Canada For Dummies

Lord, I hope Canucks in other countries don’t show themselves as dim-witted as some of the visitors to the great country of Canada.  They probably do, but, at least I don’t have to see it.  I can understand folks from Europe, Asia or Australia not being cognisant of details of Canadian culture, but I get a little short with Americans.  C’mon guys!  You live right next door.

Americans want to know things like, “Who’s the old broad on the money?”  She’s the Queen, and no, she doesn’t “rule” Canada.  “Does the flag come in any other colors?”  And, why don’t we celebrate the Fourth of July?  Because we’re not Americans.  Our Independence Day is July 1.

I strive to be a little more accurate in this post than Ann Landers once was, when she told a Colombian tourist that Boston was not the capital of the U.S.  “It’s always been Washington,” ignoring the fact that the city didn’t exist before 1791.

Other than D.C. there have been 15 capitals – actually 8 different cities, NYC – 3 times, Philadelphia – 5 times, as well as Baltimore MD, Lancaster, PA (for one day), Princeton, NJ, Annapolis, MD, Trenton, NJ, and Leesburg, VA for a short while in 1814, during the War of 1812, when the Canadians ambled down and sacked Washington.

Take the Detroit auto-worker, (please) who drove across the Ambassador Bridge for years, to work at a Ford plant in Windsor.  One day a Canadian co-worker suggested that he move to Windsor, to save the commute.  No!  He couldn’t do that.  It’s too cold to live in Canada.

A Bed and Breakfast in British Columbia got an email reservation from a couple from England.  They were to arrive on a Saturday, and spend most of the week.  On the Saturday, the BnB got a phone-call.  Could they hold the room?  The couple was delayed and should arrive late Sunday.  They would pay for the week, but wanted to guarantee the room.  Sunday came, and another phone-call.  The concerned proprietors asked what the problem was.  They’d got off a flight in Halifax, and planned to drive to B.C.  They had got as far as Toronto in two days.

Many people just don’t understand the vastness of Canada and the U.S.  If you get in a car in England, and drive for ten hours including the Chunnel crossing, you’ve gone through three countries.  Only Russia, with seven time zones, beats North America’s six, including one for Hawaii for the U.S., and a strange little half-hour Newfoundland one for Canada.

A Vancouver, B.C. newspaper has a travel department that you can email with travel questions.  The following are some of the questions they’ve received, with country of origin, and frustrated answers given.

Q: I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow? (England)
A. We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them die.

Q: Will I be able to see polar bears in the street? (USA)
A: Depends on how much you’ve been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it’s only four thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden)
A: So it’s true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATM’s (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (England)
A: What, did your last slave die?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da is that big country to your north… oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in Canada? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (England)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is…oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Vancouver and in Calgary, right after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany)
A: No, WE don’t stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Where can I sell it in Canada? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA)
A: Only at Thanksgiving.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gathers. Milk is illegal.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of big horse with horns. (USA)
A: It’s called a moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

Canada welcomes all visitors.  Feel free to join us.  Bring some more questions….and lots of money.

Addendum:

After White Lady In The Hood posted pictures of her back porch, I took a couple of shots of my back deck.  I’m about as far south in Canada as it’s possible to get, and we had a bit of a thaw last week.  First of March, and this is what’s left.  See the yardstick??    :(    I’m ready for spring now.     :D

SDC10522                    SDC10526

36 thoughts on “Canada For Dummies

  1. 1jaded1 says:

    Hahaha and really? Yep, Detroit is a tropical paradise compared to Canada. :P J/K. The Thanksgiving one is funny, too. I wonder how many Americans realize that Canada celebrates it in October, not November. ;)

  2. As an American, I would like to object to some of your remarks against us. But I can’t, because they’re just too funny. Of course, now you’ve given me the right to return the favor by including remarks against Canadians in one of my future posts, which I will write just as soon as I get out of the traffic jam at the mall caused by all the Canadian shoppers.

    • Archon's Den says:

      I would love to read such a post, about Canucks who are too dumb to walk, but insist on driving to another country. The traffic jam should ease soon, because the Canadian dollar has gone sky-diving again. :(

  3. You just made my day :)

  4. Kayjai says:

    Rick Mercer used to do the segment Talking to Americans…I miss that. Good stuff

    • Archon's Den says:

      Even most Americans were smart enough to know that Mercer was usually lying to them. (just tell him something and let’s get out of here before his keepers show up) ;)

  5. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Laughing OUT loud at the Q&A, Archon.
    Holy Shit the snow!!!!

