Saturday, 23 January 2016

Canada and the price of cauliflower





Yesterday, I saw a cauliflower, that magical Unicorn-like vegetable that people have been taking out bank loans to purchase.
It was $1.99 in Canadian dollars, 10 cents on the American side.
We took two, the only two, and looked around and saw a man eyeing our purchase.
"Do you want one?" Scott asked. "They are the only ones in the half price bin."
The man smiled wanly.
"No, " he said. "You take them. I'm not sure we'll eat it tonight. But thanks."
"No, you take it," Scott said.
"No, you."
"No, you!"

It is a cliché in the rest of the world to say that Canadians are the nicest people on the planet. But this exchange is direct evidence that it is true. In other countries, people would be fighting over it, ripping each other apart in the quest for the Holy Vegetable Grail. But not us.

Today, I went back to the grocery store, and I accidentally forgot my iPhone 6 in the grocery cart. When I got home I realized that the Holy Technology Grail was missing, so I raced back to Loblaws to the courtesy counter. The nice lady handed me my phone. Another Canadian had found it in the cart and brought it back into the store.

"Sorry," he said. "A lady left this in her cart. Do you mind hanging on to it?"
"Would I!" she crooned, tap dancing to a Michael Buble tune playing in the background. "I can't wait until she finds out it's missing so I can just make her day!"
Well, that didn't happen. But it could have.

This is a country that begs people to like us. We say please and thank you. We even say "sorry?" when we mean excuse me. Even our home grown celebrities are nice as sugar pie.

We had poor Celine Dion standing for eight hours by her husband's casket, when he was laying in state. Instead of making it all about her, Celine spent her time putting her arm around everybody, trying to make them feel better. My heart goes on just thinking about her and her lovely family.

We have Martin Short and Catherine O'Hara, Wayne Friggin' Gretzky. Heck, we had Monty Hall giving away the farm on Let's Make A Deal. We have Lorne Michaels who has given nearly everybody a job in show business. And Paul Anka who showed the Chairman of the Board how to do it His Way.

We have the shiniest, nicest Prime Minister on the planet, a guy who would be smiling if he was forced to walk over coals, a man who wasn't afraid to take Leo DiCaprio to the mystical woodshed and tell him to ease up on the oilsands, please, cause hundreds of folks need to eat in Alberta. Then he gently reminded Leo that he was a rich hypocrite who should spend less time schtupping supermodels and burning fuel on his yacht. Leo actually apologized! Who's the king of the world, now, hey?

While Donald Trump is scorching the Earth below us, we are flying Syrian refugees into every major city in Canada and giving them food, shelter and clothing. We aren't afraid to take in mothers and babies, Mr. Trump. But we are really afraid of you.

If we could, all Canadians would vote for Bernie Sanders, that's how nice we are.

Instead of bombing the shit out of countries and killing civilians, we're trying to train them how to kill others. Put me in coach! (Well, maybe that's a bad example.)

We are not just nice, we are resourceful.

To quote one of our most cherished Canadians, Red Green: "A Canadian may not be handsome, but he's always handy."

Our military Dart Team can turn dirt into water. No, really. They can.

Maybe we should send them to Flint!

We may not have built a spaceship, but we gave it an arm.

And Canada has the only singing astronaut, Chris Hadfield, Canada's answer to Ned Flanders.

Sorry to sound so smug, but it's a nice clear day today, and I'm feeling good about being Canadian.

The cauliflower is now blanched and put in freezer bags waiting to be consumed. My phone is resting quietly beside me, and I am just lucky to be alive and living on this cold white Tundra.

Oops! Gotta go!

My neighbor needs a boost.


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