It’s red and white (and blue) week this week, what with Canada Day and Independence Day just three days apart. Being a (pseudo) Canadian is a really perplexing thing – why is it so similar to America? The money is pretty much the same, the chain restaurants and shops are the same, they even have Thanksgiving (a month earlier, mind you) and a faux Independence Day’, though as Jason loves to point out: they’re not independent.
I flew to Montreal in the fall of 2000 (this is PRE 9-11, I should add). I had the audacity to fly without a passport. My rationale was that if one could drive across the Canadian border by simply showing a driver’s license, why should flying be any different? I tried to explain this to the customs officer who detained me. (Apparently I have a history of problems with customs officers.) ‘You wouldn’t fly to Paris without a passport, would you?’ the officer asked, dumbfounded at my stupidity. ‘Well, no,’ I wanted to say. ‘Because France is clearly a different country. Canada is only sort of a different country.’ But those are the kinds of responses that get you in trouble. So I just tried to look sincerely sorry and sincerely disinterested in ever defecting to Canada. And, luckily, I was released to enjoy a girls’ weekend with my mom and sister. Lesson learned.
So, as I was driving along the streets of Canada the other day, reflecting on the whole Canada Day-Independence Day conundrum, it occurred to me that I probably won’t hear the personification-of-Independence-Day song ‘God Bless the USA’ (or is it called Proud to be an American) this year. Which, despite having fond memories of singing as a fresh immigrant in 7th grade choir conducted by the very patriotic Miss Carolus, I’m not necessarily attached to. But it’s still a fact worth noting.
Thus, in honor of this week of patriotic celebrations, I’ve created my own version of the infamous chorus. Eschewing patriotic references. Because much as I love America and Canada, I’m not one for wearing flag t-shirts, or dressing up in red, white (and blue). Or putting little flags on my toenails for a patriotic pedicure.
It’s not of the same calibre as some of my other truly outstanding songs, in fact it may be the worst one yet, but I put it together in about 3 minutes. And it focuses on something we can all get behind – whether Canadian or American – dessert.
And I’m proud to be a North American
where at least the sweets roam free
there is pie and cake with whip-ped cream
e’en for those with a gluten allergy
and i’ll gladly stand up, next to you
for a second helping, too
cuz there ain’t no doubt i love pastry
God bless this continent