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|Canadian for people who've never heard of Inukshuks, Sidney Crosby, or Timbits. If you don't get it, try a sojourn to the Great White North. In the meantime, let us Canucks relax with our Molsons and laugh at ourselves, eh?|
“I am. Canadian.”
“I am not. American.”
Joe Canadian (female: Jo Canadian) is a prototype for the average Canadian. Joe drinks Molson, not Coors; watches hockey, not baseball; and says Eh?, not "Huh?" S/he is 37.8 years old, speaks English 75% fluently and French 25% fluently, is 3% first nations and 97% subsequent nations, and has a life expectency 2.5 years longer than George W. American. Joe suffers from an inferiority complex, always having to promote his achievements in the face of the American elephant, particularly by embellishing Canadian accomplishments on Wikipedia.
Take off, eh?
Joe is a rugged outdoors-type, accustomed to long, cold winters (except in Victoria, where he takes to puddle-jumping and counting flowers in February). He likes to pretend he lives in an igloo and travels by dogsled when chatting with unsuspecting American tourists. Sometimes he likes to travel down south where he braves heat waves and palm trees. He attempts to speak a little American down there: "Ah ahm. Canaydyun, ay?" He is, however, a little perturbed at how fast Americans drive: while he is piddling along at 80 km/hour, the yanks are whizzing by at 50 MPH.
Canadian or Canadien?
Joe was born on the Pains of Abraham (or rather, the pains of his mom) after Mother England and Pere Francais got it on during one of their custody battles. He was born on July 1, back in '67, the summer of love. After the rebellions of childhood (in '69-70) and youth (in '85, which his parents practically hanged him for), he gradually asserted his independence. But his mixed heritage sometimes caused him distress. In this confusing, modern age, he has maintained a sense of balance by using both the surnames of his mother (Canadian) and father (Canadien).
Joe still suffers from internal turmoil known as constitutional wrangling. A certain part of his anatomy likes to think of itself as "distinct." Known for its liberal attitudes towards sex, it has been known to have uprisings at inopportune times. Its threats to sever itself from the rest of Joe have naturally led to a degree of anxiety, most notably at Screech Lake in 1990 and Chopofftown in 1992.
Nonetheless, Joe is proud of his mixed French, English, and aboriginal heritage (he is also part Chinese, East Indian, Japanese, Philippino, European, Jamaican...). He prefers to think of himself as a kind of mosaic, a patchwork quilt, as opposed to the more American melting pot. In truth, he probably melts as much pot as his southern neighbor, and for that matter supplies an awful lot of it too.
Jo is an average Canadian woman: she can skate as well as any Joe, and recently has made great strides in asserting her rights and wrongs. She is attracted to the average Joe, though in today's modern world, Jo and Joe are not the only possible configuration. In Canada, Jo can legally love Jo and Joe can legally love Joe. But Jo cannot love Jo and Joe simultaneously, at least not yet. That will be up to unaverage, Supreme Canadians (the Jo-diciary) to decide, based on their Charter of Mights and Feedoms.
Joe grew up playing hockey on frozen ponds in the Moose-infested wilderness of rural Canada. He still keeps the symbols of his youth in a trophy case: the puck with which he scored his 100th goal, his ragged old Habs jersey, a few chiropractor bills and numerous teeth. Today Joe prefers to watch the game on T.V., drinking a beer or two and screaming epithets at the screen as if any of the players could actually hear him. And while Joe develops his beer belly, Jo is developing her game, so that by the year 2025 Hockey Night in Canada is expected to feature Dawn Cherry and Rhonda McLean.
As the world warms, Joe will likely undergo a career change. From ski-resort manager and beer-drinker extraordinaire, Joe may one day run an exotic resort in, say, Iqaluit, complete with fancy cocktails served in triangular-shaped glasses with pieces of fruit stuck on the rim. Perhaps he will take up beach volleyball instead of ice hockey. And while Joe can imagine a warm, tropical retirement, he is a little apprehensive about such changes in his character. It wouldn't be the same to say "take off to the great sandy desert." So he is doing his best to recycle, reforest, and reduce reflux emissions, and so should you. But if you're too caught up in your lazy, convenient lifestyle to care, Joe has only one thing to say: "Take off, eh?"