I live in Canada and I like it. I was born and raised here and have often asked myself what exactly defines a Canadian. That in itself can be a difficult question.While Canadians are rarely endowed with that glowing sense of patriotism that our brethren to the south posses, most are proud to live here and love their country. Some say that we are polite, which is complete nonsense because some of the rudest idiots and stupidest louts that I have met were Canadian. There seems to be many other traits that define what it means to be a Canadian; I unfortunately do not have any of them, I am a bad Canadian. Confused, eh? Don't take off and read on.
1. Bad Sports.
It is said that the one truly unifying factor in Canadian culture, the one that really defines us as a people, is hockey. As for myself, I couldn't give a rat's ass about hockey. As I write this our local team is still in the playoffs as June approaches. June is summer last time I checked and I can't imagine being cooped up in some windowless bar watching a hockey game.
The passive nature of organized sports in general is a monumental waste of time, but Canadian hockey fans are a breed unto themselves. Some will actually start fist fights over it, too brainwashed/drunk to understand the concept that the team won and all they did was watch.
Getting all worked up about a bunch of prima donnas on skates is ridiculous, especially when you consider the obscene amount of money these guys make. If I wanna see mullets, missing teeth and fights, I just head down to Country bar in the burbs: just as entertaining and doesn't cost anything.
To add to the delusion, hockey fans are obsessed with their team when they are winning, yet will denounce them as worthless bums should they happen to lose. Some even get depressed about it, and others will call in sick at work.
"See the game last nite?" I find it irritating that even complete strangers assume that I like hockey. If you have the audacity to answer no, you will be deemed to be a mental case.
I don't much care for Nascar, but consider the comparison for a moment. When was the last time you saw a Nascar fight? Or someone going to the office wearing their favorite Nascar driver's jersey? Or seen a couple of idiots duking it out over who's car is faster? Didn't think so.
Hockey is marketing pure and simple. It is a product and they are subliminally creating brand loyalty. They make a fortune on merchandising and most people are too oblivious to be outraged at paying $150 a ticket and then have to suffer the further indignity of a 9 dollar beer in a plastic cup. Take off. eh!
2. Bad Hair.
You're not even supposed to say mullet and rockabilly in the same phrase. While the mullet is certainly not the exclusive domain of Canadians, I seem to notice a higher percentage of them up here. It's almost as if it is perceived as a prerequisite to being Canadian. Keep in mind that in certain parts of the country a mullet is referred to as a hockey haircut. I don't have to venture far from the city core to see mullets first hand. I'm not sure of the provenance of mullets, but rest assured that a mullet is like a wearing a badge that says, "I'm dumb." A power mullet seems to imply, " I'm dumb and I have a gun in my truck." I wonder how barbers are coerced into making this abomination, but maybe they have mullets too.
In a strange twist of irony, it is often the greasers who are the recipients of weird looks and quizzical smiles due their haircuts. As I have observed in the past, on my daily rounds, a lot of people look up as they encounter me and my pomp. " Hey, my face is down here!" Get a haircut, eh!
3. Bad Music.
While bad music and dogmatic adherence to the tenets of Classic Rock are just as prevalent in the US, we have our own special brand of bad music in Canada. Most likely the progeny of Cancon ( Where it is the law that 30% of radio broadcast must be Canadian Content, no foolin' , this is an actual law) these purveyors of hoser-rock rock on with reckless abandon.
Wankage-masters Rush seem to be at the top of the heap. These aging prog-rockers just won't seem to go away and keep cranking out album after album containing 20 minute drum solos and at least 5 million notes. Neal Peart, the drummer for this band, seems to have garnered his own cult-like following. Battle cries of " Peart is god!" can be heard from Saskatoon to Smith's Falls on any given Saturday night as the fighting and puking begin.
It's hard to avoid classic rock on any given day, some fool somewhere is always playing it. In Canada, however we are added the extra indignity of hearing the likes of BTO and April Wine ad nauseam. When I hear April Wine I get an urge to find an icepick and jam it in my ears. When I hear The Safety Dance, I wanna punch a dog or something. When I hear Burton Cummings I want to drive a ski-doo into a brick barn.
Thanks to the Casino circuit which seems to have revived the careers of many a has-been and one hit wonder, these chronologically impaired rockers will keep spewing out the same old rock cliches well into their 80's. Stomp that Guess Who CD, eh!
Some Canadians are obsessed with bagpipes and highland dancing. While I don't mind hearing bagpipes at the Canada Day parade, I wouldn't want to spend an entire day watching earnest young lasses jumping around doing something that looks suspiciously like the Macarena. These robust girls in their kilts will dance all day at the local highland games and there ain't enough Cutty Sark whiskey on hand to make this remotely interesting.