    • Archon's Den says:

      Despite a recent post claiming we don’t usually get a lot of snow, This winter set a 50 year record. No blizzards, just drip, drip, drip. We got another inch of light fluffy stuff last night.
      After our bit of a thaw last week, Mr. Polar Vortex set a 30 year low record, minus 30.2 C/-22 F. It doesn’t snow when it’s that cold, only down to -10/15 C.
      Did you notice the trails I had to shovel/tramp down, for the dog? :(

  6. Daniel Digby says:

    Thanks for the information. You’ve been most helpful.

    And you reminded me of a girl who would occasionally drop by hoping to see my oldest son, who was in the army. We live in Tennessee and he had been in Georgia. My wife explained that he was reassigned to South Korea, which delighted the girl because now he was closer to Tennessee. I would normally expect this out of an education here, but her mother taught geography in high school.

    By the way, what time of the year is best for seeing the penguins?

    • Archon's Den says:

      It’s interesting, (at least it is to me) the mental images we assign to those we meet online. I had you down as a young man, perhaps single. To hear of grown children, old enough to be in armed forces??! Your opinions and attitudes seem more in tune with the younger generations….Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That. I know how 12-year-old boys think. I’ve been practicing for almost 60 years. :?

  7. Archon's Den says:

    A blog-friend in Newfoundland lives near a NATO supply depot called Argentia Base, staffed by American troops. Nice enough in the summer, it wasn’t exactly the Devil’s deepfreeze. Every time a new platoon rotated in, at least 50% showed up with sombreros and salsa records because they thought they were going to Argentina.
    Any time you drink enough of our fantastic Maple-flavored rye, and attend the hippo races, you’ll see lots of penguins. :D ;)

  8. garden2day says:

    Love the snow pics! :D It’s better than the ice that put 2 trees on my house.– I hate ice!!! Love snow..but I am done this season.

    Hilarious. Looking forward to the hippo races. ;) Thanks for the laughs! :D

  9. Sightsnbytes says:

    got one for you…Is it shorter to go to Toronto or take a bus?

  10. Bob says:

    From Winnipeg I thank you sir!

  11. Bob says:

    Feel free to Explore Winnipeg and Beyond.
    http://www.bahbs.WordPress.com

  12. Bob says:

    Reblogged this on Exploring Winnipeg and Beyond. and commented:
    From my new found friend Archon. Theory is most Canadians have thought this way a time or two.

  13. BrainRants says:

    I’m embarrassed for Americans who asked such insipid shit. You have a point, though: not many people can comprehend the vastness of our space. A friend of mine from New England was astounded that it took three hours just to get out of Kansas on a road trip… that the mile markers actually had three digits. I said, “Wait until you drive across Texas.”

    • Archon's Den says:

      Do mile markers in Texas run to four digits, or is that only in Texans’ imaginations. I heard of an Ontario visitor who was pulled over by a Ranger, shortly after he crossed the state line. The guy wanted to know if he had any drugs in his car, and he denied it. Smoky handed him a baggie, and said, “Here man, you’re gonna need this!” ;)

  14. This is just about too funny to read with a mouthful of coffee…

  15. Jim Wheeler says:

    One hot July we were visiting an eatery in Oklahoma and when the waitress learned that my wife was from Virginia, she asked, “Do they have flies there?”.

    Intelligence is a bell curve. Quality of education is probably one too, but distorted and with the hump leaning leftward. Geographic education is a subset, but there’s no curve. Can’t find enough people who know anything about it to make one. :roll:

    • Archon's Den says:

      At least she was trying to learn. We holidayed at a north Lake Huron coast camp which claimed “no mosquitoes.” The constant, on-shore breeze blew them into the interior.
      I consider myself no dummy, but have been surprised a couple of times, particularly about Chicago and St Louis. I thought they were both “south” of here, when they are really west, and west-southwest.

  16. Dan Antion says:

    After living in Seattle for a few years, I moved to New England. To avoid the boring parts of this country (midwest) I decided to drive through the boring parts of your country. This was in the early 80’s so at least I could drive faster through the seemingly unending fields. Don’t be too hard on Americans for not knowing enough about Canada, most don’t know that much about America. thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • Archon's Den says:

      And many Canadians know little about Canada – or the US. But Americans seem to be infected with a bit more isolationism. I’ve thought that it might relate to the size of the country, (we’ve got so much, why think of others.) but I notice it even among areas of the country.
      I’ll try to revisit your site. Feel free to drop in here and drop a comment.

  17. benzeknees says:

    I’ve read some of those before, but they still give me a laugh!

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