Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Canadian Story In a Nutshell

You might not get this if you’re not Canadian. But if you are, it will instantly ring true.

I’m attending a gathering at L.A.’s Four Seasons Hotel, an event honoring Canadian accomplishments. Yes, there have been some.

Maybe the event was celebrating Canada Day – July the First, remember the date. All I know is the ballroom’s brimming with expatriates Canadians, five hundred of us, maybe more.

Drinks are served, people are socializing. Overhead, a huge screen offers a montage of recent achievements by celebrated Canadians. (I’m telling you, there’ve been some.) I’m standing in a group with three or four former Canucks, one of whom is Aubrey Tadman, a talented and sweet-natured variety show writer.

At one point, I glance up at the screen and I see this female figure skater, twirling around the ice, the clip chronicling her performance at the most recent Winter Olympics. Her name eluded me, but I was aware she had done well.

“I know her,” I exclaimed. “She came in second.”

To which Tadman immediately shot back,

“Who in this room didn’t?”


Fellow Canajun, eh? said...

Not that it matters to the story, but odds are the skater was Elizabeth Manley.

Corinne said...

That was a laugh out loud!

My husband celebrated Canada Day in Seattle 10 or so years ago. He was the only Canadian at the university taking a course. So when he returned after a weekend in Vancouver, he brought a cake to celebrate.

Delighted his new American friends asked him to sing the National Anthem before they ate the cake. He happily obliged.

And cheerfully belted out the (original) 'Hockey Night in Canada' theme song.

Anonymous said...

I love Canada and have visited many times in I was in my 30's to see some great NHL games. But back in 1972, I was an 18 year old kid scared to death of going to Vietnam and trying to figure out my options of beating the draft so I didn't end up fighting in the War. At the time, my options were enlisting in a branch of the service that I felt was cowardly enough that they wouldn't end up in Vietnam, but that went nowhere quickly. The next option was to marry and have a kid fast and be their only means of support, but as girls were too busy only having sex with guys already in the service, that left me out there. And there was always the draft lottery that was starting in 1971 where I could just wait and see what my number came up. If your birthdate was in the first 100, you went to Vietnam, the 2nd 100, you might or might not have to go, and if you were in the 3rd 100, you were safe. The final option was to move to Canada and I clearly remember a night talking with my friends about whether or not Canada had Fudgetown Cookies and those little Pepperidge Farm Cheese Goldfish. (Snacks have always factored heavily into my big life decisions) We surmised that they probably had some version of those snacks, but not the real thing. The question was, could we live in a country like that? We opted for the lottery and I drew number 292... Safe from being drafted and going to Vietnam. But more importantly, safe to spend the next 40 odd years living with Fudgetown Cookies and Pepperidge Farms Cheese Goldfish. That pretty much sums up my Vietnam Experience. For a few days, it was Hell, but other than that, I was able to get my life back on track and here I am.
"Anonymous Brian"

rms said...

Yep, that's Canadian.

And Corinne, our National Anthem SHOULD be the original Hockey Night in Canada theme song! Dah da dah da da dada....

Mel Ryane said...

You'll always know when you're at a Canadian event,(I hesitate to use 'celebration' because we don't so much)when everyone is not only, on time, but early.

Dinner hosts, beware.