Oh, Canada!

All this Olympics fever has made me more aware of the fact that there are other countries in the world besides the United States of America (USA! USA! USA!). While watching the ice dancing competition, I was thinking about how amazing it is to see all these talented people from different countries come together in one place, when I realized that I really didn’t need to go to Torino to find such diversity – I simply had to look at my own blog. But while reviewing the overall demographics of the people who stop by my site, I discovered an unexpected and confusing trend:

of Origin:

Could this really be true? Is it possible that visitors from Canada outnumber my own countrymen? This really got me thinking – what is it about Canadians that draw them to this site? Do they come here by accident? Maybe my web address is really similar to a hip Canadian record store, and they just stumble here on their way to buy the new Celine Dion album. Because when I was a kid, our phone number was one digit off from an auto supply store, so we would constantly get calls asking for Napa Auto Parts. I would then tell them the correct phone number, right after I quoted the sale price of windshield wiper blades for a 1976 Buick LeSabre.
But maybe it’s more than just happenstance. Is it possible that I connect with Canadians on some emotional or philosophical level? Do we have a psychic bond that transcends international borders? I can honestly say that I have an unnatural affection for my neighbors to the north. I guess it all started when I visited Toronto as a teen. That city has everything: an opera, museums, a subway, a zoo, tall buildings, Chinatown. You can’t get that kind of stuff in Chicago.
Really, you could ask anyone who knows me and they’d tell you about my fondness for the Canadians. Go ahead – ask my friends what country I love almost as much as my own, and see what they say:

Vivian: “Uh, France? It has to be France, because she’s obsessed with French stuff. Yeah, definitely France.”
Dee-Dee: “Hmm. Probably Mexico. We’ve gone there on vacation a bunch of times, and I know she really likes tamales.”
Natasha: “Germany. She does this thing called the German Dance – it’s hysterical – and she likes chocolates. Or wait… did she hate her trip to Germany? Maybe that was it. I don’t know – probably somewhere in Europe, though.”

Okay, clearly my friends know nothing about me, because the answer is Canada. I think part of my love for Canadians might be due to the fact that they are just so darn nice. And clean. People always said that about me in school: “Jenny is pretty nice and in general, seems to have good grooming habits,” so I guess we have a lot in common.
And just like me, I think Canada is often underestimated. Well, you know what? Canada and me – we’re a lot more than just nice and clean. Frankly, we’re really tired of people always taking advantage of us, and we’re not going to take it much longer. To prove my solidarity with the Canadians, I sent off a letter to the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Department requesting that they make me a Canadian.

Dear Emperor of Canada:
Your highness, I am writing you to request permission to become an official citizen of Canada. I like your people a lot, and think they’re really nice and clean. I would fit in well because I’m originally from Wisconsin, which might as well be Canada. Also, I really like whiskey, and growing up, my dad would always eat these little candies called Maple Nut Goodies. Are those Canadian? Probably. I didn’t like them that much, but he really does. And although I’ve only seen one hockey game in my life, and thought it was pretty boring, I’m sure I could get into it if I had to.
Enclosed please find an assortment of Canadian coins that look deceptively like real money, but will not work in any American toll booth or vending machine. I trust this will cover the cost of my new Canadian passport. Thank you!
Best regards,
Jenny Amadeo

