Monday Amusements

Laughing Face

It was a sunny morning, a little before 8.00AM, on the first hole of a busy course, and I was beginning my pre-shot routine, visualizing my upcoming shot when a piercing voice came over the club house loud speaker, “Would the gentleman on the women’s’ tee back up to the men’s tee  please!”  I could feel every eye on the course looking at me. I was still deep in my routine, seemingly impervious to the interruption.

Again the announcement, “Would the man on the women’s’ tee kindly back up to the men’s tee.”   I simply ignored the guy and kept concentrating, when once more, the Man yelled,   “Would the man on the women’s tee back up to the men’s tee, please!”

I finally stopped, turned, cupped my hands and shouted back …..    “Would the jerk with the microphone kindly keep quiet and let me play my second shot?”

=====*=====

How to give a pill to a cat and a dog

CAT:

1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As the cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and vigorously rub cat’s throat.

7) Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make a note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8) Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9) Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10) Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11) Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of your last tetanus jab. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12) Ring fire brigade to retrieve the friggin’ cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13) Tie the little @#!*#^~!’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining room table, find heavy duty Pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14) Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

DOG: Wrap pill in bacon, cheese or peanut butter. Make him beg.

***

You’ve heard about the hopeless gambler who was on the wrong side of 10 consecutive football bets. He decided to switch to wagering on basketball. Again, he lost 10 in a row. His luck got no better gambling on baseball. He went 0 for 10.

His friend tried to help him out of his losing streak.

“Have you thought about betting on hockey instead?” the friend suggested.

“Hockey?” the gambler hollered in disgust. “Are you nuts? I don’t know anything about hockey.”

 

Canadian Slang That Confuses Americans

Caesar

Caesar

Be careful if you order a Caesar from an American bartender; you might wind up with a salad. A Bloody Mary is the closest equivalent for our friends south of the border, but it’s just not the same.

Canadian tuxedo

A blue denim jacket when worn with a pair of blue jeans? That’s a Canadian tuxedo and we’re proud of it! Even our American friends love it: remember Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the 2001 American Music Awards?

Freezies

Freeze pops? We call ’em freezies! Which one is your favourite? Blue, red, orange, purple…

KD

Canadians love Kraft Dinner — so much so that we’ve shortened the only-in-Canada mac-and-cheese to two letters that will mystify Americans who don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

Parkade

Only in Canada is a parking garage called a parkade. Now to remember where we parked…

Hydro bill

Americans pay their utility bills or electric bills, Canadians pay hydro bills. And that hydro bill can be expensive, because Canadian cities have some of the worst winters.

Toboggan

Americans like to go sledding in the winter, but Canadians will always prefer tobogganing.

Timbit

The Tim Hortons’ Timbit has become utterly ingrained in Canadian culture. In the U.S.? Not so much. For our American friends: it’s a doughnut hole!

Tap

Americans turn on the faucet, but a Canadian gets water out of the tap.

Serviette

Why use a napkin when you can use something as fancy-sounding as a serviette?

Pencil Crayons

Pencil crayons

Pencil crayons are a distinctly Canadian term for coloured pencils.

Dart

Canadian slang for a cigarette, as in, “I’m heading out behind the dumpster to go have a dart.”

Dinged

In the U.S., cars get dinged. In Canada, it’s our wallets, as in, “I got dinged 90 bucks for that speeding ticket.”

Elastics

Rubber bands? In Canada we call them elastics.

Gong show

To Americans, “Gong Show” is an intentionally awful talent show hosted by a heavily disguised (and proudly Canadian!) Mike Myers. For us, the term “gong show” (sometimes shortened to “gonger”) is slang for anything that goes off the rails, a wild, crazy or just plain chaotic event.

Hang a Larry or Roger

Where an American in a car’s passenger seat would tell the driver to take a left, a Canadian would say to hang a Larry (or a Roger for a right turn).

Homo milk

Every Canadian knows that this is short for homogenized milk.  Evangelical American Christians need not worry.

Housecoat

The item of clothing Americans refer to as a bathrobe or (if they’re classy) a dressing gown is known to Canadians by its true name: the housecoat.

