Monday, July 1, 2013

The Bad Canadian: Part 3

As my Canadian readers know, today is Canada Day. Anyone else who is reading might be going "Huh?" In typically low-key Canadian fashion we don't tell the rest of the world about it. We celebrate Canada Day, but nobody gets too crazy. Every city has a parade which, by law, must include at least one bagpipe band and cannot go on for more than three city blocks. Sure, it might be a great excuse for some people to get drunk, I mean shithouse plastered get temporarily blind drunk, but that's just an average weekend in Canada. Canada day is a stat holiday, so it's just an extra day of drinking.

Personally, I don't give a shit about parades and the last place on earth that I want to be is downtown with a quarter million squares from the suburbs craning their necks to look at fireworks that suspiciously look the exact same as last year's fireworks ( although I must admit, I inexplicably like bagpipes). So I'm not exactly a patriot, but nobody in Canada will ever call me on it or accuse me of being  Un-Canadian. In the US, them's fightin' words, to be called Un-American is an insult akin to being accused of dismembering small mammals, they take that shit seriously. It's not that I don't appreciate living here, I am more concerned about running out of beer.... which probably makes me a good Canadian.

I prefer American beer. There. I said it. Most Canadians look down their noses at American beer as if our mass produced swill is better than anyone else's mass produced swill. American beer is 3% alcohol versus Canadian which is 5% alcohol. The result? You just end up getting hammered quicker. Whenever I go to Seattle I can drink about 27 of them suckers and I'm fine, the party just lasts longer. as a Canadian, I feel that I am not taxed nearly enough, that's why it feels like I won the lotto when I pay $10.99 for 24 PBR in Bellingham. At the local Chevron no less. Any Canadian who likes standing in long lines at a government store to have the privilege of purchasing very warm beer probably also likes rectal exams: the end results are surprisingly similar.

Too Big:
Canada is just too damn big. Whaddya need all that space for? Sure the United States is almost as big, but it actually has cities in it. We got cities, four I think. There is this one place that thinks it's a city and it's called Toronto. Picture New York run by the Swiss. Other cities have some big buildings, but everyone seems to know everyone else. You tell someone to fuck off in New York, you'll never see that person ever again. In Vancouver you might see him the next day on a bus or may be he's the guy giving you a job interview.

Some really hardy Rockabilly bands have the testicular fortitude to actually tour Canada. Bands like Cousin Harley, The Brains and The Hellbound Hepcats come to mind. They tour Canada to entertain all of the 296 Rockabillies that live in all of Canada. Sometimes the drive between gigs is fifteen or more hours and sometimes they do it in the dead of winter. They don't even do that shit in Russia ( OK maybe Sweden). I guess Canadian bands are a pretty tough bunch.

I have driven across Canada, so I know. There is a thing called The Trans-Canada highway. What it is is a bunch of roads that run into one another in a loosely associated string of highways patched together and given the moniker Trans-Canada. It crosses Canada alright, but the vast majority of it is a bumpy, desolate two-lane stretch of road. Crossing the province of  Ontario is about the same as driving from New York State to Minnesota, and man it takes a while. You can go for hours without seeing another car and you will sometimes see someone walking out of the forest with a suitcase and flagging down a Greyhound bus ( who actually stops to pick him up). Eventually the Trans Canada runs out of towns and all roads lead to Wawa, Ontario (look it up). This when you realize that you're only about one third of the way to West Coast. This when you need a Canadian beer.

Camping, Moose and Beavers.

I would rather piss turpentine on an open flame than go camping. The wilderness is full of critters like moose and beavers, and they all want to kill you. It was in the news recently: a man in Belarus was killed by a beaver. This murderous creature is our freakin' national symbol. Not only do they want to kill you, they want to drown you. They chew down trees, block waterways and generally fuck shit up in the woods all to achieve the ultimate goal of seeing you dead. Moose are much bigger and much stupider, but they also want to kill you. Just try it out yourself. If you see moose, give it the hairy eyeball. The moose will immediately charge at you in a blind rage. 1100 hundred pounds of angry meat rush you at 35 miles per hour, yep the great outdoors is fun.

Primitive societies learned how to make huts many millennium ago precisely so they wouldn't have to sleep outdoors. I have a job to prevent the very same thing. So why intentionally haul all your stuff up the side of a mountain to spend a weekend in a tiny tent surrounded by half the country's mosquitoes? After taking half a day to set up all your stuff, you then realize that you running dangerously low on beer and your gonna have to poop in the woods. This is usually when the killer beavers sneak up on you.

Seriously. Fuck winter. As I have stated in previous posts; yes it's cold up here. It snows a lot and you can't call in sick at work when it snows (the government will take away your citizenship for that). You dig and dig some more. This is usually when you get your first heart attack. Vancouver is the one exception and it has the same weather as Seattle, only with fewer hipsters.

If you own a car it will need to be equipped with a block heater, snow tires, tire chains and ice scrapers. All of that will prove useless when you hit that patch of black ice and do a bunch of 360's. And that's just in your driveway.

Some people like to ski or snowboard, but that ain't for me. There are a lot of dangers up on those slopes. Snot has a tendency to freeze immediately at those altitudes and that's not so much dangerous as embarrassing. A lot of snowboarders are known to indulge in the ole skunkweed. A 200 pound projectile in the form of a stoned dude on a piece of wood coming at you at 120 miles per hour can have some pretty devastating results, but the stoned boarder is to messed up to understand why the snow suddenly turned red. There are also killer trees up there who suddenly jump right into your path ( I suspect that they are in league with the killer beavers).

 I not sure exactly how much drinking was involved when they invented the "sport" of curling, but I suspect that it was a lot. I don't think anybody sober would come up with the idea of hurling big chunks of granite on the ice with the aim of hitting other chunks of granite. The two guys that got convinced to rapidly sweep little tiny brooms in the path of the sliding granite must have been even drunker to get roped into that. The strange part is people who enjoy curling seem to enjoy it while sober. That's scary and damned un-Canadian.

Time to sign off. I am out of maple syrup and I have to get some beer from the polite clerks at the beer store. Dang, the government store is closed today, so I will go the private beer store and pay through the nose as I hand over some plastic 20 dollar bills with a picture of the Queen of England on them....oh wait.. I think I hear bagpipes....have a good day, eh?

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