Once I’m a Canadian, those people who underestimated me all my life had better watch out, because becoming a Canadian citizen is like joining the largest street gang in the entire world. The cleanest, nicest street gang you’ve ever had the misfortune of crossing. And if it ever came to blows, each and every one of my Canadian gang-brothers would hold your arms for me if I asked them to.
Yeah, once I’m a Canadian, all I’ll have to do is say the word and mes amis will be on you like white on rice. Do you really want to be on the bad side of Peefer? Carrington? P-Sass? Sween? There are tons more, but I’m not going to tell you their names because then it will be a surprise when you wake up in a bed filled with maple syrup. Zing!
Apparently a) Canada is not ruled by an Emperor, and b) you cannot simply request Canadian citizenship. The Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Department sent me a packet of information on how to become a Canadian citizen, and it looks really complicated! There’s a whole long test I have to take and like, more forms to fill out than for my taxes. Well, I suppose I’d better get started on these questions if I’m going to join the motherland anytime soon. Wish me luck, eh?
A Look at Canada: Citizenship Questions
1. Who are the Aboriginal peoples of Canada?
2. Which trade spread across Canada, making it important to the economy for over 300 years?
[Baseball cards. No wait… Beanie Babies. Is it Beanie Babies?]
3. What did the government do to make immigration to western Canada much easier?
[Filled in the moat]
4. Name two fundamental freedoms protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
[Drinkin’ and whorin’]
5. What will you promise when you take the Oath of Citizenship?
[Never to do that one thing again. In public.]
6. Where do most French-speaking Canadians live?
[In hiding]
7. What does the Canadian flag look like?
8. Give the first two lines of Canada’s national anthem.
[Oh Canada, la la la la la la.]
9. Which animal is an official symbol of Canada?
10. What is the capital city of Canada?
11. Name all the provinces and territories and their capital cities.
[Toronto, Toronto Territory, and New Toronto City]
12. Which region covers more than one-third of Canada?
[Middle Earth]
13. What are the three main types of industries in Canada?
[Whiskey making, maple syrup making, hockey stick making]
PS – I tried my best on these questions, but if any of my Canadian brethren and sistren out there know the answers, please let me know. Merci!

44 Responses to “Oh, Canada!”

  1. Postmodern Sass Says:

    Peefer is Canadian? Cool. And I didn’t know you knew Carrington! Jeepers, Jenny, keep this up and I’m going to have to stop making fun of Americans.

    We all tell the joke about meeting the American who says, oh, you’re from Canada? Where? Toronto? Do you know my friend Susie in Calgary? This joke was immortalized in a commercial for Molson Canadian called The Rant, but don’t tell anyone, because what we really love best about Americans is that we can make fun of them and they don’t realize that we’re doing it, which makes it doubly fun.

    Speaking of doubly, if you know what a Double-Double is, you are, truly, an honourary Canadian.

  2. Postmodern Sass Says:

    Sorry about all the BRs in there; I’ve been trying to figure out how to do a simple double space in your comments, but apparently it’s too complicated for me. Sigh. But double space! I said double again! Bwah, ha ha ha ha!

  3. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Dude, the Canadians have much higher standards than you would think considering the only sports they really recognize are hockey and curling. And they have historically proven to be way ahead of us politically. Didn’t know that about the Emperor, though. Bummer.

  4. the_editter Says:

    I do hope you didn’t lump New Zealand in with Australia in your statistics. That would be like lumping Canada in with the USA. Although, if Middle Earth covers 1/3 of Canada, New Zealand must be in the middle of Canada somewhere. So maybe that’s where you put your NZ reader? Or readers, if there’s more than just me…

  5. jenny Says:

    PostSass: Everyone on this site is Canadian – that’s what I’m trying to tell you! And the only time I’ve heard the expression “double-double” was when I worked in travel, and it was in reference to a hotel room w/ two double beds. So I highly doubt that’s what you mean…
    Tracy Lynn: I still don’t understand curling, but I can overlook that in order to become a Canadian.
    The editter: Isn’t New Zealand part of Australia? KIDDING! Totally kidding. No, I should have included a slight disclaimer in my chart above to read: “Statistics shown are an approximation, and may not truly reflect the exact demographic makeup of this site, and also Cleveland isn’t a country.”

  6. Postmodern Sass Says:

    Tracy: Actually, our national sport is lacrosse, but I only just found that out on account of I was watching the Olympics with AC and I said something about it being curling and he educated me as to my incorrectedness. Of course, it should be hockey, everyone knows it should be hockey, and in our minds it is, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?
    Jenny: I just tried to Google the term double-double and, guess what? You’ll have to ask humans–Canadian humans–what it means.
    Jenny and Tracy: Actually, we used to have an Emperor. His name was Jean Chretien. Now, after the election a few weeks ago, we have a despot. Kinda makes you yearn for the Emperor, even though when he said something to President Bush about the drug problem the reporters thought he was saying “truck problem” which nearly led to a repeat of the War of 1812 in which we whooped your American asses. But I digress.

  7. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Now, lacrosse is a perfectly acceptable sport, in that asses get kicked. This reassures me .
    I, too, have secretly desired to be Canadian, but only because of a childhood trip to British Columbia that was so good, it has remained in my mind as the epitome of the most perfect place in the world.
    This is marred somewhat by the lack of an Emperor, however.

