Blame Canada!

I was a bit put out when we got to Mexico and realized how many Canadians are running around down here. After all, Mexico is our neighbor, not theirs! Who invited them to the party? But, being the tolerant, loving person that I am, I was satisfied with just occasionally throwing empty beer cans and other assorted trash into their dinghies.

Then, when my brother’s family was visiting in Nuevo Vallarta, my sports-crazed nephews were channel-surfing. You’ll never guess what they decided to watch. Not soccer, not Sabado Gigante, but… Women’s Curling! Alberta vs. Manitoba! What the hell was going on?! Had we stumbled onto the dark tendrils of an evil Canadian plot? While America was out protecting democracy in the world, was Canada scheming right under our noses, hoping to turn our amigos against us? Maybe the real threat was not “al Qaida”, but “al Canaida”?

I resolved to infiltrate the Canadian cruising circuit, to assess the threat. To do so, I needed them to accept me as one of their own. For future reference, here is how to win over Canadians:

  • Start out by making a joke at the expense of the US, preferably one that highlights our tendency to invade other countries. Just like in hockey, Canadians love a good dog pile, and can’t resist joining in when you knock the current administration.
  • They’ll notice if you make fun of the way they say “out” as “oot” and “about” as “aboot”, so don’t try that. But go ahead and pronounce “process” as “PRO-cess”. And see if you can work in some of their peculiar vocabulary, like “tuque” for “ski cap”.
  • Keep in mind that Canadians have no clue as to how health care works in the real world. Canada coddles its citizens; as one Canadian told us, “I’ve never seen a doctor’s bill in my life”. So, when your kid faints (like Koiya did after stubbing her toe the other day), pretend that you would take her to a hospital if you had a way to get her there. Canadians aren’t good with math and probability; they don’t know that if you are “half dead”, you’re also half alive, so there’s a 50-50 chance that you’ll be ok, and why spend a fortune going to see a doctor who will just tell you to come back in a week if you’re not better?
  • Congratulate them on how strong the Canadian dollar is- they’ll melt like butter! After all those years that we called it “Monopoly money”, they’re really keen on having their currency taken seriously. Of course, they should have thought about that before putting loons all over their coins and bills!
  • If you trip up and somehow offend them, mention Tim Horton’s. Their eyes will glaze over, just like a donut from that oh-so-Canadian franchise, and they’ll be immediately comforted.

I’m relieved to report, after weeks of careful study, that we have nothing to fear! The Canadians here in Mexico are the softest folks around. As soon as the thermometer hits 70 degrees (what they call 20, in that annoying ‘Celcius’ scale that they stubbornly insist on using), they’re running for their sweaters and turning on their cabin heaters! “Oooh, it’s getting a bit nippy, eh?” they’ll remark, as they wrap themselves in a fleece throw. If this is their advance guard, the only thing we have to worry about is a shortage of Mexican beer!

Really, spending time with Canadians has been pretty entertaining. They love to share a drink and a laugh, and every now and again they’ll bust out with a great Canadian sentence, like this one from Dave on Sassona: “That’s the place my neighbor sells his venison.” Just plain wacky!

16 Responses to “Blame Canada!”

  1. I love your blog!

    Perhaps one day, I’ll make it on to my own cruising boat [hopefully a Hans Christian]. Until then, I love reading about your travels! And Canuckistanis.

  2. bob detwiler says:

    Is that a beautiful looking scarf that koiya is knitting? Looks great! Do you remember how to cast off? If not, I think that scarf will come in handy if you need anything to wrap up a couple of canadians, eh?

    Safe sailing!
    love, cindy

  3. Harry Gorgichuk says:

    I hate Canadians too. I’m glad you trashed their diggies! Way to go!!!!! Like I always tell my wife, the only good canadians are dead canadians. (or is that about japs?) I hate them too. I showed your message to my friends , we have some canadian neighbors down the street, were gonna trash their house too with garbage and empty beer cans, thanks for the idea!

