Note – The Board of Directors here at Spo-Reflections has asked I put up this introduction pointing out this is a satirical tongue-in-cheek entry strictly for amusement, and  it isn’t a critique of Canada or the USA.   I thought this obvious as Spo-fans are smart cookies and can see it for what it is. But, I was voted down.  


Four weeks hence Someone and I go on our annual holiday to Ontario (Land of Doughnuts) for the theatre. I’ve often wondered what Canadians really feel about us summer Yankee tourists. Asking them is of no use. They always smile and say how thrilled they are for our visit to their country. I suppose they have to say that, considering we encounter the Canadians who make their livelihood from the tourist industry. So, I remain uncertain to their true feelings.  However, my countless trips to NOTL, Toronto, and Stratford, Ontario make me think I am not wrong or off my rocker when I suspect Canadians think but don’t say the following –

#1 “We are not impressed.”   

Yanks are historically notorious at telling others “Hi, I’m from the USA”  and expecting everyone to be bowled over with awe and envy.  At some conscious level Yanks think Canadians all want to be “Americans”.  Needless to say, I’ve never seen anything to support this self-centered notion.

#2 “Goodness you people are paranoid.” 

Yanks see danger everywhere (think of all the concealed guns); they remain hyper-vigilent in Toronto as if they are in a bad part of New York City.  There is a subset to this paranoia- the fear of Socialism.  The “S” word is thrown around whenever conservative US politicians want to scare folks. It always works. It confuses Yanks  when they visit Canada and they DON’T see deplorable conditions but happy people. They don’t stop to consider socialism may not be such a bogey-man; they conclude you all must be hiding something.

Edit: I later learn the medical system in Canada is not technically a socialized medicine programme. And Canadians have had it for decades. If they didn’t like it THEY COULD VOTE TO DISMANTLE IT, which they don’t seem in a rush to do.

#3  “Self-centred twits, don’t you know anything? “

I sense Americans are the least educated people when it comes to what’s happening over their (well patrolled) borders.  Buddy Cole sums it up best:

 “People from the States know as much about Canada as straight people know about gays.”

Given a quiz, I suspect Americans couldn’t name more than three provinces (let alone the total number), who is the Prime Minister (not Trudeau), or what is the capital of Canada (Montreal or Toronto are the usual votes).  However, most Yanks know Justin Bieber is from Canada.

#4 – “Arrogant Bastards!”

Yanks can be aggressive and pushy but I suspect it looks worse as Canadians are mostly pleasant and well-mannered. When Yanks aren’t that way, it looks like a form of arrogance.  When I went to Europe in the late 80s, some of us thought we should try to pass ourselves off as Canadians. We did this by sewing Maple leaf flags onto our backpacks.  A few fellows from Toronto thought we would pass much better as Canadians if we started apologizing for everything, even when it wasn’t our fault.

#5 – “Hockey!”

No, not really, but I don’t get hockey-mania either.

Unless I can get a trusty Canadian to ‘tell all’ I will never know if any of these carry any truth.  Robertson Davies wrote Canada has two great myths : The Myth of Innocence and The Myth of Difference. Perhaps there isn’t much difference other than the metric system, the money is prettier, and milk comes in bags not jugs?