Chinook

An American might recognize the word as referring to a species of salmon or a type of Canadian military helicopter, but only a true Canadian knows a Chinook is an unseasonably warm wind that rises over the Rockies and heats up as it descends.

Champagne birthday

Americans are often surprised to learn that a champagne birthday refers to the date when you celebrate the birthday that equates to the date of your birth, such as celebrating your 28th birthday on the 28th of May.

Toque

A knit hat. Worn by everyone in winter and by hipsters over the summer.

Stag

A bachelor party. The female equivalent: stagette.

Keener

A brown-noser.

The letter Z

Americans pronounce it zee. Canadians pronounce it zed, much to the detriment of the “Alphabet Song.”

Knapsack

A backpack.

Washroom

Americans call it the ‘men’s room’ or ‘ladies’ room.’

Eavestroughs

Rain gutters. Our term sounds way cooler, eh?

Garburator

A garbage disposal unit found beneath a kitchen sink.

Runners

Any kind of athletic footwear.

Mickey

A 13-ounce (give or take) bottle of hard alcohol.

Gitch or gotch

A very classy term for men’s underwear.

Chocolate bar

Americans call it a candy bar, which seems weird. To us, gummy worms are candy, ya know?

Processed cheese

American Cheese. Make your own joke here.

Humidex

Measurement used to gauge the combined effect of heat and humidity.

Two-four

A case of 24 beers. Cans or bottles: your choice!

Klick

Slang term for ‘kilometer.’

Chesterfield

A couch or sofa.

Kerfuffle

A scuffle or commotion, typically resulting from conflicting views.

Deke

To physically outmaneuver an opponent. Typically in hockey.

Pogie

Derived from slang from our Scottish friends, “pogie” means being on welfare or social assistance.

Molson muscle

A beer belly.

Head’r

To leave. Head out. Duck out. Get out of there. “The meatloaf was superb, mom, but we’ve gotta head’r.”

Snowbird

Typically, this means a retired Canadian who travels south for the winter. Usually to tacky parts of Florida or Arizona.

Rotten Ronnie’s / McDicks

Terms of ‘endearment’ for McDonald’s.

Booze can

An after-hours bar. They’re typically illegal, so shhhhh. Don’t tell your American friends.

Thongs

No, we’re not talking g-strings. Thongs are the casual style of footwear that you wear to the beach, the pool or the gym’s communal showers. Might still be known as flip-flops.

Give’r!

To really, truly go for it. All out. Pedal to the metal.

Loonie and toonie

The perfectly reasonable-sounding names of our one and two-dollar coins.

Soaker or booter

When you step in a puddle or snow bank and the water penetrates your poor unsuspecting shoes.

Double-double

A coffee with two milk and two sugar. Often ordered at Tim Horton’s.

If any of these confuse any Americans, don’t feel badly. Some of them are age-specific, or regional, and confuse the rest of us Canucks, too.

Where There’s A Will

Will

JACK’S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

Jack has died. His lawyer is standing before the family and reads out Jack’s Last Will and Testament:

“To my dear wife Esther, I leave the house, 50 acres of land, and 1 million dollars.

“To my son Barry, I leave my Big Lexus and the Jaguar.

“To my daughter Suzy, I leave my yacht and $250,000.

“And to my brother-in-law Jeff, who always insisted that health is better than wealth, I leave my treadmill.”

***

A weary traveler enters a pub.

The lady bartender says, “Welcome! What are you drinking?” The traveler, weary from his long journey, responds simply, “Your finest ale, please.” The bartender tells him, “Brilliant.” As she pours him a pint of her finest ale, she makes him an offer.

“Since you are a first time customer, I will offer you a gift I offer all of my first time customers.” The traveler blushes and nods at the bartender, who was easy on the eyes.

“You may choose either this first pint of ale is free or instead you may pay for the beer and I will give you a piece of valuable advice.” The traveler pondered this for a moment, knowing his coin purse was light.

“Though my purse is light, I am intrigued by your offer. I will pay for my ale, now please share the valuable advice.” The bartender grinned, counting the coins he had given her, looked him in the eye and said, “You should’ve taken the free pint.”