  8. Jessica Says:

    Oh, don’t worry ‘aboot’ it, Jen….once they find ‘oot’ how sweet and funny you are, I’m sure they will let you in. Any country should be proud to claim you, eh?

  9. Hap Says:

    Boing Boing just posted this story of Canadian un-niceness. But that would be like judging the U.S. by… uh W.

  10. peefer Says:

    Regarding question #2 about trade, I believe the correct answer is syphillis. You may also like to know that Frederick Banting, the discoverer of penicilin, also happens to be Canadian. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
    Jessica, boy does that ever sting. Since our genetic programming (and toques) prevent us from hearing the difference between “ow” and “oo”, the whole “oot” thing feels like an inside joke you guys are playing on us. ‘Like there IS NO difference and you’re all just toying with us.
    Anyways, thanks and sorry.

  11. nina Says:

    Hey, I think the reason you’re getting all those hits from Canada is because I check your blog frequently for updates and I am spending a few days up north, in Quebec.
    You can go back to loving all things French. Though their flag isn’t as pretty and their anthem is too damn bloody.

  12. mike Says:

    I just spoke with the PM (“Emperor”), and apparently he’s all about the ‘mericans. So I’m trying to arrange a swap. Sween and I will come knocking someday soon.
    Hope you’re good on short notice.

  13. jenny Says:

    Jess: I think you’d better apologize to Peefer. We don’t want to go to war w/ the Canadians.
    Hap: Okay, that link was kinda psycho – that’s the scary mob mentality side of the internet that freaks me out a bit. I mean, those were some very un-nice Canadians, but I think the commentators got a bit overzealous!
    Peef: Is that why my grandma bought me a t-shirt once that said, “My grandma got syphillis in Ottawa and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?”
    nina: Please tell me you’re kidding. Please tell me that I didn’t just burn my US passport and become a Canadian citizen just because you were screwing with my stats. Say it ain’t so! ;)
    Mike: Oh, no. You shouldn’t have outed yourself as a Canadian – you were my secret weapon! But wait – you’re doing a 2-for-1 deal? Good to know that I’m worth two Canadians. Guess that’s with the exchange rate, and all.

  14. mike Says:

    Uhh, I wasn’t really thinking 2 for 1 – just you for the Prime Minister. Sween and I would only be escorts (but not like that — this isn’t Montreal you know.) But on further consideration, we’d take as many friends as you can possibly carry if we can just get our PM out of here.

  15. sween Says:

    Ahh Jenny, If I had any power, I’d give you citizenship right now.
    But if I had that sort of power, my centaur would listen to me and stop eating my maple syrup when I wasn’t home.
    My centaur hates me.

  16. teahouseblossom Says:

    A couple of years ago we had some partners from a Canadian firm visiting my law firm, and I got a free baseball cap for knowing that (1) the PM of Canada was Jean Chretien; and (2) the capital of Canada is Ottawa.
    A roomful of fabulously educated lawyers, and I was the ONLY ONE who knew the answer to either of those questions.

  17. Coco Says:

    Well, you also need to learn to say “SORry.” As a young girl watching episodes of “Degrassi” and many other fine Canadian programs, I became aware that some people don’t say “SAHry” they say “SORry.” I can verify this– my Torontoian (Torontian? I must ask her) roommate said it. She also spells many words the British way which I found cute at first and bossy later. WHAT? You don’t think I know how to spell COLOR? There’s no U in COLOR! Anyway, as I too am an admirer of all things Canadian, I would tell you about the time (s) I tried to sneak across the border to Vancouver everytime W made me mad, but I’m pretty sure I’m being surveilled and “THEY” would then know my techniques. So until you get your citizenship remember, hiding in a trunk IS dangerous.

  18. jenny Says:

    Mike: Oh nowwwww I get it. So your PM will take my place, and I’ll take his – kind of like Freaky Friday! Cool.
    Sween: Do you hug your centaur and tell him how beautiful and strong he is, and that your love, although forbidden, is just too powerful to deny? Because that’s how I’d treat a centaur if I had one.
    THB: Room full of smart lawyers, but only one of them walked out with a bad-ass baseball cap. YES!
    Coco: Oh I love it! I forgot about SOARry. It’s almost as great as “bean” as in, “Where have you bean?” God, those Canadians are so damn cute! Don’t you just want to squeeze them?

