Saturday, March 14, 2009

On Canada - real facts, frivolously presented

There has always been a degree of tension between America and her northern neighbor. Canadians lay fault with the Americans insistence on referring to Canada geese as Canadian geese—an error which any Canadian will politely (but pointedly) correct. Americans are quick to point out that since all the Canadian geese seem to be in the United States committing rancorous acts of eco-terrorism by attempting to cover the entire country in goose poo, we can call them whatever we please!

Passing through Canada on his way to becoming a U.S. citizen, Alexander Graham Bell remarked that he very much enjoyed Canadian bacon. Canadians have since claimed him as their own, which they have some right to do, since Bell later died while there on a work-visa to install phone booths - he is buried in Nova Scotia.

A few inventors have come from Canada—as did some of their inventions. Five-pin bowling, the retractable beer carton handle, and frozen fish (isn’t everything in Canada frozen?) are a few of the important contributions made by Canadians. Ski bindings are an invention claimed by Canadians—I would think that idea came rather easily:

Canadian Inventor One, “That-there ski went right down the mountain, eh.”
Canadian Inventor Two, “We’ll ‘ave to fix that, eh.”
Canadian Inventor Three, “Eh... eh.”

The inventor of the anti-gravity suit is said to have been a Canadian, but it’s difficult to prove since he’s been in low earth orbit ever since.

Most Canadians speak Canadian (which sounds vaguely similar to English) except the French Canadians—many of whom reside in Quebec and speak French Canadian.

Some of the early French Canadian settlers emigrated to Louisiana in search of crayfish and a good gumbo recipe. Those that remained in Quebec are being held hostage by the Canadian government, which is preventing them from removing Quebec to a warmer climate for fear that Newfoundland and Labrador will drift to sea.

Canada’s primary export to the U.S. is snow, cleverly sent across our shared border via the logistically sound use of the jet stream and cold fronts. Canada’s national sport is lacrosse. If this comes as a surprise to you, don’t worry—it’s news to seven out of ten Canadians as well. The national animal of Canada is the beaver. You might think that this is due to the industrious nature of this semi-aquatic rodent, but that’s not the case.

Prior to the decimation of their numbers, the beaver was known to be a much larger animal. When Jacques Cartier was exploring Canada (scouting a good location for his next jewelry store) his boat was prevented from advancing up the St. Lawrence River by rapids. With horses having not yet been invented, Cartier was forced to outfit his exploration party to continue on the backs of beavers.

Without the beavers the expedition would have failed, but no depiction of this event exists today because Cartier prevented its characterization due to his embarrassment at being astraddle a paddle-tailed rat. Cartier later claimed Canada for France. The French immediately forgot where they left it, allowing for Canadian self-rule, such as it is.

And that is everything one needs to know on Canada.

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