  4. Harry Gorgichuk says:

    Hey there,

    So me and my friends started trashing the Canucks’ property like you did but we got caught. They came out of their house and started hollering WHAT ARE YOU DOING, WHAT ARE YOU DOING! So we told them we don’t like them and that the rest of the world doesn’t like them either. That’s when they asked us over for a beer. We said no at first, we told them straight out that we don’t like Canucks. They asked us why (that was the funny part) and we said there were plenty of reasons and that if they wanted a list they should visit your site. I said, you probably don’t even have a computer so I’ll just come out and tell you the reasons (I was gonna slam ’em hard with the monopoly money thing first), but that’s when they invited us in for a beer and and asked us to see the site. We showed them your web internet page and they started laughing. They said stuff like, I think they’re just kidding around, kinda pocking fun at us the way we poke fun at South Africans and folks from the Pharo Island (they lost me there, must be some island off their coast). Anyway, long story short, we rocked on for a while and we got chattin about sailing and fishing. They told me about a cabin they have out in Churchill, way out there, gotta fly in, one of those places where the mosquiters are so big they’ll suck you dry. Best fishing around they said. Down here in Georgia, we got us our (slang deleted) pretty much, that’s about it. We ain’t use to no foreigners. But I’ll tell ya, they weren’t bad folk. They talked a bit funny like ya’ll said and I still hate Canucks and I’m not sure why, but these two were a surprise. You do some talking to me about sailing and fishing and I’m like a new man. Anyway, I’ll let ya know how things develop, their bringing over some beer tomorrow night. Hang tight, good blog ya’ll got going!

  5. Marc Lartique says:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=k4kTnP5VJ1k&feature=related

    Check it out smart ass! The difference between you and me is this: you talk about changing your country (I gather you’re a dem, because a rep wouldn’t sail to Mexico – they’re too busy trying to take their stick out of their ass). Where were you when you hated your President? I’ll tell you where: you were the chicken-shit; the one afraid to tell it as it is because you would be cast out. Because it would be so (expletive deleted- this is a family site!) unpatriotic. If it happened to the Dixie Chicks surely it will happen to me…..

  6. Uncle Don says:

    Monsieur Lartique,

    I don’t recall seeing your name in this blog previously. If you read through the earlier entries, you should deduce that its tone is mostly playful and comedic, and entries like this one are written to entertain friends and family, not to spite our fine northern neighbors. I’ve watched enough SCTV episodes to know that the concept of humor extends to your side of the border. Still, if you can’t get your arms around this concept, I apologize for any offense (or do you spell it offence up there?) my sister has caused you… and for taking away your beloved Expos… and Nordiques… and Grizzlies (honestly, though, have you seen them lately? who was really the loser there, eh?)… and Warren Moon, Doug Flutie, and Tracy McGrady (who actually were ours to begin with)… and Alanis. Now step away from your keyboard and have another Molson, ya hoser!

  7. Sharon Flynn says:

    Happy Birthday, Susan and Todd! Hopefully there will be enough beer to celebrate properly and you will have warm weather as well. Will it be chocolate ants this time or some lovely silver earrings? We know that Snickers and beer will suffice for Todd! You could have a Canadian birthday with all your new friends! I’d send cake but it would be flat when it got there!

    If Eric is reading this, we need him to rush back to Rabbit Flat right away. Lucy has climbed a magnolia and can’t get down. Same tree Eric climbed last summer with no trouble!

    love from Shay, Jef, Zipper and Lucy Bitty Kitty

  8. Sharon Flynn says:

    Lucy (age 4 months) was rescued this morning by a tree worker who climbed right up to get her. She was thirsty and hungry after 3 days in the tree and one very cold night! He climbed up, stuffed her in his shirt (!) and climbed down, by which time she had crawled into his sleeve. Lucy is grounded for the next few months!

