Dear American reader,
For far too many years, you have been made to feel embarrassed regarding your appalling lack of knowledge about Canada. All too often, the media — especially the Canadian media — have reveled in exposing your ignorance of your northern neighbor.
Well it’s time you struck back. And here’s how to do it with the following little-known facts about Canada that even most Canadians don’t know:
Maple syrup does not come from the sap of sugar maple trees. Rather, there is one huge factory in northern Ontario that produces the nation’s entire supply, made from recycled chewing gum, maple-flavored bacon and leftover Girl Guide cookies. All those maple sugar farms, sugar shacks and sugaring off parties are nothing but an elaborate hoax to attract American tourists.
Hockey is not Canada’s national sport. Nor is it lacrosse. Our national sport is, in fact, quidditch. Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling did not invent it; she was paid by the Canadian government to include it in her books to promote our game worldwide. Every Canadian town and village has a quidditch pitch. It just happens that it can also double as a hockey arena.
Canadians do not say “eh.” This is a myth that began when a German tourist mistakenly misinterpreted Canadians’ tendency to list examples in their speech as in “I really like winter because (a) it’s so beautiful, (b) it lasts so long and (c)…….”
There is no such thing as a tuque. Canadians have been having fun for ages telling Americans that we all wear knitted hats for half the year. We do, of course, but we don’t call them tuques. We were paid to make up the word by Alfred Mosher Butts, the creator of the board game Scrabble.
Ottawa is not the capital of Canada. We just like to watch you struggle when asked that question. As you have guessed all along, Toronto is our real capital. After all, why would we make some backwater, overgrown town the home of our national government?
Canada is mostly winter. We like to laugh at Americans who visit expecting snow anytime of the year. Sadly, that can be true and our mockery is just a defense mechanism to cover up the sad reality that we really do have ten months of winter and two months of tough sledding. You’ll rarely see us crying about it, however, because our tears usually turn to ice.
We are not a monarchy. Even Canadians get confused by this one but the reason Queen Elizabeth’s likeness is on our money is the result of a bet we lost with England some 200 years ago. As you have long suspected, we are governed by a president, usually one from the Trudeau family.
Not every Canadian owns a snowmobile. That’s a bit of an exaggeration; only every second Canadian owns one. After all, most snowmobiles can carry two people so having one for every citizen would be excessive and ostentatious. However, every Canadian does own a snowmobile suit.
Canadians are not polite. Yes, we like to promote this myth but it’s simply not true. You can be forgiven for thinking our constant use of the word “sorry” suggests we’re courteous to a fault but we’re not. “Sorry” is Canadian slang for “screw you.” That, and not hockey, is why so many of us have black eyes and missing teeth.
Canada does not use the metric system. That 100 you see on our highway signs really is a miles-per-hour speed limit and if any cop or Mountie tells you otherwise, just tell him “sorry.” We do use the Celsius system for temperatures, however, but only because we have a national shortage of numbers over thirty.