There is strange part of Canada that people rarely think about called the Maritimes. Nestled in the Eastern most part of Canada, the Maritimers revel in fish stories, booze and Celtic music. Tons of Celtic music. After a few days days there, you will be so freakin' sick of Celtic music that you may develop post traumatic stress syndrome and snap when you hear fiddles. If you ever hear "What do you do with a drunken sailor"one more time, you may snap and end up in a church steeple throwing codfish and potatoes at passersby. What do you do with a drunken fiddler, eh?
4. Bad Weather.
Yes, you heard right and it's all true. It is fucking cold up here. Ball-numbing, brain activity stopping, absolute zero deep space cold. So what do Canadians do about it? They go outdoors of course. They will brave 30 below cold to ride around snowmobiles in the woods. Spewing blue smoke from the two stroke engines and scaring small animals for miles around, a good time is had by all.
There will be many beers brought along to stave off the cold. This is why many snowmobilers return from their forays with toes and fingers missing. It often takes them a while to realize that one their buddies is missing. This usually the guy who ventured out onto a partially frozen lake.
Skiing seems just as ridiculous to me and this activity also seems to incur booze-induced missing digits. Yes, it is also an excuse to to get hammered. The only difference is you have to get to the top of a mountain to do it. You slide down said mountain with sticks strapped to your feet and hit 60 mph on the hard packed snow. You go back up the mountain and get even more hammered and do it all again. All at the balmy temperature of 45 below with the wind chill factor. A close encounter with a tree sometimes ensues.
Although an indoor sport, Curling still requires ice. I cannot think of a more quintessentially Canadian activity nor of a dumber way to spend your time. Boring and incomprehensible as it may seem , there are devotees of the "sport" who watch it on TV. To make it even creepier, these guys are all teetotalers and all head to the Tim Horton's after the game. ( For my American readers Tim Horton's is like Dunkin' Donuts run by evangelists). As an aside, I will probably burn in hoser hell for saying this, but I fucking hate Tim Horton's. The incompetent staff and tepid crappy coffee always make it an infuriating experience.
Other Canucks will go moose hunting. Very few city people will eat a moose, but this is a really good excuse to get away from the wife and get really shithouse plastered in the bush. At least once a year some drunken hunter will mistake a bright orange hunting vest for a moose and blast away.
Some even drunker Canadians think that's is a great idea and a shitload of fun to sit in a little shack in the middle of a frozen lake and attempt to extract fish from a hole. It is so fucking cold, that even the fish are frozen into solid blocks of ice. That is usually the cue to get back to the truck or ski-doo to fetch more booze. Most ice fishers end up passing out in that little shack only to awake to the dying embers of a tiny stove stinking of stale booze, burning wood, beer farts but not fish. The usually end wondering why their toes have all turned black. As they come to the realization that they are out of booze, most will go home and buy some frozen fish at the market on the way. I ain't shovellin' no snow. eh!
5. Bad Beer.
No discussions about Canadians would be complete without mentioning beer. It is a bit of a myth that we drink more beer than anybody. I have partied from Missouri to Virginia and back, and I can assure you that our American counterparts like beer as much as we do. Per Capita I think Germans must drink more beer. The only difference is that most Canadians like bad beer.
Big breweries are big business and venerable institutions like Molson keep cranking out hoser-slop by the tanker truck. Most hosers buy into the marketing ploys such as big boobs and maudlin jingoistic tirades and cram this swill down their gullets until the cows come home. Not unlike hockey, there are occasional bar brawls that started over brand loyalty. With all the great microbrews available, I cannot fathom why any one would want to drink this flatulence inducing barbaric grog. Their palates eroded by bad beer and the resulting burned out brain cells, the hosers usually hate microbrews. Some get angry and indignant as if it was an affront to their manhood. The will angrily declare " I ain't drinkin' this shit!" as they puff out their chest and down a warm Molson Canadian all at once. Damn change, eh?
The really fancy hosers will drink Corona not knowing that reason you put lime on it is to keep the flies away. Your average hoser thinks that the ultimate vacation is Puerto Vallarta and the Corona reminds him of this. They love the all inclusive drink-til-you-have-an-aneurysm price of these vacations, and are always more than willing to propagate the stereotype of the Ugly Canadian. Whattaya you mean, I'm cut off,eh?
There you have it folks, a few random observations. I am a Bad Canadian, but my American friends are always amused when I inadvertently drop an " eh " into the conversation. Thanks for reading and have a good day, eh?