handheld gadgets such as iPhones or iPads were so prevalent we could rage for hours about trivial stuff such as who acted in what movie or when some world event occurred or who invented what.

Some arguments we settled by flipping through well-thumbed encyclopedias while others were conceded to whoever presented the most convincing argument.

Or whoever was the maddest.

Just last week we phoned our oldest son to wish him a happy birthday and talk got around to baseball and the dismal year the Blue Jays just had and when was it they last made the playoffs anyway.

In a fitting burst of nostalgia I remembered they had been in playoffs the week our son was born.

“I don’t think so,” Darcy said.

“Yes, yes they were!” I said, gathering up steam. “I remember because we were all in the TV room at the hospital watching the game and everyone was so excited.

Then I realized we were all in the TV room, even the nurses.

I remember going into a panic because no one was watching the babies.

Or baby as it were. “You were the only baby in the nursery that day. You had jaundice and had been there for almost a week…” I told our son.

I was just about to move on to how the psych ward was experiencing the opposite conditions; too many patients.

As a result it had overflowed into the edges of the maternity wing.

I remember how one wild looking gentleman would roar with rage whenever anyone walked past the open door to his room. I wasn’t without empathy, but as a new mother it had seemed a precarious coupling, combining the two wards like that.

I remember rushing down the corridor past the room of the roaring man and on to the nursery to find my newborn son sleeping peacefully.

I also remember a roar of “Yesssss!” coming not from that poor man’s room, but from the TV room beyond.

This in turn triggered the memory of how when our second son was born the maternity ward was so full they moved me into a room in the geriatric ward.

Whenever I walked back from the nursery in the opposite wing with my son in my arms, an elderly woman who hung out in the hallway was convinced I had stolen her baby.

She would start screaming, “Stop her! She has my baby!” And then she would begin to pursue me in her wheelchair.

It was heartbreaking. And a little terrifying.

But before I could start my reminiscing to prove what an excellent memory I have, I was interrupted by Google.

“Let’s see…the week I was born the New York Mets were playing The Boston Red Sox,” says our son, who was sitting in front of his computer when we phoned and had just finished doing a quick search.

“I told you!” says his father triumphantly.

“But…but…why were we so excited if it wasn’t even a Canadian team?” I ask.

Turns out there are a lot of Boston and New York fans in Canada and beyond. In fact, NBC’s broadcast of that particular Game 7 was the most watched series game to date.

The New York Mets eventual win was a heartbreaker given that in Game 6 Boston was leading the series three games to two and had taken a 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th.

In the bottom half two Mets were struck out and the Sox were one out away from leaping into a pile and dumping Gatorade on the coach’s head.

Alas, it was not to be. New York went on to tie the game and then scored the winning run after first baseman Bill Buckner let a ground hit by Mookie Wilson roll between his legs.

That infamous game went on to become a movie starring Michael Keaton called – what else? – Game 6.

Fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm will recall the episode where Bill Buckner appeared as a guest star.

In the show he fumbles catching a signed Mookie Wilson baseball, but is later redeemed when he catches a baby tossed from a burning building.

And when Game 6 was happening and history was being made, I can tell you exactly where I was…in the hospital nursery watching my firstborn sleep. And that’s the power of Google.

My memory…well that’s another thing.


Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from Northern BC. You can catch up on past columns by visiting