***

On his 70th birthday, a man was given a gift certificate from his wife.  The certificate was for consultation with an Indian medicine man living on a nearby reservation, who was rumored to have a simple cure for erectile dysfunction.
The husband went to the reservation and saw the medicine man. The old Indian gave him a potion and with a grip on his shoulder warned, “This is a powerful medicine. You take only a teaspoonful, and then say: “1-2-3.’ When you do, you will become manlier than you have ever been in your life and you can perform for as long as you want.”
The man thanked the old Indian, and as he walked away, he turned and asked:  How do I stop the medicine from working?” “Your partner must say 1-2-3-4,’ he responded, “But when she does, the medicine will not work again until the next full moon.”
He was very eager to see if it worked so he went home, showered, shaved took a spoonful of the medicine and then invited his wife to join him in the bedroom.  When she came in, he took off his clothes and said: “1-2-3!”   Immediately, he was the manliest of men. His wife was excited and began throwing off her clothes and then she asked: “What was the 1-2-3 for?”
And that, boys and girls, is why we should never end our sentences with a preposition, because we could end up with a dangling participle.

My friend asked me if I liked any sports.
I said that I was into shooting.
He asked if I was into anything mainstream.
Mass shooting?”

Ice hockey is just basically guys wearing knife shoes and fighting each other with long sticks for the last Oreo.

The first 5 days after the weekend are always the hardest.

If taking a shit is a call of nature, is farting a missed call?

What’s the dumbest animal in the jungle?
The Polar bear….and how did he get in the jungle in the first place?

Everything’s a UFO when you’re near-sighted.

The best place to hide a body is on page two of the Google search results.

Breakups are like;
“You’ll never find anyone like me.”
That’s the plan!

 

Flash Fiction #141

Eat Your Heart Out

PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight

SIBLING RIVALRY

“It’s no fair, Mom! How come Robbie gets to go on the school art museum trip, and I don’t??  He’s just a year older”

“Howie, I told you before. You have to improve your grades, but despite being yelled at several times, you’re too busy playing street-hockey with your ‘posse’ to do your homework.  You’ve slipped from B-, to C.  You’ll have to stay home and study.”

Rob couldn’t resist taunting his younger brother. “Art is for people with maturity.  You haven’t been showing much lately, so you have to stay home while I go, and eat your heart out.”

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

CANADA – FROM EH TO ZED

What Canada Is

Canada Infographic

It’s Canada Day. I thought I might humorously show what Canada is to those of us above the 49th.

An example of our acceptance of proximity to wildlife;
I just got a wrong-number text from someone saying, “Hey, can we use your pool? There’s a moose in ours.”

Doughnut: A small fried cake of sweetened dough, used to lure people into unnecessary meetings.

More than half of Canadians over 25 have some post-secondary schooling. In light of our love of learning, here are some smarty-pants zingers.
Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?
A photon checks into a hotel, and the bellhop asks him if he has any luggage.  The photon replies, “No, I’m travelling light.

Possible Canadian movie titles;
The Never-Ending Sorry
Gone With The Wind Chill
The Full Mountie

Canadian Flag

We’re noted for our kindly manners. Just look at this testimonial. An American I know, said that his brother lost his wallet in Canada on a trip, and someone shipped it back to him along with souvenirs.

Hockey rivalries between NHL teams are serious business.

Q: How many Edmonton Oilers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  None!  They just sit around in the dark and talk about how good it used to be.

A teacher asks her students what their dads do for a living. She gets the usual answers: firefighter, businessman, police officer.  When it’s Billy’s turn, he says, “My Father’s a criminal who robs banks.”  Shocked, she takes Billy out into the hall.  “My goodness,” she says, “I had no idea about your dad.”

“Well,” Billy replies, “My father actually plays for the Montreal Canadiens, but I was too embarrassed to admit that in front of everybody.”

We’re not above making fun of our neighbours south of the border.

Q: How can you tell the difference between Americans and Canadians?
A:  Canadians not only have a sense of humour, but they know how to spell it.

