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I am putting a pause on my usual scribbles as today is 1 July, Canada Day. I am Canadian on my father’s side (Goderich and Montreal) and my blood bubbles a bit on this day. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections allowed me to write an attempt at humor on the topic, provided I don’t mention moose or Loreena McKennitt.

‘Americans know as much about Canada as straight people do about gays’ – Buddy Cole.

Canada Day, which is today, seems to be catching on here in the Southwest as something to celebrate. It is not clear to why this is so. Perhaps it’s the influence of all the Sunbirds that annually flock here from the western provinces. I suspect the real reason people here seem keen on wearing maple leaf pins and hats with antlers is it is an excuse to party a bit. Canada Day in Arizona is not unlike St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo: people do all sorts of shenanigans that no way resemble what actually happens on these days in their appropriate countries.* Wearing silly hats and eating so-called authentic cuisine is what usually happens, the stuff no true Canadian/Irish person/Mexican would ever do. Oh the embarrassment

The trouble is Yanks don’t know what to do exactly to commemorate the day. On St. Patrick’s day you wear green, eat cabbage, and drink green beer. Cinco de Mayo is worse in a way. Gringo/border food is lumped into the common category of ‘Mexican cuisine” and consumed with cerveza, which the liquor stores have been pushing for weeks prior to 5 May.

So what to does one do in Arizona on the first of July? It is far to hot to wear “Canadian clothes’. Mounty hats happily haven’t caught on now there’s a mercy. As for cuisine, Tim Hortons and poutine is what’s on the menu.

All national day parties have booze, so green beer and Corona is pushed aside for Molson (ugh). I’ve tried to enlighten the masses a pitcher of Bloody Caesar or a fine whisky from Alberta (no rubbish) would be more apropos (and more appetizing) but cheap beer is the rule at these shindigs.

Then there is painful topic of the music. Even dumb Yankees know what passes for Irish and Mexican music, but they haven’t a clue what to play at these Great White North parties. Rush, probably. Perhaps if they are more broad-minded they might play some K.D. Lang.

I for one am not betting on Canada Day becoming a standard here. First of all, it is too close to 4th of July, but mostly becauseCanada is not seen as a place with a boisterous party lifestyle. Being thought of as a ‘nice people’ may be annoying and even patronizing but it has a saving grace this way the day doesn’t become the third in a trio of shanghaied holidays.

*Not much really. I am told by Mexicans the fifth of May is a non-event in Mexico, and my friend from Dublin was shocked by all the nonsense she encountered when in Chicago in March.

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