A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Sunday, July 1st is Canada Day. (On the map, we’re that big pink bit on top of the United States.) Living next door to America is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, we can wander around the world, spouting all kinds of pie-in-the-sky nonsense because we’re pretty secure under the American military and economic umbrella. On the other hand, nobody pays much attention to Canada because we are permanently stuck in that shadow. As a result, a lot of people around the world have some serious misconceptions about Canada – what we do and how we live. So in honour of Canada Day, here are a few myths about my country that need to be straightened out.
We all live in igloos. – Not really, but given the outrageous house prices (Vancouver’s average is $1.1 million) it’s becoming a viable option.
We all say “eh.” — Actually, like “aloha,” we only do it for the tourists.
We don’t lock our doors. — Michael Moore said we didn’t in one of his “documentaries” and the world thought that was cool — although Canadians laughed themselves stupid. “Hey, Mikey! You jackass! Just because we’re not Americans, that doesn’t mean we’re idiots.”
Nous parlons tous francais. – No, nous ne parlons pas tous francais. The fact is, only about 20% of Canadians speak French. The rest of us try to get by on the French we learned in school — with various hilarious results.
Our police wear bright red uniforms and ride horses. — Yeah, right! And Dutch people all wear wooden shoes!
We don’t have guns. – Actually, Canadians have a lot of guns (3 for every 10 people in the country.) We just don’t whip them out every time we have a social disagreement.
Canadians are obsessed with hockey. – Just because the entire country shuts down when Canada plays for Olympic Gold, that doesn’t mean we’re obsessed!
We say “sorry” all the time. — Sorry, we don’t.
You can legally grow and smoke marijuana in Canada. – Nobody really knows, but we do it anyway.
Canadian dollars are called “loonies.” – This is true, but we only do it to make the pompous asses at the IMF sound silly.
Canada is always cold. — Canadian winters are no joke, but it’s really only mind-numbing, soul-eating, kill-me-now cold for part of the year. The second week of August is usually quite balmy.
So Happy Canada Day — when Canadians all over the country forget their differences and remember the only thing we all have in common – we love to make fun of Americans.