Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Birthday, you OddBall Nation

Happy Canada Day! If you fought for your country, you can ride. The rest of you slackers can walk.

Happy Anniversary at that grand and glorious social experiment known as Canada. As your OddBall gets older, and progressively more demented, she finds herself growing increasingly sentimental. So you’re all going to have to be patient while she constructs her list of Why I’m Glad I’m a Canadian, the 40-something-ish edition. Im glad that I'm a Canadian because:

* Today in Toronto, a Muslim woman stood in the mosque and lead her community in the Friday prayers and no one blew up the building;

* Because when four members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, our national police force, were killed on the job, it wasn’t business as usual. The entire nation went into a week of official mourning, 10 000 people attended their funerals and the rest of us stood by our televisions and wept.

* Because in spite of our frequent political hissy-fits and spitting matches with our neighbours to the south, over everything from international relations with Cuba to software lumber, to mad-cows to potato viruses and the definition of ‘national security’, we remain the only nation on earth who ‘gets’ America. We look at the troupe of clowns leading us in Ottawa and understand that Joe and Josephine America aren’t responsible for what’s coming out of Washington on most days of the week.

* Because last week, when the Conservative Party vowed to fight yet another election on the necessity, nay in the moral righteousness even, of depriving an identifiable sector of our population of their basic civil rights, the rest of us figured out that how the next door neighbour defined his marriage really didn’t concern us in the slightest. At the news that the federal government bill to legalize same-sex marriages passed the House of Commons, the sane 97.3% of the nation responded by going to Tim Hortons and having a coffee. At last report, civilization as we know it has survived the assault.

* Because what other nation of lunatics would have a parade to honour the Kyoto Accord agreements and decide to have no motorized vehicles in it to draw attention to the need for us all to cut our greenhouse gas contributions? Even the police escort to the Canada Day parade in my hometown of Fredericton was done by cops on bicycles. It was a parade of push-mowers and bicycles and horse drawn carriages. And in an uniquely Canadian sense of compromise and negotiation, the only motorized float was the one carrying our veterans who are too old and infirmed to walk the distance of the parade route in summer heat.

* Because the older I get, the more I miss Pierre Trudeau.

* Because the world would be a lesser place without the Canadian inventions of IMAX theatres, refined insulin as a treatment for diabetes, international peacekeeping armies, the zipper, hockey goalie masks, electron microscopes, and the telephone.

Happy Canada Day to the 30 million plus OddBalls out there who are the OddBall Nation known as Canada. It's been my pleasure. Talk at you'se laters; thanks for reading.


At 2:11 a.m., July 02, 2005, Blogger Eve said...

Happy Canada Day, from an American Canadophile. That bit about the bikes in the parade is great. At this rate, the air over Canada is going to be the only safe air to breath. And you're right, not every American likes what comes out of D.C. Matter of fact, at least half of us don't. Nice blog. Cheers! \m/

At 12:36 p.m., July 02, 2005, Blogger Liz said...

Cnada day rocks. I miss Pierre as well. and I too am damned proud to be Canadian, and a New Brunswicker to boot.I am now off to timmies fro said coffee.

At 9:37 p.m., July 02, 2005, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

Pierre was the reason that my husband and I hitchiked all over Canada. See your nation he told the youth of Canada, so we Americans celebrated our bicentennial by covering Canada from Sault St. Marie to Nova Scotia. Happy Canada Day to you, and happy birthday to me. I share the day with Canada!

At 10:24 p.m., July 02, 2005, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

Very Happy Birthday Deb!!! How does it feel to have finally hit 29?

At 11:27 p.m., July 02, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, OddBall! I love your list. I'm not Canadian, but I should be as I spend a great deal of money in your lovely country! I help keep the economy afloat!

At 3:45 a.m., July 03, 2005, Blogger Liz said...

Happy birthday deb!!!!!
we are the oddball nation. we are not nearly as patriotic in the outspoken american way but are deep down hardcore about the canada we love.


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