The biggest problem with mankind is, well,
mankind. Or more specifically, man. Make that men… gender specific. Being one,
I may be uniquely unqualified to comment on what is unquestionably the biggest
problem facing mankind but if history proves anything — and I’m not
suggesting it does — it proves I have absolutely no hesitation when it
comes to commenting on things I know nothing about and have few, if any,
qualifications regarding. Having established my lack of credentials to proceed,
I’ll proceed; consider this a binding disclaimer.
Almost a year ago, I became a Canadian. Not,
according to my Perfect Partner, a Real Canadian but a sufficiently faux
Canadian that I can carry a Canadian passport when it seems appropriate and I
can slip in French words like “faux” without italicizing them since they belong
to one of the two official languages of Canada and are, therefore not
considered foreign. Suspect, to be sure, but not foreign. Given the hit or miss
success I have with italicizing words in Pique, that alone was worth becoming
I’ve been led to believe Real Canadian-ness
may be afforded to me when I can remember all the words to Gordon Lightfoot’s
Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Nice as that song is, I’m not planning to listen to
it enough times to remember the words. Besides, I’m pretty sure if I actually
learned all the words — it’s a really long song, eh? — the bar
would be raised and I’d have to learn all the words to all Gordo’s songs and
Bud the Spud by Stompin’ Tom for good measure. I think the truth about becoming
a Real Canadian lies somewhere closer to when hell freezes over. I can live
with that. Faux Canadian is good enough for me.
But there was a time in this fair land when
the railroad did not run. Given CP’s predilection for derailments, resulting
environmental disasterettes and total disdain for passenger rail service, that
time may well be considered the Good Old Days. But I digress. Okay, I was
I became a Canadian in the eyes of Immigration
Canada for several reasons. Having lived half my life in Canada I felt I should
be able to vote for the lesser of two evils in my adopted country as well as my
birth country. I know that’s a dubious kind of honour — distasteful
responsibility? — but as enlightened feminists used to say about the Pope
when the subject came to birth control and abortion, “You no playa the game,
you no maka the rules.”
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