Saturday, May 14, 2005

14 Reasons Canada is Weird...or Cool

In honor of Saturday the 14th and in light of the fact that Friday the 13th is now over, and I presumably have the time to post without all the freaks traipsing into work, I present 14 reasons that Canada is weird, or cool, depending on your perspective.

  1. The Metric System. They buy their gas by the liter, which seems cheap, until you remember that liters are considerably smaller than gallons. They also list the speed limit in kilometers per hour, which, again, seems really fast until you realize that kilometers are somewhat shorter than miles.
  2. Temperature. It's freaking cold there, man. Yeah, I know I'm from the south, so my psychological temperature guage is kind of skewed, but dang! Oh, and it's cold in Celsius.
  3. Poutine. Yeah, it's French. It's also a dish you can get at the Swiss Chalet or Harvey's Hamburgers. Poutine is french fries covered in that brown, KFC-esque gravy and cheese curd. Not cheese, cheese curd. Heck, I love gravy just as much as the next good ol' gal, but I like white gravy, milk gravy. What they do to french fries up there is bordering on the criminal.
  4. Barbeque. As in cooked outside on a grill. What is up with this? The last time I checked, barbeque was pulled pork with sauce. Barbeque sauce. By the way, they don't have any real barbeque. Apparently the average Canadian is leary of pork. Canadians: be not afraid. The pig is your friend. He is juicy and good. Especially when slathered in barbeque sauce on a bun with cole slaw.
  5. Cornbread. Meaning they don't have any. Well, they do sell it at some bakeries. But that's just it: it's bread made with cornmeal baked in a regular pan. This is an affront to my entire culture. Cornbread is to be baked in a cast iron skillet which has been seasoned. Seasoned meaning slathered in bacon fat many, many times, sometimes over years.
  6. The Beer Store. They have an entire store dedicated to beer. God bless their wintery little hearts. Both beer and liquor are regulated by the government, so you can only buy them at THE BEER STORE, or in Ontario, at the LCBO (liquor board of Ontario). I mean, it's pretty darn cool that in Tennessee we can just go to the gas station and pick up a six-pack, but the selection, oh yes. The selection.
  7. Fries Supreme. This is something you can only get at the Taco Bells in Canada. It's like a nachos supreme but on FRIES. See? The cold weather is worth it.
  8. Theatre, Colour, Behaviour, Labour, etc. Canadians use British spellings for words. Most people would not have a problem, or rather, a handicap with this. However, since language is kind of my specialty it tends to throw me off.
  9. Aboot and Beyond. My husband claims that no one says "aboot." But, I have heard his friends use this particular form of about many times. I think he simply cannot detect it, having lived there all of his life. Further, dorks are "birds," whiners are "sucks," and idiots are "knobs." Personally, I think Canadians have an oral fixation.
  10. "Eh?" Canadians are famous for this the world over. I find it to be useful, mostly because it's a shortened version of "y'know?" It's so pithy, so sleek, so compact. I put it in the same category as "y'all," though many people may find this blasphemous.
  11. Canadian Dollars. Not only is my American dollar worth more there, but Canadian money itself is just cute. Firstly, it's all different colors. There's purple, red, blue, and the traditional green bills. How nifty is that? Just like Monopoly! And, they have nature scenes on their bills, like beavers chewing on logs and Canada geese flying in formation. It's all so adorably cuddly in a way that American money never could be. Plus, Queen Elizabeth II is all over their cash. From a purely feminist perspective, I think that's super neat-o.
  12. No Smoking. Dude! I know non-smokers will be instantly happy about this, but it kind of chaps my ass. There's no smoking in restaurants. Not even bars. What the crap?! When I'm drinking my "rye and coke" I want a fricking cigarette, goshdarnit.
  13. Cigarettes, in General. Ok, I actually think this is kind of amusing. Their cigarette packs are covered in these huge, color pictures of rotten lungs and hearts and deformed fetuses and stuff. All right, maybe I do have a sick sense of humor, and everyone knows I like horror novels, but really, that just makes me giggle, like, a lot: "Don't smoke, it'll char all your meat!" And, their packs have 25 cigarettes instead of 20, which is rad, but does not make up for the fact that they cost like $9.00 Canadian a pack. Ouch, my wallet hurts more than my lungs.
  14. Moose. Besides the fact that stuffed moose are completely cute, the real things are all impressive and majestic. Plus, they're mean as hell. People where I live complain about hitting deer with their cars, but that damage does not in any way compare with the utter annhilation that happens to your car when you hit a moose. Seriously, if you don't duck, you'll probably be decapitated. Which, again appeals to my fascination with all things morbid and disgusting.

