The time Canada body checked me, eh
Immediately post-election November 2004 at the Hag homestead:
Me: Wife! That’s it! We’re moving to Canada. You need to start learning all you can about hockey and adding “eh?” to the end of your sentences. (I had been reading lots of Dickens at the time hence the imperious tone)
Stace (raised eyebrows): What the hell are you talking about? We can’t just move to Canada.
Me: That’s ‘what the hell are you talking about, eh?’ And oh yes we are. We need to start listening to that XM laugh channel to get us up-to-date with Canadian humor. (pacing and muttering) You know… we love Kids in the Hall… and John Candy — you like John Candy. Oh… and we love Jeopardy!… and Alex Trebek is Canadian.
Stace: I hate Conan O’Brien.
Me: Everybody hates Conan O’Brien he doesn’t count. Besides, I don’t even think he’s from Canada. (back to pacing and muttering) We’ll get a little cabin somewhere in the boonies and we can still drive you know… Canada has trucking, too… eh.
Stace: Ok… calm down. Just calm down.
Me (slightly hysterical I admit): Stace… I can’t do it. I just can’t. You know in 2000 Bush, Jeb and Scalia stole the election and I hated it but I could survive it. But I simply can not live in a society where we chose him. We knew what he was, we had finally survived his four years, and we picked him again. I just… can’t… do it. We’re going to Canada… oh wait… we’re going to Canada, eh.
Stace: Well… (sigh) before you put the house on the market why don’t you investigate this a little? Get online and find out what we need to do to move up there… (huge sigh) …eh?
Me (looking around the house): Good idea. You start thinking about which of this crap we want to take and what we want to get rid of… oh and don’t forget to check out hockey when you get a chance.
So I bustled off to find Canada’s website detailing the process of immigration. Only to find out that all the Americans who were desperately ready to run had overloaded Canada’s system and crashed their servers. So instead of concrete interactive information I only found a very polite letter:
Dear Thinking Americans,
We understand that you are currently experiencing shock and horror caused by your election results. We, too, are aghast that God’s Little Buddy was re-elected. (I don’t know if you knew it, Americans, but many of us up here join you in thinking of President Bush and God as a modern-day version of Gilligan and The Skipper. We, too, see God ordering Bush to work on something like world peace and Little Buddy Bush screwing it all up royally then shrugging his shoulders in that ‘I can’t help it I’m a doofus’ manner while an exasperated God smacks him about the head and shoulders with his floppy God-hat)
Anyway, we feel very badly for you. However, I’m sure you’ll understand when we say that you can’t all just load up your cars like something out of The Grapes of Wrath and drive north with whatever you can carry. First, because we actually offer things like health-care to everyone in our society you can see how a massive influx of nauseous, depressed and demoralized Americans would strain the system.
Second, most peoples of the world love us because we’re Canadians. We know that you know this because we hear you all the time in Europe and other places pretending to be from Canada so your waiters won’t spit in your soup. We haven’t said anything about it before because we didn’t want to embarrass you, but honestly what would it do to our reputation abroad if we allowed tens of thousands of Americans to suddenly immigrate? No offense, I’m just saying…
Third, you appear to be the only thinking people left in America. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the US can be somewhat of a bully… and that’s with all of you still living there. What would the US become if you all leave? Its embarrassing enough to share the hemisphere with a moderately restrained adolescent who is still constantly stamping his foot and demanding that he get his way or else. If you all leave and there is no longer any restraint, we shudder to think of how loud the tantrums will become. We’ll never have another quiet moment.
Fourth… and I don’t mean this unkindly but… you knew what he was. You knew he was nothing more than a great big ignorant lying bully and yet America re-elected Little Buddy anyway. This says to us that you were either apathetic or ineffectual and frankly that doesn’t make you a real attractive addition to our society. Sorry to be so blunt, but I feel like we’re friends and I can speak honestly.
For all of these reasons, I’m sure you can understand why we can’t just have you rushing up here like you’re running from a burning building. Please understand that we are not in any way trying to make light of the pain that you are feeling today. We also feel your pain. I would go so far as to say the majority of the free world feels your pain. Be that as it may, much as we wish we could be more helpful, you will have to apply for entry in the usual manner and wait approximately one year for permission to enter the country. In the meantime try to hang tough. Good luck, eh.
Damn! Damn! Damn!