Saturday, February 20, 2010

Damned Greasy Canadians.

The past month or so in Vancouver been a frenzy of bacchanalian proportions. Even for those, like myself, who refuse to participate, it is hard to ignore.

I don't mind tourists and have always been a proud Canadian patriot, however, the whole mainstream aspect of all things olympic just sends a huge wave of boredom over me.

Rather than write vitriolic condemnations I will instead focus on what it means to be a Canadian greaser.

A recent trip to Viva Las Vegas, the world's biggest Rockabilly party, brought that to light ; you can always spot a Canadian.

Greasers from all over the world were in attendance, and even though there was no doubt that everybody was greasy, the Canadian rockabillies were easy to spot.

1. Birds Of A Feather.

We Canadians are a gregarious bunch. Whether in Vegas or Bumfuck, Arkansas we always seem to be able to find a fellow Canadian. We like to hang around with other Canadians.

At Viva, we even had our own "Canadian Table" reserved. People knew that we were Canadian. The copious quantities of beer on the table and the raucous laughter attracted attention and brought various visitors to the table who naturally gravitated to the friendliness and the innate "hoserism" that emanated from that table.

It also garnered the unwanted attention of far too many security guards, who slowly began to circle the perimeter of the bar where the table was located.

All the whoops of laughter and rowdy behavior interspersed with "ehs" was disconcerting to those stoic security guards who were dressed like neo-cops.

Many seemed perplexed as we occasionally glance at the large screen TV's showing a Montreal Canadiens game.

This was just the start of the evening.

2. How's It Goin', Eh?

The friendly nature of Canadians seemed un-fathomable to some. I found that out the hard way when I approached a table of British rockabillies. Their shocked expressions were comical, as I began yammering away at them. They politely told me that, in Britain, you just couldn't approach strangers that way.

I think what they meant was that, in Britain, I would probably get my ass kicked. Every night.

They eventually warmed up to me and we hung out the following night. Turns out they were one of the headlining acts.

Good band, eh?

3. You Said Eh.

Yeah, yeah, I know we say eh a lot and it always seems to amuse Americans to no end end when one slips out. It's part of our vernacular. We say it for emphasis or to ask a question. Here are a few examples.

You goin' to the show tonite, eh? = you're going to the show tonite, aren't you?

That show was pretty good, eh?= That show was great, don't you agree?

Time to get some beer, eh?= I think we're out of beer.

Oh, so you're goin', eh?= So you have volunteered to go get some beer.

Get a two-four, eh?= Remember to purchase sufficient quantities of beer.

12 bucks, eh?= You mean to tell me that 24 beers only cost 12 dollars? I'm impressed.

Pretty weak, eh?= The lower alcohol content of American beer is preventing my inebriation.

Eh can also be used as a mono-syllable and, depending on inflection, can mean many things.

Eh? = Pardon me?

Eh? = Sorry, I didn't quite hear you.

Eh? = I have a hard time believing that.

Eh? = How are you?

Eh! = Look at that.

Eh! = That's a cool car.

Eh! = I haven't seen you in ages.

Eh. = I've had enough beer, I'm going to bed.

I had run into a bunch of young latino greasers while in Vegas, and they hadn't really met any Canadians. They probably thought that I was more than a little nutso when I approached them.

Our encounter ended with them taking group shots with the "Crazy Canadian" and showing me Mexican curse words.

One the cats told me that they liked Canadians because we say eh, just like Mexicans. He proceeded to explain that while Canadians will say, " Come 'ere, eh" , Mexicans will say, " Eh, come 'ere".

4. Beer, Beer And More Beer.

As a Canadian, I feel that I am not taxed nearly enough. Going to Vegas and buying 24 Pabst for twelve bucks is an absolute epiphany. The revelation that cheap beer does indeed exist is a powerful emotion.

Our reputation as a nation of beer lovers precedes us, and when we go to Vegas, we will drink prodigious amounts of beer. No whiskey, no gin just beer.

This seems to scare a lot of people with the possible exception of Danes. I hung out with a Danish rockabilly band and that was an experience like no other. As a true Canadian, I was proud of my beer drinking prowess, but I could not keep up with my new found Danish buddies, and for the life of me, was never able to say fuck in Danish even after multiple attempts of them trying to show me.

During Viva, the Orleans hotel serves Pabst in a can. Coincidentally, the convenience store in the hotel also sells Pabst.

Me and my traveling buddy, Elvis Jay, would stock up before a show. We would buy a twelve pack each and open it up right there. One can in each boot, one can in each side pocket, one can in each back pocket, and one in each hand. We would drink the rest while sitting on a bench before proceeding and we were good to go.

Gotta love Vegas.

5. When talkin' to some of my American friends, I tend to take a few things for granted. There are just some things that perplex which we take for granted. Here's a few:



Block heater

The Habs

The 'Nucks

Case o' two-for

Pack 'o smokes


Goin' up to the bush


T.O. or T-zero

Air Transat

Tim Horton's


Give 'er

The 'Peg

The Prairies


Robertson screws


Canadian Tire

Dill pickle chips

Stompin' Tom

Just a few Canadian observations, take off, eh!?

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