The Canadian dollar is so bad that, when a clerk accidently gives me an American nickel in change, I turn around and mutter, Suckerrr to myself.

Even the police get into it. A Regina Police report included the statement, “I always wonder how many of the incidents we investigate started with someone yelling YOLO.”

Canadians aren’t as friendly as they may appear. They stab trees, and feast on their blood.

I used to be in a band called Missing Cat. You probably saw our posters.
I dedicate this blog to my father, who was a roofer.  So Dad, if you’re up there….
Recently in court, I was found guilty of being egotistical.  Rest assured, I am appealing.

Sometimes Canadians aren’t so peaceful. If everyone in my life would just read the transcripts of my impassioned shower monologues, we wouldn’t have these communications issues.

It doesn’t matter what country you’re from, everybody makes mistakes.
What idiot called it a dad-bod, instead of a father figure?
What idiot said that their foot was asleep, not that they had coma-toes?
What idiot called them coffee-shop renovations, instead of Java updates?

STATISTICS

Every single Canadian is separated by 6 degrees
Shania Twain has worn 16 acres of denim in her lifetime
Thanks to larger hockey nets, Wayne Gretzky now says that you only miss 95% of the shots you don’t take.

*Me, petting my cat*
Cat: “This is as happy as I’ll ever be!”
*A door opens*
Cat: ”Now is my chance to flee this prison and never return.”

We’re true, North, and strong, but not free of bad habits. When I die, my ghost will probably haunt a fridge.

A nurse beckoned to one of the expectant fathers at the local hospital, and announced, “You’ve got a new son.” Immediately, another man rushed over and began to complain.  “Hey, what’s the idea?  I was here before he was.”

A mailman whose right pant leg was in tatters, limped into the Post Office. “What happened to you?” asked the Postmaster. “I was on my route when a big dog rushed out and bit me on the ankle.” the mailman explained. “Did you put anything on it?” asked the Postmaster. “No,” said the victim, “he liked it plain.”

Canadians love a good case of quick thinking. A game-warden is walking along an East-coast beach, when he spots a guy with a bucket of lobsters.  The officer walks over, flashes his badge and says, “You’re in big trouble boyo.  Poachin’ lobsters is a serious offence.” The man answers, “You’ve got it all wrong.  These lobsters are my pets.  Every morning I let them swim around in the ocean for a few minutes, and then I whistle them back in.”

Skeptically, the warden says, “Okay then, prove it.” The man proceeds to throw the lobsters into the ocean, and both he and the warden stand waiting.  After a couple of minutes, the officer looks at the man and says, “That’s enough time, now whistle your lobsters back in.” The fellow turns to the warden and says, “Lobsters?  What lobsters?”   😆

Canada Kicks Ass

Oh, Grow Up!

Rink

On an irregular basis, the local newspaper allows 500-word articles from members of the Youth Editorial Board. These are intelligent high school students.  I am often impressed with their knowledge of social problems, and their mature suggestions.

I was recently sadly disappointed by a female Catholic student’s rant, titled Complaint About Rink, Masks a Bigger Problem.  A family in this hilly little town had found a large enough flat spot to build a small rink in their front yard.  By-law Enforcement had become aware of it, and the City gave them two weeks to dismantle it.

I share her opinion that Canadian kids are overweight and out of shape, and need all the outdoor exercise they can get. The City has sufficient good reasons to specifically make this behavior illegal, and mentioned several of them in their media release.  To ensure compliance, a possible fine was stated.

Not one to let the facts get in the way of a good story, she went on to paint the family, not as lawbreakers, but as Phys-Ed heroes, and later, as downtrodden victims.

If she built a snowman on her lawn, would someone file a complaint about that too? If it were eight feet high and blocking sightlines at an intersection – Yes!

She felt that vanity(?) was triumphing over enjoyment.  All exercise and fun obtained in a back yard would be just as enjoyable – and less dangerous.

She felt it was unfair that they had to dismantle the illegal structure because just one person filed a complaint. It’s possible that the entire street narc-ed out these people, or that only one did, with the knowledge and support of many others. How dare the City threaten a fine?  It wouldn’t be imposed, if they just obeyed the directive.

