Today we will be talking about Canada.
Because aside from the many similarities we share with Canadians, such as celebrating our independence day the very same weekend, and our historic bi-lateral agreement banning any future above-ground testing of Michael Jackson’s reproductive system, I have been offered an official Canadian citizenship starting at 12:00 a.m. on July 1.
OK, so my citizenship will only last 24 hours.
Possibly less, depending on how I pronounce the word “Poutine” (which, from what I understand, is a French word meaning “clogged artery”). However, if all goes well, I will get to spend an entire day as a real Canadian, eating nothing but Tim Horton’s Donuts, chewing purple gum that tastes like soap, and stretching my Molson muscle (which I swear only sounds inappropriate for a family newspaper.)
Undoubtedly there are readers in the U.S. who are surprised, possibly even outraged, by my willingness to become a Canadian citizen. Rest assured this decision came after many hours of soul searching, and the realization that with my free Canadian health coverage — and access to a high performance vehicle — I could potentially see more medical specialists in 24 hours than I’ve seen in the past 15 years on my HMO. I could use a different dermatologist for each mole on my body! This is a vast improvement over my current health plan, which only covers moles large enough to be claimed as a dependent.
And even then, only until it reaches age 18.
You may be wondering how the offer of a 24-hour citizenship came aboot (That’s not a typo; it’s Canadian phonetics). As much as I’d like to tell you it’s a direct result of the impact my column has had on the Canadian people, the truth is it has more to do with Rob Gilgan, editor and publisher of the Rimbey Review in Alberta, who offered me this one-day citizenship. This is in exchange for a monthly shipment of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese from the U.S. which, by not being subject to Canada’s “Goods and Services Tax,” will save Rob an estimated $3,000 a year.
At least in U.S. dollars.
I’m not sure what that equals in Canadian currency because it’s measured in millimeters.
Or some type of denomination meant to confuse U.S. tourists — thousands of whom are arrested each year for driving 120 mph through downtown Edmonton. These are the same people who arrive in Alberta in late July dressed in polar fleece because they think there’s a 50-degree temperature drop between the U.S. and Canadian border.
To be honest, free medical coverage wasn’t my only motivation for becoming a Canadian citizen. I’m more interested in seeing attractions like the giant Ukrainian Easter egg in Vegreville, Alberta, which stands an amazing nine meters tall! According to my calculations, if this were an actual egg, it would have to be laid by a chicken roughly the size of Rita McNeil.
Or, in standard U.S. measurements, 1-in-5 people leaving McDonald’s.
As you can tell, I’m excited about my 24-hour Canadian citizenship. To make the most of it I plan to see as much of Alberta as possible, beginning with a quick trip through Edmonton, and continuing on to Rimbey and Vegreville.
Of course, that’s assuming I don’t get arrested for speeding, or worse — get hospitalized by a non-French-speaking woman after striking up a conversation about her “Poutine.”
Hey, at least I’ll have health coverage.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439.)