“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Oh Canada …..
Photo: D. Paul Graham, “Forks of the Credit Thanksgiving” Caledon Ontario, circa 2008
I took a trip down memory lane in my car listening to the Canadian band ‘The Northern Pikes’. Fond memories flooded my mind of friends and places from that time in my life north of the 49th parallel. As Canada sits down for thanksgiving dinner today, or perhaps is still full of dinner from last night, this morning’s M5T gives homage to all things Canadian, all whilst wishing I had a sandwich with leftover turkey, mayo, and cranberry in hand.
1. A Clever Bunch those Canadians
What would our world be without the inventiveness of those northerners? England’s castoff country gave the world the paint-roller, Imax, the telephone, the pager, the Blackberry, the Canadarm, egg cartons, milk in bags (ok the world may not have embraced that one), jockstraps, goalie masks, the zamboni, instant replays, the zipper, the Wonderbra, insulin, the pacemaker, the CPR mannequin, the Ski-doo, snowplows, basketball, lacrosse, and the institution, the national past-time, and arguable the foundation of the fabric of life for Canadians, hockey.
2. A Bunch of Canuckian Epicurean Delights
Culinary treats abound from the land of the puck. Tim Hortons, or Timmies if you are in the know, are more ubiquitous than Starbucks. Anything maple. Maple syrup. Maple butter. Maple cookies. Maple liqueur. Maple taffy in the snow – not to be confused with writing your name in the snow with pee, which is far easier for men than women – remember, never, ever eat yellow snow. Persians, fried dough with pink icing, rarely found outside of Thunder Bay. Anything you catch hunting, fishing, or trapping. Butter tarts. Oh, how I miss butter tarts. Peameal bacon. KD. Montreal smoked meats. Beaver tail, bannock, and ketchup potato chips. Cesar cocktails (a Bloody Mary with clam or Clamato juice – try it) Beer. Real beer in a two-four of Labatt, Molson, Steam Whistle, or Moosehead. And of course, we can’t forget French Canadian poutine.
3. A Fashionable Bunch those Hosers
With a nod to Doug and Bob McKenzie, the Great White North has made many fashion statements over the years. Shorts and tee shirts in any temperature about zero – that’s 32 degrees for you south of Canada’s border. When it gets a tad chillier, long johns under your pants – fur lined are a bonus – keep you warm. Nipigon Nylons – multiple layers of socks to keep your toes free of frostbite when the temps are negative double digits. Canadian goose down parkas. Toques. Gotch, gitch, or gonch – Canadian underwear. Rubbers – oh behave – these are rubber covers slipped over your shoes that kinda, sorta protect that expensive leather from slush and snow. Anything from Roots and Lululemon. Hudson Bay blankets. Red and black wool plaid jackets with work boots – steel toes are a bonus.
4. A Talented Bunch from America’s Hat
Hit up Spotify and rock out in your car this morning with Rush, Avril Lavigne, BTO, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, Barenaked Ladies, Neil Young, Harlequin, Loverboy, Nickelback (no haters please, I like these guys), Cowboy Junkies, Northern Pikes, The Pursuit of Happiness, Shania Twain, the goddess known as Celine, Tragically Hip, Alanis Morissette, Drake, and The Guess Who to name but a few. Get your jazz groove on with Oscar Peterson, Leonard Cohen, Diana Krall, Peter Appleyard, Maynard Ferguson, Gil Evans, Michael Bublé, Rob McConnel, Gino Vannelli, Rhonda Smith, Nikki Yanofsky, and Justin Bieber (ok just kidding on the Beeb). Search on Netflix for movies and shows with John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey, Donald Southerland, Howie Mandel, Catherine O’Hara, Mike Myers, Leslie Nielson, Raymond Burr, Margo Kidder, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Chong, Sandra Oh, Kim Coats, Tom Green, Lorne Green, Graham Greene, Captain Kirk, Mary Pickford… oh I could go on and on!
5. A Repentant Bunch those Snowbirds
Elton John had it all wrong. Sorry seems to be the easiest word for Canucks. I’m sorry but I’ll have to leave that right there eh. No really. I’m sorry. I have to go. I’m so sorry.
Here’s to giving thanks for all things Canadian. Happy Thanksgiving up there!
© 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.
For over 10 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™. Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.