As we head into the Canada Day long weekend — and that’s Day as in D-apostrophe e-h, eh? — I feel obligated to remind you that most of us, according to the Dominion Institute, would fail the standard citizenship test that’s required for entrance to this great, ten province, three territory nation of ours. That’s right. You can forget some of it, but please don’t forget Nunavut. Or, for that matter, the name of our first prime minister, which fully half of us have forgotten according to the Dominion Institute. But I’ll bet the high school students at the school we call SJAM in Waterloo remember the name of our first PM. Or maybe that’s just the foolish optimist in me.
With the obligatory reminder that we just don’t know enough about this country that was confederated in 1867 out of the way, let me tell you how I’m going to spend my weekend. I’m going to call my buddy Tim in Winnipeg because he’s so happy the Jets are returning to the NHL, and we both know that even seven is not enough Canadian NHL teams. Then I’ll put on my t-shirt with the big red and white flag on the front because not only is red and white enough for Canada — you can keep the blue — but we don’t need stars AND stripes. Nope, the solitary maple leaf will do just fine, thanks.
I’m going to bask in the sun and mid-20′s temperatures for awhile because we all know that winter is just too long. But after a few hours I’ll remind anyone who will listen that it’s just too darn hot but it’s not really the heat, you see; it’s the humidity. So to escape the discomfort I’ll duck indoors and grab a refreshing pop — not a soda, just a pop — maybe even a wobbly pop (which is what I like to call a beer) and gosh darnit I’m going to buy them both with my funny looking, multi-coloured currency.
Sunday marks the finals at Wimbeldon, don’t you know, and I’ll watch as I always do, safe with the knowledge that the only thing that would make tennis cooler is if it were played on ice. I’ll sit there on my couch –not my sofa, but my couch — and because it starts early I’ll need some breakfast. But it won’t be champagne and strawberries like it is at the all-England Club. For me, it’s Tim’s, and because this is a special weekend I’ll probably visit twice on Sunday, holding a door for someone each time I do and then thanking them for the privilege of allowing me to hold it.
I’ll probably wind down for the weekend with some good music, likely the Tragically Hip, probably some Neil Young and definitely some Rush. And I’ll worry about what we don’t know about Canada another day. Because for this weekend, anyway, I’m just going to be too gosh-darn busy….being Canadian.