Tuesday, January 29, 2013

You Might Be a Redneck if...

 You might be a redneck if more than one living relative is named after a Southern Civil War general.  -- Jeff Foxworthy

Jeff Foxworthy popularized the expression "You might be a redneck if..." and then he would follow it by a situation with which all rednecks (and Southerners) could relate. It would be funny because EVERYONE had been it the situation before and would not realize that this was a common experience.  "I have an uncle just like that." we could say to ourselves.

The ability to laugh at oneself does not seem to come easy to Canadians, or at least those in B.C.  I am not sure why this is, but it may have something to do with an insecurity of always being in the shadow of the United States.  Here, you can not crack an "Eh?" joke about Canada without someone immediately becoming offended.

"Well, at least that is better that sounding like some hick from the South. They add at least one extra syllable to every word. I know that they are that dumb, because you should see some of the e-mails that I get."

On the other hand, I have a Canadian son-in-law who hunts, fishes, drives a pick-up, etc., etc., etc.  He will gladly associate himself with us "rednecks".

For those Canadians reading this, I come from the eastern part of Tennessee, but have lived in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, and my accent does sound quite Southern. I may sound like a "hick" to some, but the places I have lived have more population than the English speaking part of Canada. I have three college degrees from three different colleges or universities.  From where I used to live in East Tennessee, I could drive to three different major medical centers (Vanderbilt, University of Virginia and Duke) and I was with driving distance of University of Tennessee (known for the "body farm" made famous by the CSI television series).

To get them to lighten up, maybe I should start a "You might be a Canuck if..." comedy routine.  I could become famous!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Arses and Ash Fault

I remember the first time that I heard the word "arse", I thought that someone had made a typo. Some Brit had made a comment about someone, and I knew by the context that he meant "ass".  Just in case I misunderstood, I looked up the word on the "internet". (I think at the time I was on AOL bulletin board system.) Sure enough, I got the definition for "arse" and it was no typo!

I hadn't thought of this for sometime. Being here in Canada, I almost feel like I am in the U.S. (or "the States" as Canadians call it. After all, I can watch American Idol - I must be in the U.S.).  The other day, one of the guys at Freedom's Door asked me to move my car. We had evidently been parking perpendicular to the street in violation of city ordinances. The inspector had come by and threating to write everyone a ticket.  "He was being such an arse about it!" Something clicked and I remembered the incident years earlier. Why are the Brits such an influence over Canada... still... rather than the U.S.?

Which leads to completely different questions. Why is A-S-P-H-A-L-T pronounced "ash fault", rather than the American way, "ass fault"? And why, if you have to have a reference to a guy's butt in the word, do the the Canadians not pronounce it "arse fault" or "bum fault"?

These are serious questions to ponder.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Cardinal - We are not in Tennessee anymore...
My wife loves cardinals. I really didn't know this until the past few weeks. She has a sweatshirt that she bought back in West Virginia when we first married 14 years ago. (The cardinal is the state bird of West Virginia, as well as many other states). Lou is very particular about her clothing. She wants it to be at a good price and durable. She has gotten her money's worth out of the sweatshirt - she still wears it after 14 years, and it still looks nice.

Just before Christmas, Lou got another sweatshirt. She paid considerably more for it and made mention of it several times after she bought it. I didn't notice until a couple of days ago, it also has cardinals on the front of it.

The cardinal isn't native to British Columbia. I think this is one of the things that Lou misses about Tennessee.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Donkey Basketball...

"I have been all over 'the States' and the only people that are different are the Southerners. My son lives in San Diego, and he says that it is just like living in Canada. I used to live across from Buffalo, NY and there is very little difference. We even TALK THE SAME. Now we are not like the Southerns."
This a claim that my friend John had made last week. Of course, I laughed at him (to myself). Canadians, generally speaking, call Americans "arrogant" as they are telling us how to vote, what to think and all the problems with our Constitution (think '2nd Amendment' here).

Sunday, I saw my friend John again. I had to tell him the story about Lou and I going across the border on Friday.  A local high school was having a fund raiser... a donkey basketball game. I had asked Lou if she had ever been to one, and she replied, "I don't even know what that is!" I continued by saying to John that I can go across the border, just two hours from our house, and talk about barbeque (pork OR beef), homecoming football games, donkey basketball, etc., but none of my friends in Canada have ever had that experience or even know what I am talking about. Then I asked him if he had ever heard of donkey basketball. (If you are Canadian, remember that YouTube and Google are your friends). Needless to say, he didn't know.

John then proceeded to tell me a story of his visit to Georgia. He went into a bar and struck a conversation with one of the local residents. After a bit, the local asked him where he was from. "You don't even sound like a Yankee!" (John explained that he meant, "northerner"... LOL). John explained to him that he was a north of "Yankee".

I guess Canadians aren't as much like Yankees as they think that they are.

My kid can beat up your kid...

I followed a car this morning with a bumper sticker that read, "My kid can beat up your honor roll student." I think that they take their hockey too seriously up here.

On that same note, it seems to me that the ones that are so vocal about "gun control" are the same ones that are the avid hockey fans. Coincidence?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Animal protection and Avalanches

Watching news this evening (you can really get insight to the area by watching the local news)... Two stories that you would never see in Tennessee, nor anywhere else in the US:

The first story dealt with a woman who was a self-appointed animal rescuer. She had started two thrift stores that helped her fund her exploits and was looking for "authority" (by people signing a petition) from the BC government to seize animals that it deemed to be mistreated.

The second story dealt with people who were undergoing training to use the modern equipment (locators, etc) in case of an avalanche in a remote area.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

An American living in Canada

Three years ago, my wife and I moved to BC, Canada to help care for her parents. I knew that there were differences, but I never realized how much Canadians truly believe that they are just like Americans, or at least that they "know" what it is like to be an American.

I am starting this blog to highlight the differences. I don't do this to make fun, offend, or insult anyone (American or Canadian), but to celebrate our differences.

BTW, my mother-in-law is offended that people in "the States" would call themselves "Americans" since Canadians and Mexicans are from North America. I had thought about it before, and I can only blame the Brits. They were the first ones to call us Americans.

Anyway, I plan to do this with a little bit of humor (humour??), mostly laughing at myself. A BIG difference in Americans (or at least, Southerners) and Canadians is the ability to laugh at yourself. If you say, "Eh?" to a Canadian, he is libel to get insulted. In contrast, a Southerner would love to hear your "You might be a redneck if..." joke.