Well, I hope you've all enjoyed this break from our regular programming. Next time I promise to write without the aid of a numbered list. I might even use paragraphs and stuff. Shudder to think. I'm mostly in love with the idea that I'll be some kind of pseudo American ex-patriate. I'm so punk rock.


Dad said...

So what you're saying is that you want folks to send you care packages of cornmeal and bacon grease once you have moved to Canada?

Mad said...

The one time I was in Canada I got to stay at the Johnny Canuck Motel. That was in Vancouver. That's still Canada, right? Let me know and I'll send you cheap Americano cigarettes...

Cate said...

Apparently the barbeque thing isn't just a Canadian thing, eh? I never knew "barbeque" meant a specific kind of meat cooked in a specific way until I had roommates from North Carolina. Bless my little Western heart.

omar said...

As a non-smoker, let me just tell you how GREAT it is to have no smoking in restaurants or bars (can't do it in New York state either, not just a Canadian thing).

I am sorry that it chaps your ass. :)

The only Canadian money I like is the toonie. Really, that's only because it's called a toonie.

Jon said...

I’m with Omar on the whole smoking thing. California did away with the indoor smoking a while ago and I couldn’t be happier. I would also like to personally thank Canada for The Kids in the Hall.

girlspit said...

Yay Kids in the Hall! I had such a crush on Mike McKinney, but he's kind of old and skanky now.

Dad, please send me cornmeal.

Mad, I am currently stockpiling American cigarettes at my in-laws' house. Thanks for the offer.

cadiz12 said...

maybe you can come on down and stock up on all things comfort every time the temperature gets below 7 degrees Celsius.

there's something about that accent. it was probably minnesootan, not canehdian, but the mother's voice on 'bobby's world' was always so interesting.

then again, anything that sounds wildly different than my own causes me to tune out the syntax.

Aaron the Truck Driver said...

I oppose their highway exit ramps.

They are all of.. 1/8th of a mile?
With a sharp turn at the end.


Gloria Glo said...

Okay. The beer thing totally explains why Queen Bee at work can't stop talking about the superiority of Canada in all things...

Anonymous said...

you suck donkey crotch eh

Anonymous said...

hahahah this is funny how it's such a difference from the states. I honestly have never once heard someone say "aboot" that more sounds like an English accent more than anything and I've definitely never heard someone use the word "bird" as dork. I Love Poutine.. maybe it's because I'm french;)? Cornbread is filthy! I love saying Eh.. it's more a short form of hay? then y'know.. but i guess it have the same meaning.
Hope you're liking Canada!

Henk said...

I don't know how google got me onto your blog, but I must say: you certainly are one weird idiot.

Let me explain that insult according to all the points you summed up about Canada.

1. OH WOW METRIC SYSTEM! You make it seem like the metric system is something really weird. Well I can tell you it's a lot more logical than the imperial system.
2. Celsius you say? Number 1 pretty much sums up my thoughts on that one.
3. You really like gravy don't you?
4. Since when is barbeque another word for pulled pork? Look it up in a dictionary. Barbeque is a verb, not a dish. And yes. To barbeque means to cook things on a grill.
5. You must be a very well developed person if your whole culture revolves around corn bread. wow!
6. The fact that all alcoholic beverages are regulated by the government is probably the reason why Canada's statistics on accidents caused by drunk drivers are much lower. No drunk idiots there who drank a six pack behind the wheel after buying it at the gas station.
7. Apart from gravy, fries seem to be another one of your favourite foods. Why doesn't this surprise me at all?
8. Language is 'kind of your specialty' but you struggle with something as simple as British spelling? Right..
9. I think you have an oral fixation. Especially when lots of gravy and fries are involved.
10. Eh is not short for 'you know' and certainly hasn't got anything to do with 'y'all'. it's just a phoneme.
11. All those colours probably make handling money a lot easier for you. Regarding the fact that you also draw links between queen Elizabeth II and feminism. It seems you can't handle history and the utter stupidity behind your statements either.
12. Other people visiting restaurants and bars don't ask you to blow that crap around in there. deal with it.
13. Those pictures are there for a reason. That's what your lungs look like in a couple of years from now.
14. So your car gets 'utterly annihilated' after you killed a moose? Boohoo. I'd have a good laugh if you got decapitated by one of them.

By the way; I'm not some proud and arrogant Canadian. I'm a guy from europe who thinks you're an ignorant fuck.

TwilightZone said...