  19. peefer Says:


  20. Postmodern Sass Says:

    Coco: Sorry, we actually say Torontotians, pronouncing it Tran-TO-shuns. Kinda sounds like an alien race on Star Trek, doesn’t it?

    Sween: I am so jealous that you still have your centaur! They passed a bylaw in downtown T’ranna outlawing exotic pets a few years ago. I had to give away my centaur and my polar bear. Now every time I see those Coke commercials, I bawl my eyes out.

  21. sween Says:

    Jenny: You OBVIOUSLY have never owned a centaur. They’re are miserable SOBs. Why they are our national animal, I will never know. However, watching them battle moose is impressive. But then they get all arrogant and make you buy them drinks all night… and I just don’t need that.
    Postmodern Sass: I also love that Coke commercial with the centaurs.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Postmodern Sass, I never heard of Tran-TO-shuns until today, and I lived there for 4 years. Trontonians perhaps. Not that it’s a good name, but it’s the one I’ve heard a thousand times.
    Oh, I get it: you’re trying to mislead Jenny so that she can be embarrassed and practice saying SORRY. You’re smooth.

  23. peefer Says:

    “Trontonians” posted by peefer, that is.

  24. Postmodern Sass Says:

    I would never try to mislead Jenny. I love Jenny! A double-double is a technical term in boxing, isn’t it, Sween? Peefer? Carrington?

  25. Jessica Says:

    Do I still have to apologize to Peefer if I find the Canadian dialect (such as ‘aboot’) very attractive?

  26. shari Says:

    Oh — and did you know you’ll have to start ‘phoning’ people instead of ‘calling’ them? And the thing in your sink is a ‘garberator’ now, NOT a ‘garbage disposal’. But, I think your stats were off because I was gone for a week and therefore not able to hit my refresh button obsessively like I normally do, which would have balanced it back to the States. And do you know where I was? For a good many hours I was in Chicago O’Hare with 7 thousand of my closest friends waiting to fly into Providence. Why, oh why did I NOT have your telly #????

  27. jenny Says:

    I’m gonna let the Canadians duke it out over the correct term for someone from Toronto. Everyone else stand back – this could get ugly!
    Jess: I guess not, as long as you find it really, really attractive. But you know what’s really hot? “Proe-cess” and “Shedule” – oh god, I’m gonna need a minute…
    Shari: YAY! Shari’s back! We missed you! (and by “we,” I mean all of us Canadians.) Doesn’t O’Hare suck?

  28. Bobby Says:

    With all these Canadian connections, you should start a smuggling ring. What sort of illicit Canadian goods could you sneak into the US in order to make incredible profits?
    Wow – the Italian ice dancers just rocked it – after all that hate! ALL that hate!

  29. hooizz Says:

    i like terrance and philip… does that make me an honorary canadian too? ha!

  30. Postmodern Sass Says:

    Expat Canadians living in the States — and there are zillions of them; mostly in California — have a long list of illicit goods which they require their visiting friends to smuggle in for them on visits. I once had to carry two full grocery bags to L.A. when my friend Sara was living there. Shreddies, Smarties, Second Cup tea, Sweet Marie and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, Special K cereal (yeah, I know you have it there, too, but what’s in the box down there is different from what’s in the box up here), and, of course, Tim Hortons coffee. No Smarties down there. And you people call yourselves civilized?

  31. Randa Says:

    I know this is so late to be commenting, since it’s Tuesday already and your post is from Sunday, Jen…but heck, as a Canadian (from Ottawa, yet!) I couldn’t bypass this one.
    The double-double thing: Don’t coffee-lovers say this worldwide? Seriously?
    And hel-LO, the former Prime Minister is Jean Poutine, not Jean Chretien. Sheesh. Jen, I had to throw that in there, because I know you’re all about a road trip to try Canada’s favourite junk food – french fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds.
    ‘Torontonians’ is the only way I have ever heard of residents of Toronto being referenced.
    P.S. Curling rocks! (heehee) I’m playing tonight, by the way, in my weekly league.
    Thanks for a fun post! Loved reading all the comments. Have you considered holding TequilaCon on the Canadian Shield? That way you can have all your drinks ‘on the rocks’.
    Okay, that last one was bad.

