Don’t get me wrong-I love the good old U-S-of-A. It’s my home and I feel lucky to have been born here. I’m not proud to be an American, as in the words of that dumbass song that all the flag-waving dimwits love so much-I save my pride for choices I’ve made and my U.S. citizenship is nothing more than biological dumb luck-but I’m glad as hell I’m an American. Having said all that, I’m thinking Canada wouldn’t be such a bad place to live either.
Not that I’ve always felt that way. During the Vietnam War, I was another frightened high school kid looking over my shoulder at the possibility of being drafted into the army to fight those commie bastards. As graduation day approached, I considered my options: Willingly accept my fate and risk my life for some made up, bullshit cause (our leaders specialize in sacrificing other people’s children for made up, bullshit causes); get my school-hating, scared ass into college; run away to Canada. Luckily, I never had to worry about any of that because I ended up with a high draft lottery number.
But had my number been called, I still don’t know what I would have done. The idea of being turned into a lean, mean, fightin’ machine by the military wasn’t terribly appealing considering I oppose engaging in anything more dangerous than group sex. A successful college career would have required lots of studying and reading about crap I didn’t care about-another thing to which I was fiercely opposed. And Canada? That would have meant leaving my family, friends, and everything I had ever known for a strange land full of snow and two official languages-one I couldn’t understand and the other one French. Worst of all, I could never return home.
Over the years, my feelings about Canada have changed and watching the Winter Olympics the past couple of weeks has influenced my feelings even more. Vancouver looks like a beautiful city-in fact The Economist recently ranked it number one on a list of the World’s Top Ten Most Livable Cities. Two other Canadian towns-Toronto and Calgary-were fourth and fifth on a list lacking a single U.S. city (what, they’ve never been to Detroit?). Then there’s hockey, which is my second favorite sport behind baseball. Hockey is only the fourth most popular team sport in the U.S. mainly due to the fact that it is a Canadian game and arrogant Americans tend to have problems with anything that didn’t originate here. “What, not American? Screw it. It can’t be good.” Just look at our distaste for the concept of free medical care to all of our citizens-something our friends up north take for granted. If someone isn’t making tons of money off it, “Well it just ain’t American. It’s socialism!”
The Olympics also helped me develop a love for another casualty of “Amerigance,” the game of curling. I have to admit, some of my love for curling has to do with my fondness for the unusually high number of hot looking ladies who play the sport. But no matter the reason, I’m one American who isn’t ashamed to admit I enjoy the sliding rock and the sweeping brooms. Hockey, curling, and national healthcare! Aside from the climate, what more could I want?
Ah yes, the climate! That is a problem. If the Earth’s poles were reversed and Canada had the warmth of Mexico, I’d be there in a heartbeat. The older I get, the more I hate winter and the thought of living somewhere colder and snowier than my hometown of Chicago is about as appealing as a dinner date with the cast of Jersey Shore. But if the poles were indeed reversed and Canada was to our south, there would be no frozen ponds on which youngsters would learn to skate. And so hockey may never have been invented, because we’d have to rely on Mexico to come up with North America’s winter sports. And let’s face it, can you picture a Mexican, complete with a serape and sombrero, chasing a puck on ice skates?
Why not just move to the warmer weather of Mexico then? Well, first off there’s the danger of getting trampled by the millions of people fleeing that country to get into America where they hope to find a better life. Sure, Mexico has a warmer climate, but it also has widespread poverty, corrupt government (worse than ours), lots of flies, a vicious and powerful drug cartel, and water that’ll magically turn your insides to liquid goo. Plus, there are those obnoxious American spring-breakers you have to deal with each year. Canada, on the other hand, has a much more stable economy, jobs, healthcare, ice, pucks, Canadian bacon, Labatt’s Beer and Elisha Cuthbert. The only real danger is being shot by some dumbass hoser who’s mistaken you for a moose. Look at it this way: How many Canadian illegal aliens do you know?
But, of course, I’ll never leave. I’m an American. As disgusted as I get with our government, arrogance, and screwed up priorities, this is home and I love it despite all of its faults. Besides, it’s way too cold north of the border and way too scary south of the Mason-Dixon Line. So I’ll just stay here and dream of a better America…
…and those hot looking lady curlers.