The list of weasel-word excuses that she used to rationalize her denigration of the complainant was long and impressive. She listed: intimidation and oppression, lowering self-esteem, verbal and physical abuse, criticism can follow creativity, attack with negative words, victims, power and control, lonely perpetrator craving attention, jealousy, compensating for their own troubles, anger, unfair, bullying, and frustration.

The City’s main stated reason for not allowing this behavior centered around the 14 inch steel tent pegs used to anchor the frame boards. Things like this, driven into the ground, could damage telephone and cable lines, power cables, and water and sewer pipes.  These would not happen if the rink were situated in the back yard.

Not mentioned by the City, were things like wobbly figure skaters or body-checked little hockey players crashing into passing pedestrians and baby carriages, or even worse, onto driveways, as cars pull in or out. Hockey pucks or frozen rubber balls can break windows and dent cars and garage doors.  Kids chasing them into the street can easily be run over.

The midnight-shift worker who tries to sleep during the day would be none too pleased with a noisy crowd of kids beneath his front bedroom window. None of these things have anything to do with vanity or oppression, merely safety and good manners.

Just wait till she gets older, gets married and moves into her own little house in the suburbs, next to a neighbors-from-Hell family like the one she’s currently defending.  The people who casually violate City ordinances about front-yard rinks, do it so that their kids have fun, not so that neighbor kids get exercise.

These same people are the ones who own a dog which is tethered outside 24/7, to bark its head off, or a cat that they let run loose to shit in your carefully tended garden beneath your living room window. They think nothing of having an illegal campfire in their backyard, which fills your house with smoke, and forces you to close all your windows on otherwise lovely days.

They feel entitled to blast loud music from their stereo out through windows and French doors, all day and night, while they throw loud, drunken parties on their deck, or in the pool or hot-tub. Now who’s intimidating, oppressing or bullying?  Ah, the joys of living in the city, there’s one on every block.

When we moved in here, the 10-year old from across the street wanted to play one-on-one street hockey with his friend, using their driveway and ours as ‘goals.’ I told him clearly that I would not allow it.  I didn’t want our car, or the house, dinged and marked, or the work and expensive garden plants wasted and ruined.

We left to go shopping one day and came back to a hockey net blocking our driveway, and the two boys resting on the curb. He jumped up and moved the net – the first time. I repeated that it was ‘my’ driveway, and I didn’t want him playing here.

We had lunch and went back out. On returning the second time, there was the net, blocking our access again, and he was now too tired to get up and move the net.  My son got out of the car and threw it onto the boulevard.

Not five minutes later his mother came over to accuse the son of ‘putting a hole’ in it.  It’s a hockey net.  It’s all hole!  And I don’t care how much healthy exercise he’s getting, it doesn’t belong on my driveway.

I think our little ‘fitness and fun’ defender’s entire screed “masks a bigger problem.” She needs to grow up, and I think when she does, our rose-colored-glasses wearing, sheltered little Catholic, is in for some nasty surprises about urban reality.

CANADA D’Eh?

Canadian Flag

July 1 is CANADA DAY!

In celebration, I slept in till after noon….wait, that’s my regular schedule.  In any case, it took me a while to get my mind firing on all three cylinders, steal research the following fascinating information about my great country, and get it out to all my foreign followers.

ARE THE STEREOTYPES ABOUT CANADA TRUE?

It’s always winter here

False. There is, almost always, a stretch of several weeks between the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the start of curling season when it is warm enough for mosquitoes to thrive. This is when we go camping. In fact, according to Environment Canada the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was on July 5, 1937, when it reached 45 C in Midale and Yellowgrass, Sask. You know where else it reaches 45 C? The Sahara desert. Saskatchewan: the Morocco of the North.

We say “eh” after every sentence

False.  A lot of sentences end with “Stanley Cup,” “puck,” or “sorry.”