Thank you Henk...I somehow googled here too.
I just laugh at them because I hear it all the time from every American I ever meet...until they actually visit or god-forbid... move here.

By the way; I'm not some proud and arrogant Canadian... I`m just Canadian.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! I like your list and even as a Canadian agree with a lot of it. The Beer Store and LCBO, I might note, are really Ontario things though - in Quebec, for example, you can buy beer or wine at the grocery store, just as you can in the States. In Ontario only being able to buy alcohol at government-run stores can be frustrating - particularly when you can't buy a beer after 10pm on a Saturday night except at a bar - but you've hit nail on the head with the one advantage it has. There's not a chance in hell you'd be able to get the sort of selection you do at the LCBO in a small town if, instead, you were buying from the variety store.

Also I have to agree with your husband on "aboot". I don't know anybody who pronounces it like that (maybe in Winnipeg...). We do pronounce it differently, but for most Canadians I know "about" is synonymous with "a boat," not "a boot."

Anonymous said...

LOL im canadian and i guess i should feel offended but after thinking about it...its pretty funny to hear ur opinions

about the cornbread...i think its the most disgusting shit ever and i cant eat it. my whole immediate family hates it except for my mom lol

i do not say aboot and i havent heard anyone say it...its like 'abowt' i guess, geez.

and we DO barbeque lol 0.o

Anonymous said...

ooohhh the famous bbq. you see, we canadians refer to a bbq as something we cook on, not a particular dish :p also, the smoking ban is great. us non-smokers dont want to breath that nasty shit.
poutines are awesome! different places use different stuff. for example, some places use curd, some just, you know, use "regular cheese"? my family owns a pizza place in good old ontario, and we make poutines with brown gravy, and we use shredded mozzarella cheese. its awesome, everybody should try it at least once in their lifetime. Im always having to explain to americans what poutines are! :P
as for the metric system and the whole celsius thing, i guess its just what you're used to. heck, canadians think you're system is wack too.
yes, canada is cold, hence snow in winter. but snowdays are a plus for that. ... dont know what that is? that sucks for you then.
oh, i have never heard anyone say "aboot" . and dorks are nerds, not birds. i have never heard anyone refer to a bird as a "dork", or whiners as "sucks". but eh, eh is so handy. and it isn't a shorter version of y'know. does this make sense: i know, eh! .. if it was really said as: i know, y'know? ... nope. coloured bills are awesome, much easier to organize, and they're at least pretty to look at with those "nature scenes".
canada is great, if you have the balls to deal with snowy winters.

Linds said...

Haha, we aren't scared of pork! Corn bread = Why America is so fat.
Also how booze is sold varies all over in Canada. Like in Quebec you can buy it at corner stores and the drinking age is 18.

Funny overall though.

Anonymous said...

Hehe seeing something like this reminds me how arrogant and miss-informed Americans are about the world around them. Like for christs sake we share a border and they still dont know a thing about us. I could make many points here about how wrong this person is about pretty much everything they say in this post. But to me these things are fairly obvious (being that I am Canadian). Im 26 years old and have lived here all my life and have never heard anyone say "aboot", your an idiot if you think that. ABOUT the metric system we are a little confused cause when we build things our measurements are all in inches and feet not centimeters. But what does make sense ABOUT it is water freezes at 0 degrees which makes perfect sense.... why 32 degrees for u guys baffles me. Dunno 0 just seems like a better way of judging freezing from not freezing. "Eh"... nuff said ABOUT that. Americans say things weird to us like we call the tops of our houses a "roof" said like "ruuf" I guess but americans say it like "ruff", its not a ruff its a roof! But im just gonna laugh at your ignorance and your way of insulting people (like all americans like doing it seems)and im gonna go to my igloo (which needs a new ruff)drink some beer, club a baby seal and watch the hockey game. Ohh and P.S. I know this post was from 2005 but whos money is worth more now?? Rate of conversion at time of this post $1 canadian is $1.02 dollars american. Ohh and our financial fuckups have never crippled the worlds econony :P

Anonymous said...

i'm Canadian and i love supreme fries and think its werid that you do not have it in the states... also America is one of the only places that still uses imperial measurement...which makes no sense. oh ya btw in Canada we can legally drink at 19, and in so other provinces 18, its pretty awesome XP btw i enjoyed reading ur blog gave me a good laugh

Anonymous said...

Our dollar is worth more now you hic!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how "henk from europe" deems to know everything canadian.