  9. sv Sassona says:

    Better be more careful who you pass out those boat cards to eh? Oooh Susan, we feel so used and betrayed. Had we known that we were being used as fodder for your research, we wouldn’t have been quite so forthcoming. As far as the garbage in our dingy goes, you failed to mention all of those empty Krispy Kreme boxes you deposited there.

  10. Marc Lartique says:

    Dear Uncle Dung,

    You can surely dish it out but can’t take it. The narcissists of the world, the global bullies. Watch out though, you say one bad thing about them and they puff out their chests.

    And by the way, Dung, most of “your” words have lost their vowels such as: neighbours and humour. Fly your ass to the UK and grab yourself a dictionary.

    But hey, don’t take all this too seriously, I’m just kidding.

  11. mixinmike says:

    Can’t we just all get along??

  12. Susan says:

    Wow, we got three replies from people we don’t even know! I feel almost famous. But don’t worry- I won’t let it go to my head. I know you haven’t hit the big time until you’re on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

    (Terry, if you’re reading this, my schedule is totally open baby! I’ll be at WHYY faster than you can say ‘flame war’! And you won’t even have to pay for a hotel- I’ll stay with the Doerzbachers!)

    Oh, and don’t go blaming me for George Bush, buddy! I voted for Nader!

  13. Pat says:

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been reading your blog up until your second to last post. I think you should be ashamed of yourself, especially a woman for offending other nationalities and allowing hateful people to comment in such a deplorable, negative way. You claim this to be a family site. If some children are reading, what are you teaching them?

    I’m neither Canadian nor American. I’m Irish and respect both nationalities. Comments such as “I hate Canadians” ” or “wrapping up Canadians” are nothing less than immature. That in turn invited equally poor comments like Uncle Dung”.

    I will not read your blog any longer. So long.

  14. Susan says:

    (Sigh.) OK, I didn’t want to have to explain this post, but…For the record, I never said “I hate Canadians” or anything about “wrapping them up.”

    Really, I’m not going around throwing trash and beer cans in Canadians’ dinghies! Nor do I think there is a Canadian plot to win the corazones of Mexico. I thought that was so ridiculous as to be obviously false.

    Read as intended, all the “jabs” at Canadians are really jabs at Americans. Come on: invading other countries, having a horrific health care system, stubbornly insisting on using an awkward system for measuring temperatures? As American as apple pie!

    And as far as allowing other people to comment in “deplorable” or “immature” ways, well… this is the internet! And we don’t have many of them, but one great American tradition is freedom of expression. So other than deleting words that wouldn’t be printed in a newspaper, I’ll try to let people speak their minds.

    Lastly, if some children are reading, this is what I hope I’m teaching them: You can quit your job and sail to Mexico. You can write about your experiences and all sorts of people will read about it. If people attack you or say things like “you should be ashamed of yourself,” you can explain yourself without attacking them in return. And lastly, there is more to the internet than pr0n! (Kids, if you don’t know what pr0n is, ask your parents!)

    I might as well put in a plug here for Non-Violent Communication. Learn more about it at http://www.cnvc.org/, or better yet, read Marshall Rosenberg’s book, the first chapter of which is available online.

  15. Uncle Bumper says:

    This is the thought police. My sensitivities have been offended. I want it to be expressly clear that I am quitting this blog for good. This is my swan song. Please everyone take note. Above all, I must be noticed! Shame on all of you for defending Canadians. Double shame on all of you for harboring shame. Triple shame for giving Todd a bad time. He’s practically Canadian after all. I am going to puff up my chest and head north to kick the first tadpole bottom I run across. Especially people who use c’s in their name instead of k’s. I defend your right to hate, my free sister. Now where can I send some henna to die your hair back. That shock of gray is something frightful and I fear that you may lose Toro to some young ineloquent lass from north of the border if you aren’t more careful.

  16. mixinmike says:

    Can we just all get along??

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