We’re all very polite

See previous item. Actually, a poll by Angus Reid last year found that 56 per cent of Canadians reported using profanity on a regular or occasional basis, higher than both Brits (51 per cent) and Americans (46 per cent). But are we more profane or are we just less likely to hang up on pollsters? In fact, Canada had 554 murders in 2010, according to Statistics Canada. That’s 1.62 homicides per 100,000, compared to 4.8 in the United States, 13 in Russia, 18 in Mexico and 78 in Honduras, the deadliest country in the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

We all play hockey

False. There is a rumour that several people somewhere in the Metro Vancouver region do not play hockey or understand what offside and icing are, and the relentless mocking of neighbours and co-workers has so far failed to convince them to pick up some skates and get with the game. According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, Canada is the hockey-playingest nation in the world, with 572,411 registered hockey players, male and female, which amounts to 1.68 per cent of the population.

We drink a lot of beer

False, it seems. According to statistics compiled by Ranker.com, Canada pulls in at 21st among beer-swilling nations, swigging a meagre 68.3 litres per capita annually. That’s well behind Hungary, at 75.3 litres, and just ahead of Latvia, at 68 litres. Czechs more than double the pitiful tippling of Canadians, downing 158.6 litres of beer per capita per year. Ireland wins silver in the quaffing World Cup, at 131.1 litres per person. Per capita consumption of beer peaked in Canada in 1981, at 99.69 litres, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

We hate Americans

Wrong again. We share a language, a culture, a lot of television shows and 8,891 kilometres worth of border across land and water. We have the largest bilateral relationship of any two nations on Earth, and aside from the beer thing and burning down the White House in the War of 1812, we get along quite famously. According to Statistics Canada, they’re our best friends and we, theirs. The federal agency says more than 24.5 million Americans came to Canada to say “hey” in 2010, compared to 4.5 million visitors from other countries, and almost 20 million Canadians went to the U.S. to say “eh,” compared to the 1.4 million Canadians who went to Mexico, our second bestie.

We speak French

Mais oui. Un peu. In the 2006 federal census, 17.8 million Canadians identified themselves as speaking English and 6.8 million as speaking French, while 98,625 said they spoke English and French. Almost 300,000 others said they spoke English and/or French and another language. Overachievers.

Igloo

We live in igloos

We wish, because igloos are very cool, but the truth is that the igloo is the ingenious invention of the Inuit people of the Arctic. While Inuit traditionally used hide tents for their summer homes and sod homes in winter, they also built igloos for shelter when they were out on the land in winter. Igloos are built of blocks of snow stacked one atop the other to form a dome. They’re easy to construct and warm inside, offering fast and secure shelter in one of the harshest climates on Earth.

Modern Inuit – of which there are more than 50,000, according to the 2006 federal census – have settled in permanent communities throughout the North and live in houses like their southern Canadian cousins, but many continue to keep their hunting and fishing traditions alive.

We ride dogsleds

While riding public transit at rush hour can certainly evoke feelings of being at the mercy of a pack of rabid dogs, there are some subtle but important differences.

One: Sled dogs are actually quite well-behaved, or they wouldn’t be sled dogs. They would be dogs who chew shoes and chase Canada Post employees.
Two: Public transit smells bad, and while sled dogs themselves aren’t exactly a breath of fresh air, you do have to be out in the fresh air to be driving a dog sled.
Three: A dog team can run up to 32 kilometres an hour, says the International Federation of Sleddog Sports, while buses at rush hour rarely reach those kinds of speeds.

There are many differences but most importantly, mushing is a rural sport while riding public transit is a predominantly urban sport, and according to the 2006 federal census, of the 31,612,897 residents of Canada in 2006, only 6,262,154 of them lived in rural Canada. The same explanation stands for canoeing, although many Canadian city dwellers do venture outdoors, ignoring their common sense and overcoming childhood memories of summer camp to undertake such foolhardy activities as camping in tents, swimming in non-chlorinated natural formations and kayaking. A survey by Statistics Canada found that in 2004 alone, 13.6 million trips were taken by Canadians to visit national and provincial parks, and 8.2 million trips were taken to go boating, including canoeing and kayaking.

We all wear toques

Much to the chagrin of Canadian fashionistas, this one is true. And when the mercury drops into frostbite territory, many go full-out voyageur and pull the toques down over their ears.

Canada Kicks Ass

#475