How’s it goin’, eh?
(I’m sorry, that was tacky. I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot by reinforcing comedic stereotypes impressed on me when I was but a lad. But those Mackenzie brothers sure were funny.)
As you well know, our national elections here in the United States have secured us another four years of the Bush administration. I’m not ashamed to admit I voted for the President. So did a majority of my fellow Missourians, which has led to us being slapped with the label of “red state,” which is considered a sobriquet of scorn by those in the “blue states.” I think that all these people obsessed with labels need to read that Dr. Seuss book about the star-bellied sneeches, but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, a vocal number of those blue staters have been whingeing about the outcome of the election, and they threaten, to anyone within earshot, to move to Canada out of protest.
Hey, Canada; you’re our friend. We don’t want your beautiful country and friendly citizens bespoilt by a bunch of cranky Americans with a tendency to up and walk away when things don’t go their way! And I’m pretty sure you don’t want ‘em, either.
No, I’ve got a better idea.
I think you should annex us. Well, part of us. The middle bit, where I am.
You see, we Americans here in the middle of the country are getting a bum deal. The coasties ridicule us as simple, stupid, unlearned and unskilled. Honestly, I think some people believe that everything east of I-5 and west of I-95 is farmland. “Flyover country,” they call us.
Hey, Alberta -- you can relate, right? Manitoba, when was the last time the folks back in Toronto gave you any respect?
The way I see it, you could just swoop right on in and take over the middle two thirds of the United States, and no one on either coast would give a damn. And they can get on with reshaping America as a nation of, for and by the cities of New York and Los Angeles.
What’s in it for us? Well, besides the obvious draw of some of the most beautiful territory on earth, you’ve got self-respect, a social tolerance that isn’t pushy, and -- most important -- the ambivalence of most of the rest of the world. That’s really attractive to us. Because, y’know, we just want to live our lives, unhassled by international indignation over issues that are decided by all those yahoos in Washington, not the hard-working men and women of Iowa or Louisiana. We want to ply our trades, create our arts, raise our families, and that’s about it. Of course, with the exchange rate between our dollar and yours still pretty attractive, we’d all get a nice boost in the bank account. That ain’t a bad thing.
But more importantly, what’s in it for you? Why should you suddenly embrace tens of millions of new citizens and millions of square miles of infrastructure?
We’ll get hockey back for all of us.
As the only nation on the continent that respects the game, Canada deserves to be hosting the “national” hockey league. Let Gary Bettman -- from Queens, NY! -- do that cranky coast thing. When you get Minneapolis, St. Louis, Detroit and Milwaukee into your borders, you’ll have some outstanding hockey towns. We’ll raise up a new league and leave those tropical teams (Los Angeles?! Tampa?!) to their bling bling and their lockout. Besides, real hockey players don't count wealth by the number of Hummers they have, but by the number of teeth they've had replaced.
Let's see, what else? You can gobble us up all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, which means you'd get warm water ports. I'd even go so far as to invite you to snap up Florida. This is the ideal time of year for such a move, since visiting Canadians outnumber native Floridians 2-1 during the winter months.
All those Acadiens in Louisiana can finally hook up on a regular basis with their distant relatives in Quebec. Po'boys and poutine, together at last. We'll dump McDonald's in favor of Harvey's, and every Wendy's will get a Tim Horton's, because sometimes you need a burger AND a donut.
Now, and I apologize for this, we wouldn't be soon-to-be-ex-Americans if we didn't have a couple of minor demands. But we think they're not unreasonable.
First, if those California types are going to keep coming up to Vancouver to film, we think they should pay more for the privilege. What does it say about BC if every cheesy direct-to-video schlockfest and low-budget syndicated action series is filmed at Stanley Park or the UBC campus? If they're going to put THEIR crap on OUR streets, they should pay quite a bit for the privilege. And let's pump that money into the Canadian film industry. Oh, and get Kiefer and Garber and Shatner back on Canadian TV, while we're at it!
Second, please disavow Avril Lavigne. Her name's really cool, but -- and I'm sure she'd disagree -- she's just the Canadian Lindsay Lohan. Please stop her now, before she announces that "all this music stuff is deep in my heart, but what I really want to do is act!"
And hey, that's all. Anything else you want, you got it. We'll stop calling it "macaroni and cheese" and start calling it "Kraft dinner." We'll drop our dollar bills for loonies and twoonies.
And we'll even, if perhaps with a wistful sigh, drop the Stars and Stripes in favor of the Maple Leaf. The way I see it, your flag is already red and white; all we're giving up is the blue part. That's only fair, as the blue part has already given up on us.
think aboot consider our offer. We'll keep our roads cleared, we'll have fresh, hot coffee at all the rest stops, and we'll make sure the National Guard doesn't get all anxious when all those Mounties come bounding across the border. And just to prove we're serious, we admit that we're the ones behind the Expos deal falling apart in DC.
Thanks from the soon-to-be Province of Missouri,
If the media is the eye on the world, Russ Carr is the finger in that eye. Tune in each month to see him dispersing the smoke and smashing the mirrors of modern mass communication. The world lost Russ on 2/7/12, but he lives on.
ABOUT RUSS CARR
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
12.20.04 @ 9:35a
Ooo! Don't forget repeated watchings of Due South!
F--- the coasties.
12.20.04 @ 11:22a
I have no problem with this plan.
I've often thought that the coasts should form their own country anyway.
'Course I've also thought that New York City and Westchester County should form their own state, so maybe I'm just about the divisions.
12.20.04 @ 1:02p
The only problem I have with this is that it's really going to screw a lot of cross-border shopping.
Other than that it sounds great.
Canada, I hear, has been working on annexing some Carribean Islands. That's when I'm officially applying for my citizenship and moving.
12.20.04 @ 1:13p
I sent a link to the CBC and the Foreign Minister's office. Still waiting to hear back...
12.20.04 @ 2:04p
Plead your case to Texas too. They're always looking to expand the Republic.
12.20.04 @ 3:20p
Wait... There's something between the left and right coasts? Hmph!
12.20.04 @ 9:58p
Aside from the fact I live in New Jersey, my only other problem with your plan is that you're abandoning George W. Bush to those of us unfortunate enough to remain. Most of those you would leave here didn't vote for Bush, don't believe in him or his cockamamie plans for war, social security, definitions of marriage, or even his eventual rise to become Emperor of the New World Order.
If you go, TAKE BUSH WITH YOU! If you dump him on us, we blue staters will fight you. In fact, we want No Politician Left Behind. Take 'em all. We can start over with a clear slate. Oh, and take Arnuld with you. We do not want a hack action movie star flip flopping all over our new Republic Of The Blue.
12.22.04 @ 9:43p
I'm totally on board with this, it's a win-win. Canada's average IQ will be boosted, and America's will be dropped to match the worlds' perception. ;-)
In fact, we want No Politician Left Behind.
Fat chance. You get Pelosi. And Hillary. And that idiot Rangel.