It turns out that, apart from everything else it has going on at the moment, the Department of National Defence is in the midst of a $25,000 pilot project aimed at determining which uniform designs would best camouflage Canadian soldiers if our troops were deployed in our own cities.
Do they know something we don't?
The project, according to a report by the Ottawa Citizen, is being co-ordinated by scientists at Defence Research and Development Canada in Suffield, Alta. There, they are studying designs for what's being called a "Canadian Urban Environment Pattern."
The resulting pattern is to be based on the "unique requirements" of the urban settings of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Ottawa is not included in the study because it does not rate as a "major metropolitan centre." (Besides, it appears that military personnel wouldn't face any particularly well-organized opposition there anyway.)
To be honest, I have some trouble conceptualizing what a land war fought in Vancouver would be like. Relaxed, I guess; easy-going to the point of armistice, actually. Hardly any point.
And I think that everyone would agree that it would be a tactical error to engage in military action in Toronto: The city's crosstown, rush-hour traffic makes bogged-down midwinter in Russia look like 2 a.m. on the Autobahn.
Over all, when considering this urban-camouflage project (and there aren't that many military matters that I feel qualified to weigh in on), I'd advise the Defence Department that style-wise, for the nation's sake, it should focus exclusively on achieving a Montreal aesthetic, although aspects of the research will have to be reconsidered if that is to be its focus.
For starters, $25,000 isn't going to be nearly enough, even for a pilot project. What, is my mother on this development team? Have those researchers in Alberta seen the women in Montreal? That $25,000 isn't even going to cover the tights.
And then there are the boots - and, actually, the more I think about it, the more I love the idea of these well-put-together urban soldiers on my hometown streets.
There are some of us in Toronto and Vancouver, both cities in which "dressing up" frequently involves Gore-Tex, who would welcome a military presence, provided that it meant it wasn't going to be all the usual fleece-over-yoga-gear again this winter.
And I'm betting that there are people in Vancouver who would head over and start taunting Seattle right now, just to stir something up, if they thought it would ultimately thin out some of the extra-sporty official Olympic knitwear headed for their streets.
I'm pretty sure that there are international conventions barring some of the particularly deadly Christmas sweaters the military has allegedly been testing out in Alberta.
My understanding is that following intense international pressure, much of it from the French, the military has abandoned its "my mother knit it for me" defence and agreed to comply with Article 647 - which explicitly prohibits the use of sequins on the noses of fabric reindeer.
Frankly, I think it ought to reconsider the entire notion of elaborate patterns and prints anyway.
While I'm the first to admit that these are often charming in a lunch battle, they're seldom versatile enough to go day to evening, and of course they date too quickly to be practical.
I know it's a bit catty of me, but who among us hasn't snickered at a certain major superpower's army, which is reportedly still wearing faux leopard prints?
" 'Seriously,' I said to the general,' " someone at the United Nations Security Council was heard exclaiming at a recent emergency session. " 'I don't care if it is Alexander McQueen - and so, yes, the cut is amazing - leopard print is just way too 2002 for a major theatre of operations. And so no, darlings, you can't come.' That's what I told him.
"I said, 'Hey, go sit over with the Italians who went overboard on those pleated Prada novelty-print skirts four years ago. And take your gladiator sandals with you!' Oh, yes, I went there!"
Obviously it's better to stick to basic black.
I'm excited about this now. I say we sweep the streets, adjust the lighting, whip up some canapés and wait for an invasion that will draw our own troops to our metropolitan centres.
They'll come. They'll be dedicated and brave. And fabulous. They'll fight, they'll protect. Under orders, they'll take prisoners and then turn them over to the local mall cops because, really, what could possibly go wrong with a plan like that?
Nothing. I think. Although ultimately much of the Look Book will be redacted.