Sunday July 1st, 2012 marks Canada’s 145th year since Confederation and 30 years since we became a fully independent country. And what a great country we live in!
I’m sure there are going to be a whole whack of Canada Day posts floating around in the next few days extolling all kinds of Canadian superlatives, like we have the longest coastline on Earth, we have more freshwater than anyone else, our capital city Ottawa has the lowest average temperature off any other nation’s capital, and our CN Tower was the tallest free-standing structure on the planet for decades. You have probably already heard these things so I’m not even going to mention them.
Instead, I’ll tell you about a few things you probably didn’t know about us…
- We invented ginger ale.
- According to Wikipedia, “Per capita, Canadians consume the most doughnuts, and Canada has the most doughnut stores per capita.“
- We like beer and some of us like it strong. Sherbrooke Liquor and Alley Kat Brewing have produced an 18.5 % ABV whisky barrel-aged brew called Glenda Sherbrooke.
- Of all the G-20 nations, we are the only one whose economy relies on two round and/or oval foods… back bacon and donuts. We are completely self-sufficient in these commodities’ production from raw agricultural ingredients to finished product sitting on a Timmy’s counter.
- Our coins’ shape is a tribute to the roundish shape of bacon and donuts.
- Canadians carry around more feral bear and moose poo on the soles of their shoes than the inhabitants of any other country on the planet. You can look it up if you want to.
- We’ve got Santa… he’s Canadian. Don’t believe me? Look at his clothes… they’re red and white, our national colours. Besides, I have his address to prove it. If your kids want to send him their Christmas Lists and get an answer in one of 30 languages, write to the address below and Santa will send his response to them in whatever country is on the return address for free, because he’s Santa. Please note the “H0H 0H0” is not “ho-ho-ho”, it’s Santa’s postal code.
North Pole, Canada
But Canada could be better. There’s a lot of stuff that we don’t have that other countries do.
- We could use more guns. Our American cousins to the south have loads of them and I don’t know a single person with one. I’d love to have the right to mount a GAU-8/A Avenger on a turret as a deterrent to my idiot neighbour using my driveway to turn her car around several times per day.
- We need a national costume. Presently, the Mounties’ Red Serge dress uniform and the Timmins Tuxedo are the closest we have. The Mountie uniform is pretty much reserved for the exclusive use of RCMP officers (in 1995 Disney was given the task of granting licences for use of the RCMP’s image, so unless you want Mickey Mouse to come around and give you a stern talking to and eat all your cheese, don’t wear Red Serge to a formal affair) so that rules that one out. The Timmins Tuxedo is practical and affordable, but it is still frowned upon to show up at a wedding dressed in one. I think some big designer should take the elk by the horns and uplift the Timmins Tuxedo to the level of high fashion.
- We need a car industry we can call our own. Yes, we assemble America and Japanese cars here, but I can only think of two actual Canadian car companies. HTT makes the Pléthore LC-750, a 750 horsepower grocery-getter, and Conquest Vehicle Inc. makes the Knight XV, a fully armoured SUV perfect for taking your kids to soccer practice in a really bad part of town. But these vehicles will cost you half a million bucks each, well beyond the average Canuck’s transportation budget. We need a car built here that is designed with winter and summer in mind. If anyone has any plans to start making such a car here in Canada, please contact me — I have loads of ideas (and wouldn’t mind changing jobs).
- We need some warm tropical place to call our own. Every once in a while since 1917 someone in politics suggests we annex The Turks and Caicos Islands as a new province or territory and I say, “What are we waiting for?” It would be great to have a place to go in the winter to thaw out where we wouldn’t have to take a beating at the currency exchange.
- We need dental care to be included in our national health plan — it’s just stupid to arbitrarily exclude the teeth. I know it will be expensive, but I’ve thought of how we can fund it…
- We need to legalize marijuana. Now I’m not talking about a sham “medical marijuana” system like they have in California where anyone with a pimple applies for a prescription (but including marijuana on the list of medical drugs is a good idea, too), I’m talking about selling the stuff in the beer and liquor stores of our great land to any adult that wants to buy it. I even have a couple of brand names ready to go… O Cannabis, Brampton Bud, Saguenay Sticks, Yukon Gold (not to be confused with the potatoes of the same name), GTA Ganga, Bong Fodder, Hamilton Hay, Saskatchewan Skunk, etc. If the price was set low enough, it would remove pot as a money earner for organized crime, would free up a lot of law enforcement resources that could be used to catch and imprison real criminals, and would stop the stigmatization of regular Joes because they were caught with a joint in their pocket. We were headed in this direction before the present federal government got in and then they put the kibosh on the whole discussion… and they’ve enacted new legislation that includes minimum prison sentences for what could be personal consumption. Iceholes!
- We need retina scanners at all points of entry (and exit). This will help prevent baddies from getting into Canada or getting out to avoid prosecution, help keep people out who have already been deported once, and provide fair warning to Canadians should Celine Dion or Justin Beiber return to our frosty shores.
- We need to set up restaurants in other countries with big signs that say “Canadian Cuisine” just as soon as we come up with a menu of actual Canadian dishes that would appeal to the palates of everyday people, not just survivalists.
- We need the TV show “Balls of Steel”, just like other Commonwealth countries have. Why should the UK and Australia have all the fun? There are a couple of women I could suggest for the part of The Bunny Boiler, like Sitara Hewitt. And while we’re talking TV, I wish Top Gear would do a show on the aforementioned Knight XV and the Pléthore LC-750.
- Canadian scientists need to develop a frost-resistant strain of coffee that can be grown here that would go nice with a donut. This is the only part of the standard Canadian diet that we still have to import.
“A true Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping it.”
Pierre Berton, a noted Canadian author
Have a happy and safe Canada Day, hoser!
- Canada Day survey: Canadians growing prouder to wear patriotism on their sleeves (theprovince.com)
- Canadians more willing to display patriotism, survey finds (cbc.ca)
- Canada Day: Things We Love About Canadian Music (spinner.com)
- Canadians rally to the maple leaf: poll (metronews.ca)
- Canadians Internet users could face draconian restrictions as result of Pacific trade talks (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- Send 59 cents to Harper: students implore (metronews.ca)
- Bill Mann’s Canada: Canadians to mark national holiday at U.S. stores (marketwatch.com)