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O, Canada

The Queen and I went to Canada for Veteran's Day weekend. I love Canada. What? Because you can't legal wed a sovereign nation, that's why. Besides, I love Canada as, you know, a friend. Remember Duckie from Pretty in Pink? Duckie was the nice, responsible, smart guy, who was madly in love with his best friend, Andie? And Andie only had eyes for Blaine -- the big, dumb, sexy guy -- even though he infuriated her? Well, Canada, you see, is Duckie. And the US is Blaine. And the rest of the world is Andie. And Quebec is crazy, crazy Allison Reynolds. No wait: Allison Reynolds was in The Breakfast Club. Well, whatever. That was kind of a dumb metaphor anyhow.

Fun Facts That Are Simultaneously Fun And Facts!
  • Canada is the world's fourth largest country!
  • Canadian Prime Minister Jerry Glark won a bronze metal for the javalin in the 1972 Goodwill games!
  • Canada has more Maxim subscribers than any other nation!
  • Canadians have over 60 words for 'snow' and another 18 for 'camel'!
  • I am just making these Fun Facts up!
Crossing the US / Canada is always a chore, because Canada is terrified of guns and the US is terrified of drugs. You could take a .22 south over the border, rob a junkie at gunpoint, and return to B.C. with his heroin, but not vice versa. (Tip: if you are a passenger in a car that gets stopped and searched at the Canadian border, do not shout "shotgun!" when they allow you to reenter the vehicle.) For some bizarre reason it was relatively calm this weekend, though. When the Canadian customs lady asked me "purpose of trip" I managed to not say "Republican take-over of Congress," and so we got through with minimal fuss.

After that it was two days of relaxation. Even the drive to our destination was pleasant, what with all the polite drivers and such. It's nice knowing that, if someone cuts you off in traffic, you don't have to go through the bother of tailgating them and running them off the road and pulling them from their vehicle and beating them senseless with a tireiron, because even if you do nothing you'll soon receive get a lovely, handwritten note in the mail apologizing for the infraction.

Also, the metric system rules. It's too bad Americans are too egocentric to even consider adopting it. Maybe if we gave all the units pro-US names we could sneak it in. We'd call a meter a "patriot" and a gram a "eagle" and a liter a "constitution," and then people would be all psyched to use them, and would routinely boast about jogging in the 10 kilopatriot "These Colors Run!" roadrace.

Update: Many of you, like myself, have been wondering why I suddenly had the urge to visit Canada. Now I know. A "Krackel" wrapper has been sitting on my desk since Halloween. Yesterday I picked it up, tilted it just so, and discovered a Canadian conspiracy of X-fileian proportions.

Now, if I could only stop liking hockey ...

Posted on November 12, 2002 to Observations





Comments

They use the metric system too? Wow. I really picked the wrong North American country to move to. Is there anything wrong with Canada other than the cold? Do politicians there say "God Bless Canada" after every sentence? Do Canadians wear their flag on their underwear?

Emese (who after mastering feet and inches, still hasn't mastered miles or ounces yet - I've only lived here for 10 years - give me a break)

Posted by: Emese on November 12, 2002 2:46 PM

Yeah, the English system of measurement (or whatever it's called) is just ridiculous. I've never understood why they picked such arbitrary numbers when subdividing the units. 12 inches is so close to 10... couldn't there be 10 inches in a foot so that I don't have to get out a slide rule when someone asks my height in inches? Why 16 ounces in a pound? 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon? 63 gallons in a hogshead? And couldn't they come up with a better name than hogshead?

The divide-by-eight system also sucks if you're using tools. Let's see, this 5/16 drill bit is a little too small; one size up would be 6/16; reduce fraction; that means I need a... 3/8 inch drill bit. Oh, look, I've drilled all the way through my hand!

There was a big effort to move the US to the metric system in the 70s. Not sure why it failed so miserably; I'd be happy to switch over myself. Unfortunately I was unable to lobby in support of the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 as I was four years old and keeping busy eating lead-based paint, as was fashionable at the time.

Posted by: rich on November 12, 2002 6:12 PM

I just have to say that the Pretty in Pink/Canada metaphor kicks ass. It's just so true. I'm going to graduate school now just so I can write a dissertation on the socio-political metaphors of John Hughes movies.

Posted by: Meralda on November 13, 2002 8:02 AM

If you think the Krackle wrapper is the only thing we've infiltrated, think again!!! We control your news anchors (starts with Peter), the comedians you love, both late night (starts with Paul) and in movies (starts with Mike, not Tom, you can have that Green guy), and we send all of our old people to Florida, hence all the voting problems in that sunny state.

Posted by: Darryl on November 13, 2002 1:42 PM

I personally am all for the Pretty in Pink metaphor. And in response to some of the previous questions:
- Other things wrong in Canada besides the cold are Anne Murray, the sorry state of our dollar and, perhaps, the underfunded military.
- politicians generally do not say "God bless Canada". Our Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, however, is know for saying "Vive le Canada". Yes really.
- Last I checked, I don't have any maple leaf underwear. However, Canadian Beaver innuendos are plentyful. (It's the national animal.)
- I personally like the metric system - but everyone still weighs themselves in pounds and measures themselves in feet and inches. We've only made a partial conversion in those ways.

In exchange for this information I would appreciate the following:
1) Can someone tell me what is up with all that beef jerky down there?
2) Please have your right-wing nutbars stop calling us "Soviet Canuckistan"
3) I would really like a TGI Fridays up here. Please.

Thanks!

Stephanie,

Trying to think of something witty to say...., eh?

Posted by: Stephanie on November 14, 2002 9:19 AM

I will soon apply for refugee status to Canada...from the U.S. I am not allowed to practice my religion freely. What is that religion you ask? I'd rather not say at the moment...since I am under house arrest and am only posting secretly. But let's just say: There are forces of evil and forces of good and I really CAN get away from the forces of evil if I move to Canada. Normally, evil just follows you everywhere you go...but this kind of evil stops at the Canadian border. (I'd go to Mexico because it's warmer but I'm afraid it doesn't work in the other direction.)

The problem is that I can't pay back my student loans with the Canadian dollar. Oh, shucks. How hard is it for refugees to get loans do you think?

Posted by: Miel on November 16, 2002 8:43 PM

We routinely offer refugees, fugitives and other malcontents substantial bank loans so they may fund their "business".

And if you act now, we'll even throw in 250 acres of beautiful prairie land in beautiful northeastern Saskatchewan! Set up your training camps in complete privacy! Fit in with the pickup-truck-driving-shotgun-toting locals!

PS: We imported a TGI Fridays to Vancovuer a while ago... I think it's a front for American malcontents, as it's never busy, yet remains open.

Posted by: chris™ on November 21, 2002 3:10 PM