A lot of people ask me the difference between Canadians and Americans. Well, first the facts: our country’s larger, our population’s smaller, Canadian men liked wearing clogs in the ’70s and we’ve never considered testing the viscosity of spray cheese in space a worthwhile scientific endeavour.
I noticed while working abroad that colleagues soon began substituting American with North American in conversation. Such gestures are certainly appreciated but only serve to remind Canadians that while Americans have fifty states, we have only one: self-consciousness. Every Canadian feels guilty knowing their new co-workers are constantly bricking it lest they should inadvertently refer to us as American, a situation which can only ever lead to our greatest export: the apology. We’re famous for apologizing – we even apologize for it. I recognize that, even close up, we look and sound like our U.S. counterparts to most people. The differences are subtle, even to us sometimes. It is, however, my belief that the best way to differentiate between our two cultures is to study America’s greatest cultural icon: Barbie.
America has Malibu Barbie who likes strolling along the beach with the ocean breeze in her hair… Canada has Seal Hunt Barbie who is a crack shot.
Malibu Barbie drives a Dream Camper Van with built-in kitchen and fold-out tent… Ice Road Trucker Barbie cooks roadkill under the hood and homeschools three kids in her sleeper cab.
Prom Queen Barbie comes with her very own makeup and accessories table… Lumberjack Barbie’s sporting a Leafs toque in her wedding photos.
American Barbie hails from Wisconsin, studied in New York and now lives with her parents and younger sisters in California… Canadian Barbie was taken into care after her parents became addicted to online bingo and were caught trying to sell their own kidneys on ebay.
American Barbie dates long-term boyfriend, Ken… Canadian Barbie’s best friend is an orphaned bear cub whose mother was shot dead by two tourists up from Oregon for the weekend.
American Barbie is cosmopolitan and culturally sensitive… Yukon Barbie saw her first Sikh last week and asked him for three wishes.
American Barbie is a role model for her millions of followers on the internet… Canadian Barbie is completely unaware that a video of her bathing in what she thought was a secluded watering hole has placed her in Pornhub’s Top Ten.
Vegetarian Barbie only buys food from locally sourced producers… Marijuana Farm Barbie patrols the perimeter of her property in a JLTV.
American Barbie spent a fun-filled New Year’s Eve with Ken in Times Square… Canadian Barbie pointed out Ursa Major in the night sky to her orphaned bear cub – and apologized.