Tristin Hopper, a reporter with The National Post has written an article challenging my claim in a recent blog (specifically Items 3 and 8) that Canadians are polite, decent and kind people. John Thompson, a Canadian and former director of Canadian Studies at North Carolina’a Duke University cites many examples of Canadians behaving in very un-Canadian-like fashion in a variety of different locales and situations. Frankly, I’m shocked and appalled. Naturally, I attribute these abhorrent behaviours to younger generations who did not grow up with the strict disciplines familiar to Baby Boomers, such as corporal punishment in schools, going to bed without dinner and for other misdemeanors getting a smack up-side the head from your father when he got home. We soon learned to toe the line after a few wacks with the leather strap and sitting patiently through God-fearing sermons at church every single Sunday morning of our young lives.
Baby Boomers for the most part can be counted on to proudly wear our Maple Leaf pins when travelling in foreign countries without embarrassing fellow Canadians or our parents. We try to blend in, diligently trying to speak foreign languages and eating strange local foods without complaint. We do not raise our voices. We seek out local experiences and never demand burgers and fries.
In our defence, let’s just say Rob Ford is merely on the cusp of being a Baby Boomer so we won’t take responsibility for his bizarre behaviours in public. And I must agree with John Thompson that Canadian hockey fans can be belligerent, arrogant and downright nasty sometimes as can players and parents of players. It’s a genetic fault we’re not proud of. Justin Bieber is another one of the younger generation mentioned above who is doing us wrong.
Apparently the locals in vacation spots like the Dominican Republic and Mexico are not huge fans of Canadians either. Bellingham, Washington residents resent Canadians swinging over the border from Vancouver to buy their cheap gas and dairy products and have threatened to have “Americans Only” days at the local Costco. While The National Post article did not specifically mention Florida, I have no doubt there are local Floridians who also find some Canadians less than loveable. It seems we often drink too much and get unruly when we’re escaping our shitty winters in a warm southern climate.
Well now. This all comes as a huge disappointment to me. Maybe we should reinstate corporal punishment. And Rob Ford could most definitely afford to be sent to bed without dinner. Perhaps if we relaxed our archaic liquor laws, Canadians would not go wild and abuse alcohol when we’re outside our borders. My honey and I are planning a trip to France this fall and I promise we’ll be on our best behaviour. If you spot us buying cheap gas to take back to Canada or ordering burgers and fries, please feel free to wack us up-side the head. We’re going for the privilege of enjoying French hospitality while we visit World War I and II sites. We will drink all that wonderful wine in France and promise to leave behind anything we consume. I’ll dazzle Parisians with my command of high school French. I’ll be wearing my Canadian Maple Leaf pin and I won’t embarrass my parents or fellow Canadians by appearing on the news as an obnoxious, drunk old Canadian lady demanding poutine on The Champs Elysées. Of this, you can be sure.