April 15, 2005

Other: Introduction to a Book I Want to Write.

It’s time to come clean about something. It’s a little embarrassing, what with us being neighbours for so long and all, but sooner or later, you were going to find out anyways, and at least this way, you find out from us.

So here goes.

You know how Canada is supposed to be this great big place with a small population (about 10% of the United States)? Well, that’s true. Canada’s big: really, really big. And the population is low. But that’s not the whole story. If Canada had 10% of the population of the U.S., that would mean we had 30 million people or so, and that’s just crazy! The actual population of Canada obviously isn’t thirty million. It’s actually three hundred and twenty-four.[1] We just inflated the numbers because we thought no one would bother looking.

Sorry about that.

You may be looking at an atlas if you have one[2] and saying things like, “But Canada has lots and lots of towns! And a city!” Well, sure, but we’re the ones who call them that. Toronto has an actual population of twelve. Regina? That’s Judy. Shoko and her family (Barry, Tran and their Dalmatian Speckles) are the “city” of Vancouver. And the list goes on.[3]

One of the first steps to healing the damage you’ve caused in a relationship is admitting when you’ve lied, confronting that lie, and apologising to those you’ve lied to. So here goes:

America, and (to a lesser degree) the rest of the world, we’re sorry. We’ve been living a lie, and glorifying ourselves by letting you believe it, and for that we are deeply, deeply ashamed. Now, as our relationship has gotten more and more strained and misunderstandings between our nations is perhaps at the highest in modern times, is the time for truth to wipe the slate clean. Let us try anew to reopen the lines of communication in a more honest and mutually satisfying way. Perhaps with the Great Lie gone, we can really understand each others cultures, and the people who make each of our societies work.

We understand: why should you trust us now, now that you know we’ve lied to you in such a heinous fashion? We know that trust must be earned, not demanded. And so I, as a representative[4] of this beautiful, empty land, offer this revelation and testament of what life is really like north of the 49th parallel.

Let the healing begin.

[1] Maybe 325 by the time this is published. Hi, Shoko! Hope to see your baby soon!

[2] Not that I’m saying if you don’t have one you’re stupid! It’s okay if you don’t; lots of people don’t, and I’m sure some of them are smart.

[3] Appendix A

[4] See the section on our government for how I was given this noble duty.


posted by Thursday at 4:10 pm


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