I am canadian and I thot this post was funny. Geez. If nothing else, canadians can poke fun at themselves! :)

I would agree that Eastern canadians DO say "aboot"...even I can hear them! Out west here...we say "abowt" (as in the bow of a boat)

I don't say eh and find it annoying when people do say it too much.

I hate poutine and anything gravy....and BBQs are ok, but then I don't like meat much.

Glad to have you move to canada. My husband is american...I had him imported! :)

Anonymous said...

actually here in california you can get the supreme fries thingys. but its from REAL mexican food shops and not taco bell. but here we call them carne asada fries, which like you sais is the same as nacho supreme but on french fries.

davidfg said...

I love how stereotypical you are. I live here and I have never said "eh" or about. Or even seen moose. Plus, I live in a city with 1 million people, Calgary. Not to say there is the GTA, 8 million people . Ignorant american. Yeah canadian dollar, there is the australian dollar, and the world doesn't revolve around "American" dollar.

Anonymous said...

Judging by some of the comments here, some people need to get a sense of humor. lol.

Anonymous said...


As a canadian living in america for 4 years, I find most other canadians who bash americans are super butthurt about how they don't pay %100 attention to our news/culture or lack there of. All the canadian stereotype stuff is meant to be a lighthearted joke. So save your snide comments for stuff that actually deserves it.

Anonymous said...

really dude? here seems way more logical than america. no one ever survives hitting a moose even if you do stop the moose will be scared and attack your car whether or not you are in it and we dont have beer or other drinks like such at gas stations because we arn't a bunch of backwards pompus pricks who cant get over their selfs enough to realise canada welcomes people from your contry and contries all over the world we don't deserve to be harshed out by some nanzy pansy american who cant get away from hate blogging long enough to look around at the people here. and we have colour bills because we dont like to be tricked into thinking that we've been given more money then we have. but people like you just look and say "urrr their moony be looken funny" and no one ever says "eh" here the only place where the canadian language sterio types are spoken is newfoundland or as a joke moking americans moking canadians so get your pompus super seeding noses out of the air for a moment and get your facts straight
oh and if it wern't for us you can say ba bye to the telephone

i am not a arrogent canadian i am a marritimer
no one were im from is overly pridefull

Anonymous said...

A long time ago the world as decided to change from imperial mesure system to metric .
All science done in United States is in metric system.
They left imperial system for guys like you .
To moron to understand new ways , even if they are a lot easier to use .
For the rest of your very interesting comments on Canada ,it's evident that you're never been there ,especially in Quebec .
If you search for weird things look in your own country , you will have a lot more materials to work with .

Anonymous said...

No one says 'aboot' outside of Newfoundland. Canada money is worth more now. Smoking sucks balls! Unless it's of the herbal variety ;). And poutine is bordering on fucking delicious! Also I have a large penis. It's a Canadian trademark...

Anonymous said...

If you think there is something wrong with poutine, clearly you have never eaten it. Also, Canadians use "British" spelling because we speak English.....not "american".

Mal Mal said...

Ok guys, I'm from Michigan and lived 2 hours away from the Ambassador bridge. I've visited many times sometimes every weekend while I was 19 just to legally drink at bars, lol anyways, let me clear something up I believe CORNBREAD is completely different than nasty ass bland corneal, ew! Who eats corneal? Maybe southern soul food lovers but I do love cornbread, it's a sweet buttery crumbly delight! Also the no smoking thing is great, why do you think nearly all of America is now smoke free. Half of this list is kinda silly, I don't know if its because I'm so close to Canada but I feel like Americans should know what a freakin BBQ is!! My family and i pretty much cook everything on the grill, tastes way better! And who the eff ever made it a dish? Well you are from the south. Which I now live in Florida and I'm just getting used to the fact "y'all eat boiled peanuts! Ew! So I personally think southerners are "weirder" than Canadians. You guys do eat pigs feet and collard greens.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely hilarious! I'm Canadian, and I live in Ontario but none of my friends or their relatives say aboot. I think that's like southern Ontario.

Anonymous said...

You are such an American stereotype... You're ideas of what "weird" is, is just different to the way you do things. As a Canadian I can say that half of these things are untrue or exaggerated. People only say "eh" in places like halifax and newfoundland. I've never heard anyone say "aboot" unless making fun of the way american's think we sound. And about your comments on our money, celsius and our metric system, you are extremely oblivious to think these are weird, we're not the only country that uses celsius and we're not the only country that uses the metric system. We do not use the words, knob, suck or birds. We use the same words as you. Get your narrow-minded head out of your own asses and realize not everyone has to do things the same way as you.

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