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John of Vancouver

January Review 2001

Being from the coast I have little opportunity to travel to Ontario, but I did spend three months in Ottawa some years ago. A more bulbous eyed group of village idiots would be hard to find. The first thing they did to me was put me in school; probably thinking my education was deficient on account of my being from the west coast. You see, in Ontario they figure everybody from B.C. is either a logger or a fisherman, which is odd because it is widely known that in Ontario there are only two professions, the oldest and the second oldest; the second being politics, although sometimes it's hard to tell one from the other (except to say I'd sooner hand over my money to a blond in high heels than a politician).

Any ways, back at that school things didn't start none too good for me because the first thing that lady teacher done was to start talking some mumbo jumbo foreign language that sure sounded queer to my young ears. I put up my nine-year old hand and asked real polite just what the hell was going on because I was from British Columbia, Canada, and I only understood the Queen's English which was, I reminded her, the language of all Canadians. Well I reckon that sure was the wrong thing to say 'cause that teacher nearly fainted and her eyes got all big and she looked at me like I had pissed on the Quebec flag or something.

Later, in the principal's office, it was explained to me that the gibberish the teacher had been muttering was in fact French and that Canada was bilingus, or something dirty sounding like that which meant that everybody else in Canada should learn to speak French. Well tabernac you could'a knocked me over with a feather! Have you ever heard such nonsense? And from a teacher no less! Being nine years old I didn't have enough learnin' to understand that that principal was only giving me the government party line so I screwed up my nose and asked him real slow like he was retarded or something, "Excuse me, but have you ever been more than thirty miles from Ottawa?"

Well, things went down hill from there on. One day one of the boys in the school yard decided to poke fun at me 'cause my French wasn't coming along so good. I suppose he thought he was safe because he had four more friends of his around him but he was sure surprised when I hauled back and punched him real hard right in the breadbasket. Yep, like my daddy always said, hit 'em hard when they is preoccupied, so I hit him when he was talking that Frenchy mumbo-jumbo and it worked so good he lay down on the ground and couldn't talk either one of them official languages for a good five minutes on account that he couldn't draw any breath.

Well, things continued down hill because I had another meeting with that principal fellow only this time he was more careful 'cause he had my teacher and father all in the room at the same time and I figure he thought the whole bunch of them could gang up on me and convince me to start parlez vous'ing and such. He was wrong 'cause my daddy's neck got to be two shades redder than mine and he banged his fist on the table so hard the stapler was bouncing up and down and the principal took two steps back just in case my daddy decided to run amuck. By the end of that meeting they all agree that I'm not as thick as a brick after all and that I gonna take some remedial training in French that's gonna help me catch up real soon. But they're wrong 'cause when it comes to French I am that thick, and no amount of hand wringing is going to change my mind. Why as soon as they push one French word into my head it just falls right out followed by two or three obscenities in English. Fortunately my dad was astute enough to understand that just the two of us couldn't turn around a whole province full of government lackeys and ass kissers so one weekend, three months into this experiment, we loaded up the truck with all our worldly possessions and headed west. Slowly the land flattened and the late autumn fields glowed like gold in the setting sun. One day the mountains came into view and soon we were winding our way through deep canyons filled with pine trees and turquoise lakes that eventually ran into the sea.

We arrived on the coast and looked out over the ocean, because our home was only half a block from the seashore. I am Canadian, but I am from British Columbia.



Now, the real reason the people in Ontario voted Liberal when the rest of Canada at best gave them a lukewarm reception is that, well, they are different from the rest of us. How can you tell? The following quiz should help you to identify whether you or from Ontario or not:

You know you're from Ontario when…

  • You design your Halloween costume to fit over a parka.
  • You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
  • Canadian Tire on any Saturday is busier than the toy stores at Christmas.
  • You have taken your kids trick-or-treating in a blizzard.
  • Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled in with snow.
  • You think sexy lingerie is tube-socks and a flannel nightie with only eight buttons.
  • You owe more money on your snowmobile than your car.
  • The local paper covers national and international headlines on two pages, but requires six pages for hockey.
  • You head south to go to your cottage.
  • You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
  • You find -40C a little chilly.
  • You attend a formal event in your best clothes, your finest jewelry and your Sorels.
  • You can play road hockey on skates.
  • You know 4 seasons: Winter, Still winter, almost winter and construction.
  • You understand the Labatt's Blue commercials.
  • You perk up when you hear the theme from "Hockey Night in Canada."
  • You understand these jokes and voted Liberal in the last election.

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