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Vive la Tim Hortons…

January 15, 2015

I was at a recent meeting with some new immigrants to Canada, and at one point I was asked, “what does it mean to be “Canadian”?”

“Yikes!” I thought to myself. Canadians hate that question. If there is one thing Canadians hate is getting stared at – getting attention – getting sent to the front of the class, where everyone looks at you – and you have to answer…”what does it mean to be Canadian?”

“Well”, I quipped, “the majority of Canadians know what a “double-double” and a “triple-triple” are.”

“If you don’t know what a double-double is, then you can’t call yourself a Canadian.”

If you’re a Canadian, you know of someone who is working (or is making plans to work) in Alberta. The Job River flows west to Alberta these days, and has been for more than a decade now, and like earlier European settlers, we have kin, friends, acquaintances, or friends-of-friends, who have set sail for the western sun.

If you are a Canadian, you probably have a slight inferiority complex – due to the fact that Americans are richer, and Europeans are classier.

You believe in public education (but you don’t want people getting uppity with their high learning).

You say “sorry” not because you are polite, but because its the absolute least possible gesture a Canadian can make to acknowledge another person’s existence after accidentally bumping into them in the produce section of the grocery store.

We secretly believe that everyone else in the world is better at everything than we are – except hockey – which we are freakishly obsessed about (in a world where only 5% of the people actually play hockey) (says the man whose going to a Moosehead’s game in about 20 minutes).

If you are a Canadian, you know what a leaf fan, and a Hab fan, and a Canuck fan are.

Canadians believe in the principles of public health care and public education; only they don’t want to pay for them.

Being Canadian means that you want to live in a suburban community. Your favourite colours are beige, brown, black, and white. Your wives have orgasms at Ikea, and your husbands at Home Depot.

If you are Canadian, you seldom waste time having sex. (Only the Americans and the Japanese have less sex in the world than Canadians do.)

If you are Canadian, you watch the most Internet/Television of any society in the world. Just over 10 hours a day. (Half of which is porn.)

If you are a Canadian you identify with the great outdoors, yet you are the most urbanized culture in the world, and you take the least amount of holidays of any western nation, and most of us never wonder more than a few hundred yards from a highway. But we love the outdoors!

If you are a Canadian you haven’t bought or read a book since you left high school or university. (75% of English Canadians recently polled admitted they have not read a book since they left either high school or university.)

If you are Canadian you are basically conservative, in politics and in lifestyle, but you do not like telling other people what to do. You may not agree with abortion, but you know its not your right to choose (although we seem to be forgetting this, more and more).

Being Canadian means that you believe in choice. Whether that choice is to be like everyone else (which is our number one first choice), or to be gay, or black, or an immigrant.

We’re very high minded about that – as Canadians.

We like to pride ourselves on our tolerance. And our sense of justice.

Although, I’d recommend that you don’t go out and ask an Aboriginal person, or a black person, or any recent immigrant of colour, for a second opinion.

For a closer look at the details gets a bit more messy…

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