Happy Canada Day, and welcome to the somewhat traditional Canada Day Post! It’s almost traditional for me to write a post about the amazing country I live in on this day, and I say almost, because since I began blogging, I’ve only missed two years. There are Canada Day posts from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 for your reading pleasure, if you are really, really that interested in Canada. Today is also traditionally the day that I get the weirdest comments. Some of you just take leave of your senses when someone talks about their country, so it’s also become traditional for me to post a little reminder up here, at the top, where I point out a few things.
1. Yes! I’m Canadian! I live in Canada and everything. You didn’t know that? I’m sorry. I try to mention it from time to time so that it doesn’t sneak up on you on this day, but if you’re disappointed or inexplicably angry about my nationality, I think you should just breath through your nose for a minute. It’s not personal.
2. If I say “My country is fantastic” that is not the same as “your country is crappy”. When I say “Canada has the best reputation in the world“, “Canadians are the most educated people in the world” or “Our healthcare has been amazing for us” I am saying just that – not anything about your country.
3. While we’re mentioning healthcare, I think it is very bad manners for someone who does not live here, and does not use our healthcare to explain to us how it is very bad. I know you saw on the news or read an article or met a Canadian once, or just know in your heart that it is terrible, but the fact is that 86% of us think it is great, 91% of us think it is preferable to private systems, and less than one percent of us ever seek care in the US – and that includes having to use it in emergencies while travelling. Even our doctors like it. Only .5% of them leave to practice medicine in the US and that number has been declining for years. It is comparatively inexpensive, and we live a long time, and have very good infant mortality rates. We are healthy and happy, for the very most part, and so please don’t drop by to tell us that you know more about it than we do.
4. The reason I am not “fair” and don’t do a July 4th post is…. well heck. See #1 above. If you’re American, you should totally write one about the charms of your country on that day.
Ready? Sure you are. Over the years I’ve done Canada, A-Z, trivia, facts, quotes- this year? Jokes.
How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Canadians don’t change light bulbs. We accept them the way they are. *
How do you get 50 drunk Canadians out of a swimming pool?
You say “Please get out of the swimming pool.” **
What is Stephen Harper’s favourite food?
How do you stop bacon from curling in the frying pan?
Take away their brooms. ****
It’s game 7 of the Stanley cup final, and and a man visiting Canada on holiday makes his way to his seat right at centre ice. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbour if someone will be sitting there. “No,” says the neighbour. “The seat is empty.” “This is incredible”, said the man. “Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs and not use it?” The neighbour says “Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Stanley Cup we haven’t been to together since we got married in 1967.” “Oh … I’m sorry to hear that. That’s terrible. But couldn’t you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbour to take the seat?” The man shakes his head sadly. “No, they’re all at the funeral.”*****
What do you call a Canadian firefighter?
* This is actually pretty true. We were the first country in the world to express multiculturalism as a an official policy. (1971.) We have more immigrants from more places per capita than any other country, We legalized same sex marriage ten years ago, and we are the most tolerant people in the world, apparently.
** it’s true. As a nation, we are very polite. If it makes you feel better though statistically speaking, we also swear like truckers.
*** This is an inside joke. Here in Canada the Prime Minister (that’s who Stephen Harper is) can be fired by the people of Canada anytime his party loses the confidence of the house. (It’s called a vote of no-confidence. If one is called, and the governing party loses, then they’re not in charge anymore and we have an election.) Stephen Harper is famous for proroguing parliament to avoid this vote taking place – and for a few other things. He’s into it. (Calling for a prorogue is closing Parliament without ending the session. Like a pause.)
****Curling is a wildly popular sport in Canada. A full half of us have watched curling on TV in the last year – Top Curlers can be like rock stars here, we have highways named for them, and we think movies about them are awesome. (We admit the TV series was not very good.) We all know what “hurry hard” means, where you’re going if you’re headed for a bonspiel or a briar, and secretly, we’d like to be a skip.
*****I just put this one in so that Hockey wouldn’t feel bad because I said something about curling. Did you know though, that Hockey isn’t our only national sport? The other one is lacrosse. Together, they are pretty much our only outlets for aggression and violence.
******That’s another inside joke. “Hoser” is a Canadian word for a guy who’s kind of dim or uncultured. There’s lots of Canadian words. Chesterfield, eavestrough, keener, touque, runners, homo milk, icing sugar, mickey, pablum, freezies, housecoat, loonie, toonie, chinook, toboggan… I’m sure a Canadian can translate all those for you in the comments, and add a few more.
Happy Canada Day!