A Canadian Blogger in Virtual Texas II


Did you ever wonder what Battlestar Galactica characters would look like if drawn as Simpsons characters?

C’mon, admit it, that thought has crossed your mind! I know you!

Well, wonder no more

(link courtesy the GeekZine Blog, the same guys who were kind enough to give the Unwritten Girl a mention).

So Jack Cluth of the People’s Republic of Seabrook is taking a well deserved vacation to St. Louis until the 16th, and he’s given me some blog-sitting duties. I’m more than willing to help out. If nothing else, it gives me a chance to promote my blog and my upcoming young adult novel to a wider audience.

It still seems a little odd that a Canadian should be given this task. We are thousands of miles apart, and my knowledge of things Texas comes only from the American media. Which is to say, cowboys and tornadoes and “they grow ‘em big” and longhorns. In my travels through the American midwest, I’ve found the country to contain far more subtleties and differencies than the media gives the States credit for, and I see no reason why this shouldn’t be different for the great state of Texas. After all, Jack himself counters the stereotype of Texas right from the get-go.

Then again, I’ve found that this is a two-way street. It comes as a genuine surprise for many of my American friends and in-laws to learn that America buys more oil and gas from Canada than it does from Saudi Arabia, or that I travel almost due west instead of due south to get from Kitchener, Ontario to Omaha, Nebraska, or that South Dakota is the coldest climate that this particular Canadian has ever experienced. And Americans don’t have the advantage of having your airways flooded with Canadian programming the way Canadian airways are flooded with American programming. This is why we know so much more about you (or think we do; what we really get is the New York and Los Angeles view of America) than you do about us.

So, now that I’m speaking to an audience of hundreds of virtual Texans, I thought I’d take this opportunity to debunk a few myths you may have about Canada.

First of all, we don’t say “aboot” when we say “about”. I have not heard it among my family or friends, on all my travels across Canada (which, admittedly, leaves out western Canada). The only way you’ll hear us saying “aboot” is when we’re talking about footwear.

And, for the record, most of your cold air doesn’t come from up here. You have to wonder where the cold air up here comes from, and the answer to that is Siberia. So, if you want to blame a major snowfall on somebody, blame the Russians. It seems more appropriate in any event.

We don’t all speak French (more’s the pity). If you end up lost on the streets of Toronto, French won’t help you. French won’t help you if you’re in a car lost on the streets of Montreal, either, even though French is spoken everywhere there. Your first mistake was attempting to drive in Montreal, but be sure to check out Schwart’z if you are in the city. Best smoked meat anywhere.

And, finally, here’s a request for you Texas readers. I try to make it a point of, wherever I go, sampling the local cuisine, with a special emphasis on the specialty sandwich. It sure beats going to an exotic location and settling for the familiar golden arches of home. I’ve had fantastic beef briscuit in Iowa, and I’ve sampled the Maid Rite loose beef in Illinois. I’ve had Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue in Kansas City, and I hope one day to try a good Omaha steak.

If I’m ever lucky enough to find myself in Texas, what is your favourite sandwich and your favourite place to eat one? Trust me, I will be adding all recommendations to my list.

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