Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day! Now, just take the ferret.

Hey, guess what today is? If you said Canada Day, you're correct. But you're also probably Canadian, because apparently we here in America barely acknowledge that Canada exists much less looms down on us like a crushing frozen nemesis poised to strike at any moment.
Don't laugh, it's happened before.
"Hey guys, wanna fool around?"
-Mexico, making it weird
According to Canadian journalist Jordan Michael Smith, our weird blindspot for the planet's second largest country by area isn't out of contempt or willful ignorance or anything like that. Instead, Smith thinks that we just take Canada and our relationship with them for granted. You know, like two people who are trapped in a comfortable yet loveless relationship but are both too afraid of dying alone to say anything about it. Sort of like a marriage except that we can't invite another country in to spice things up...or can we?

They're the geopolitical
equivalent of Jan Brady.
Smith suggests that between our long, undefended border, friendly trade partnership and NORAD, US-Canadian relationships are so tight that the average threat-obsessed American citizen can't be bothered to notice that there's a whole 'nother country up there. Canada therefore has been historically relegated to little more than America's dorky little sister, forever living in our shadow despite being objectively better than us at a number of things. Yes, you heard me.

Treason, right? Yes. But stay with me. Canada has one seventh our per capita rate of gun-related homicides despite its citizens being under the very real threat of the two things our second amendment was written to protect us against: bears and English monarchs.
Sure, she's all smiles now, but what are they going to do when she bursts
into their homes and starts taxing their tea and stamps? Nothing, that's what.
"Thank you for calling BlueShield, my
name is Terry and I'll be ruining your day."
Oh and health care. Canada has a publicly funded health care which is objectively better than our for-profit, private health care system. Yeah, but how can you possibly know that never having experienced it yourself? you point out. You're right, I can't know that for sure. But since no Canadian has ever had to spend four and a half hours on the phone with BlueShield only to have them hang up, forcing them to wade through the phone tree again and start all over with a new customer service rep, I'm going to go ahead and say they win. Advantage: Canada. No contest.

Justin Trudeau, Canada's dreamiest
Prime Minister since Sir Robert Borden
And lastly, politics. I'm sure if I were fully Canadian and not just a quarter (which, yes I am, shut up), I'd be less enamored with how the maple sausage is made, but we're in month what? Fourteen of this election cycle? Meanwhile last August, Canada started their campaign season and by mid-October had a new Archduke or whatever. Eleven weeks from beginning to end and when it was over they'd elected a 44 year-old progressive who marched in the Toronto Pride Parade. We, on the other hand, are staring down the blood-chilling possibility of President Biff Tannen.

Maybe if they baked cakes
while brandishing assault rifles?
Look, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that America isn't awesome. We landed on the moon, won World War II completely unassisted (source: my public school education) and even invented reality shows about cake bosses. I mean, cake and interpersonal conflict, what could possibly be more American that that? But Canada is also pretty great and I think it's about time we stopped taking our unfailingly polite neighbors to the north for granted. Wait, whatta ya mean, 'how come?' Because it's the right thing to do, that's why.

The irony will literally kill us.
Oh, and also climate change. Yes, climate change. Sure, right now, most of Canada is covered in an unending winter full of wolves and ice zombies, but thanks to centuries of industrial pollutants (much of which is probably our fault...sorry!) that impenetrable wilderness is going to thaw and become prime real estate while our country slowly deteriorates into a waterless Mad Max-ian dystopia and the last thing we need is for them to build a wall to keep us oot (again, sorry!).

Anyway, if you see a Canadian be sure to wish them a...uh, Merry Canada Day? Happy Canada Day? Maybe say and a fine Canada Day to you sir (or madam). Oh and in case they quiz you on your Canada knowledge, here're some important fun facts: their states are called provinces, their President is a Prime Minister and they call Canadian Bacon 'ham,' and bacon, bacon. Don't let that last one trip you up, it might mean the difference between a Canadian green card and suffering thought the inevitable Water Wars.
Oh, and if a mountie offers you a ferret, just accept it and say thank you.
It's a traditional Canada Day gift and to refuse it is a grave insult.

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