  32. jenny Says:

    I feel like everyone is playing a huge joke on me. Who are terrance and philip? Double-double is coffee? Are Smarties like the candy Smarties that I love so much? Who the hell is Jean Poutine? (Okay, I looked him up on wikipedia – nice. Way to make fun of Americans’ lack of knowledge of int’l politics. Or geography. Or history.)
    Maybe I wasn’t cut out to be Canadian. If it weren’t for that cheese curds/french fries combo, I might be reconsidering my decision to defect.
    But if I just marry a Canadian, can I skip the test?

  33. trisha Says:

    You are so damned funny. Intimidatingly so. After I read you I cannot think of anything to say beyond, “Huh. You are reallyreally funny.”

  34. Jessica Says:

    The sad truth, Jenny, is that you just broke your new rule (as outlined in your previous post) about bonding with others rather than looking things up on the Internet. And don’t try to say, “No, I said I wouldn’t GOOGLE” – we, your readers, are not idiots.
    Man, I just don’t know what to believe anymore.

  35. Postmodern Sass Says:

    You mean you do have Smarties down there? Yes, I mean the candies. They’re kinda like M&Ms, but not quite. And everyone eats the red ones last. At least they used to, before there were blue Smarties, but during the last referendum on whether or not to boot Quebec out of the country, there was a question about Smarties protocol, and now we’re supposed to eat the blue ones last. When I flew to Chicago in December I saw a women in line on her way to U.S. Customs, trying to figure out how to stuff eight large bags of Smarties into her suitcase. Guess the joke’s on her.

    And OK yes, a double-double has to do with coffee, not boxing. Google won’t tell you what a double-double is, but the Wikipedia knows — and has a whole section on Canadian slang.

  36. jenny Says:

    Jess – I wish you could just accept me with my flaws like some other people do. Trisha didn’t try to rub Wikipedia in my face (which, by the way, is NOT the same as google and we could debate the reasons why for hours)… she just said something really nice to me (Thanks, Trish!). She told me I intimidate people – do you know how long I’ve waited to hear that? Why can’t you be more intimidated by me?! Is it because I’m Canadian?
    Sass – Well, sounds like our Smarties are a bit different – they’re more like a Sweet-tart. Pure sugar, no chocolate.

  37. egan Says:

    For the record, I am Closet Canadian.

  38. jill Says:

    Okay. Seriously. Canadians? You’re scaring us a little bit with this frenzy of commenting. It’s a Canadian comment orgy over here all of a sudden and me without my moose (you know, to fit in). Just so you know. . . we value you. We think you’re smart, SUPER nice and we appreciate that you export so many of your funny people to Hollywood. But it was a Scottsman, Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin. Your guy discovered insulin, so Dunkin Donuts and diabetics everywhere thank you. (And for the record, Marie Curie discovered radium. I thought she discovered penicillin, which is why I looked it up in the first place.) One question: do you guys not get wikipedia in Canada? ‘Cause it’s really great.

  39. sween Says:

    Jenny — Canadians don’t want to intimidate people. Canadians would rather fret over whether or not they are offending people. And then apologise for offending them. And for fretting. And for apologising too much.
    Always with the apologies.
    We also spell apologise “apologise”.
    We like to apologise. A lot.

  40. sween Says:

    You know, when you write the word “apologise” out enough, it looks really funny.
    But it’s funnier when you write “poo” a lot.

  41. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Isn’t there also stuff that Canadians want that you can only get in the US? Maybe we could do a sort of North American Swap?

  42. jenny Says:

    Tracy Lynn – uh, yeah. It’s called FREEDOM!
    Whoa! Sorry ’bout that. I think I’ve been listening to too many Presidential addresses…

  43. Postmodern Sass Says:

    Comment orgy! Comment orgy! Yeah. Without even trying. Woo-hoo! Comment orgy!

    Tracy: Yes: Keebler cookies, Diet Cherry Coke (I know it’s not always available, and it’s not available everywhere in the U.S., but it has never been marketed here), and St. Ives vanilla body wash. Oh — and Stephen King.

  44. David Says:

    This blog is the coolest.
    I’m immigrating to Canada (waiting as I type this to become a “landed alien” as they say). I can think of one thing I always miss when in Toronto, which I usually hear as “T’rona”: Good Yoplait yogurt flavors. In Wisconsin, we get all these tasty flavors. In Canada, not so much.
    But I think I can deal with different Yogurt in return for an oh-so-much more sane political and social existence.