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The Fastest Way to Annoy a Canadian

Why do they wear maple leaf pins when they travel abroad?

by
Leslie Loftis

Bio

November 21, 2013 - 12:30 pm
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Love CanadaA friend of ours, a Canadian serial expat, speaks at legal conferences. In the grand tradition of opening with a joke, he sometimes starts by telling a story about U.S. vs. Canada Olympic hockey. The last time the Canadians beat the U.S., he asked some Americans about it. The American answered, “It sucks to lose. But at least we lost to Canada. I’m happy to see Canada win.” “No, no, no!” our friend protested. “You are supposed to be spitting mad that you got beat by your mortal rival! We want a rivalry!”

In sports, this unrequited rivalry is funny. He gets laughs when he tells it. But like many funny things, the humor comes from just touching the truth. The actual truth has a bit of sting to it.

Last week I was in Toronto. I arrived just after the Toronto City Council stripped Mayor Rob Ford of his authority. In the non-stop news coverage, the local news was a little giddy that U.S. big media was covering the story. They even excerpted part of CNN’s coverage.

The reporter’s excitement at the big U.S. coverage reminded me of my friend’s hockey story, and that bothered me. This wasn’t about rivalry, but about us noticing them. Doesn’t the northern U.S. cover Canada? Down in Texas, I’m not shocked that we don’t cover Canada. We cover Mexico. (I don’t buy the internationally ignorant American conventional wisdom. We are quite big. I can hop in a car and drive west for 15+ hours and still be in Texas. The American Resident covered this point well a while back.) Regardless, it isn’t remotely cool, for CNN or Canada, that this story was getting play outside of Toronto.

I sighed, made a mental note to discuss this with my Canadian friends later, and picked up Kay Hymowitz’s Manning Up which I was using for debate prep. (I was there to attend a debate on “The End of Men.” ) I forgot about Mayor Ford and the exceptional case of Canadian coverage for a few hours.

But at the debate, America’s treatment of Canada came up again, courtesy of Maureen Dowd.

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Top Rated Comments   
"Regardless of any sibling bickering among England’s offspring, Canada is our staunch ally, neighbor, and friend."

Actually, as a Canadian, this notion scares me more than anything considering how the current US administration has been treating its friends and allies. Right now, it is way better to be ignored by the US than noticed.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

I don't annoy Canadians or Canadiens and don't permit them to be annoyed in my presence. That's because of a bit of of my military history.

Back during my all-expense-paid tour of sunny Southeast Asia, I had a young Canadian volunteer in my infantry squad. He had come south to help out and see what war is all about. He was a "strac" trooper and never failed us on the hunt or in a fight. Whenever I hear about the pieces of work who fled north to escape their responsibilities, I kind to smile to myself and think that I sure got the better of that deal.

And if ever an emergency arises, and you just have to got to know if that American-appearing person is actual a Canadian, just get him to say "about" and you'll know for sure.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
You've been abroad? Where? Can you give a single specific anecdotal example of a situation where you experienced an American behaving badly abroad?

In my many overseas trips, I've mostly experienced locals behaving badly, like the time a Chinese company attempted to sabotage a system my company helped them design (that is, we designed it and they only had to build it).

Or like the time I went to dinner with some Austrians and one of them told me "America had 9/11 coming. You're lucky 'they' don't sit destroyers off your coast and fire missiles at innocent women and children".

How about the time I was in Italy, and a woman told me it was my fault she had to live in a tiny 5 family flat - this from the same woman who drove past ACRES of empty fields and abandoned lots to and from work every day.

Yeah, "Americans" are just the worst human beings. Not that you'd generalize, or paint people with a broad brush or anything, would you, Mark v? No, you're tolerant and inclusive, right?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (54)
All Comments   (54)
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PS - can we get rid of all the ONLINE JOBS!!!! stuff?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
A couple of points. First, America ran away from home at 14, and Canada stayed through college. But now, we're both in our 40s, have good jobs and nice homes, stay in touch with mom and basically get along as well as any two brothers. Then, I quote Reagan - someone I agree with 80% is not my enemy. When fellow Canadians go off on America, I just ask who else they'd rather have for a neighbour - Russia? China? Brazil? Usually settles the discussion fairly quickly. When an American goes nutty about Canada (occasionally upstate New Yorkers will), then I offer to trade them Parliament for Congress. And that settles that.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would think that the Canadians should feel fortunate that they are mostly ignored. It means that they are living the good life most of the time. The quickest way to get noticed is to either do something horrible, or to have something horrible happen to you. Canadians should be glad that they don't have our problems.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps Maureen isn't as edumacated as people think she is. As for the people that think Canadians wear the maple leaf to distinguish themselves from Americans, then you have never been to Canada. Every other house has the maple leaf on it. Every business, every manufacturing plant, EVERYTHING has a flag attached. My step children live there and they worship the maple leaf. It has nothing to do with Americans. The ones that claim it does are the "morally superior" yuppie Canadians, equivalent to the "obnoxious" Americans that I hear so much about.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The biggest difference between canucks and yanks is that Canadians respect authority and Americans barely tolerate it. America rebelled in 1776 and haven't stopped. Canadians, on the other hand, celebrate their links to Britain and the Monarchy when they want to show how patriotic they are. Many Canadians are descendants of Loyalist Americans. Canada still celebrates their victory at the Battle of York where they successfully resisted becoming American.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great generalization of Americans. We are SOOO horrific! There's a reason that we didn't want to live under the rule of Britain. Good for them if they still pledge allegiance to the crown. Big deal. We don't.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
America bashing is no different than Jew bashing.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just keep buying our oil and maple syrup... Americans ignoring the free north is of no concern to us. We'll even sell you some H2O at premium prices down the road.

However, what does cause anxiety is our undefended border from YOU....where are the 51 million food stamp people going to flee to?

Mexico?





40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's start a rivalry. Did you know that Scott Joplin wrote the Canadian national anthem? He called it the Maple Leaf Rag.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
My mother's side of the family is Canadian, and she comes from a very large family. We have family reunions and these Canadians are a bunch of trouble. First they take over the NHL, and then they complain about being taken for granted. They are a bunch of agitators I tell you. My cousin, from Ontario, comes with her husband and 2 kids up to our lake house in Maine every summer. They are very nice, but I know they are planning some grand scheme to take over the whole lake and all it's properties.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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