A couple of life-times ago I was on a flight from Saint John to Toronto, seated next to a dude in the Canadian Forces. He'd just spent six weeks at Gagetown for a spell of sniper training.
Over a few brews we sort of bonded, especially after he let it slip that he'd been expelled from the University of Guelph.
Expelled from U of Goo? That got my attention! UG is one of my alma maters. Try as I might I never succeeded in getting expelled. Have I mentioned the time I got my car stuck on that stairway between Johnson Hall and the academic building next to it? Ya, it was the end of a long night at the Bullring... but I'm getting off topic here.
While I was never expelled, I did get intimately acquainted with university governance. I was on a first name basis with several members of the "senate." You can see why Buddy's story caused me to pay attention.
Buddy went to Gagetown to get his sniper qualifications. If I remember correctly, that involved lots of practice, and for your final exam you had to put five out of five shots through a loonie-size target from a thousand metres.
Buddy passed his exam!
So when I read today that a Canadian sniper had set a new world record for a long distance kill, you can appreciate why my thoughts immediately went to that long ago flight from Saint John to Toronto.
Our latest Canadian hero has set a new standard in sniperdom by killing a man three and a half kilometres away. With one extremely well executed shot.
I hadn't been back to Ontario for a year or so, and I enquired of my new friend what the price of a case of beer might be these days.
He didn't know the answer to that, but he knew the price of a keg right down to the penny.
I guess that's the difference between the folks who actually succeed in getting expelled from university and the also-rans.