The U.S., Eh?

May 18, 2011 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Americans are great. They’ll be the first to tell you so too. We have a love/hate relationship with our friends to the south. Well, it would be a relationship if they knew we existed. Mostly though, I’m on the love side. What a friendly, generous people. Muffin and I were nervous entering a Florida redneck bar but when they discovered we were Canadian, everyone in the joint took turns buying us beer. We’ve also found that many an American will go out of their way to help you and make you welcome, but there is also a less attractive side.

My father-in-law was flying a Canadian flag at his Florida residence and was told in no uncertain terms to take it down. I shake my head as I think of all the cottages and trailer parks I’ve seen here with American flags fluttering. We easily accept their show of pride.

I’m wondering if American awareness of our existence is finally awakening though. Our powerful friends to the south have always looked down on us and have kidded us with gentle humour but now that humour seems more pointed and intentionally obtuse. Cop show Detroit 1-8-7 seems to think everyone across the Ambassador Bridge speaks with a French accent and red tuniced Mounties are everywhere. ‘Shameless’, set in Chicago, had its main character dropped as a joke, ‘just across the border’ in Toronto. Mounties in tunics here too: mounted and giving tourists directions.

South Park has long made fun of Canada. Canadians are crudely drawn, there are abundant log cabins and yes, red tuniced Mounties abound. Lots of ‘oot and aboot’ spoken here too as well as Terence and Philip (I love Terence and Philip) always farting. For some reason I enjoy South Park, maybe because they lampoon American society just as much or more. It’s the drama shows that supposedly trade in reality that cross the border into fantasyland.

Our American neighbours aren’t that obtuse. I think they’re simply jealous of our better, less stressful and low profile lifestyle and respond by putting us down. We can take it though, eh.

 Peace

© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011

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