There is a joke over here about Americans. Apparently, there are those of us who come over here and are embarrassed about being from a country (mis)ruled by the lot currently inhabiting (inhibiting?) the upper echelons of the administrative branch of the government. So embarrassed, are they, in fact that they lie and say they are from Canada. I am not one of those, it doesn't overly trouble me that you call the president a wanker. I happen to agree.
The other night, I was at a function where I was introduced to, and had a nice chat with, some people who were obviously not from here. During the course of the conversation I tried to place the accent but was not quite able to. So finally, I broke down and just asked them where they were from.
"Toronto." Said one of them.
"C'mon" I replied, finally getting to use the joke (which is not really that much of a joke) for myself! "Where are you from really? Buffalo? Your secret is safe, I won't tell anyone."
"No, really!" Protested the other, "I'm from Barry originally, but have been living in Mississauga for the last twelve years!"
"Good cover!" I said, not missing a beat. "Coming up with names of places is a nice touch! I'll have to try that. But really, I know the administration is corrupt and the president is embarrassing but is it so bad that you have to claim you're from Canada? Eh?"
"No, really, we are!" their protests continued.
"Oh, come on, own it!" I said. "I have! He may play fast and loose with the laws, nut they are our laws that he is bending. He be a religious zealot who lets his personal beliefs drive his decisions. He may trying to do what he perceives as being 'good' in total disregard that it would run afoul of the law. But he is after all our lying conniving, backward buffoon! Own it! Embrace it! Love it!"
By this point, they had caught on that I have heard more than once (LOTS MORE THAN ONCE!) that the president is a total wanker. They realized that I was playing with them.
"So what part of Canada do you claim to be from?" the first asked.
"Kelowna, British Columbia. I like the Okanagan Valley." I said a bit sheepishly.
We all had a good laugh and ordered another round. If you can't laugh at yourself, you can always laugh at your elected officials!
I hope that wherever you are today, you have something to laugh about. (Or at least something to laugh at!)
Don Bergquist - 22 September 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK