Being Canadian for a day could lead to a strained Molson muscle

Since the speed limit is 120 mph in Canada, sneaking Kraft Mac & Cheese into Alberta should be a breeze.
Since the speed limit is 120 mph in Canada, sneaking Kraft Mac & Cheese into Alberta should be a breeze.
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 Nadya Suleman’s reproductive system, I have been offered an official Canadian citizenship starting at 12 a.m. on Jan. 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 a friend at 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 him 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 kilograms.

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, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR. 97439.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

14 thoughts on “Being Canadian for a day could lead to a strained Molson muscle”

  1. As a full time Canadian citizen, (which is only 23 hours a day, not 24 due to the longitude of Canada) I have to admit that the whole mention of the Queen asking for my safe passage through said country makes me feel entitled and I like it.

    1. Wow! That’s impressive. The closest I ever came to something like that was when some guy in drag asked if I needed directions while visiting San Francisco. You’ve totally got me beat 🙂

    1. It’s funny, when I first started writing my column about 10 years ago, people kept telling me I reminded them of Dave Barry. I’d never heard of him, so eventually I looked him up and realized they were right — so thanks 🙂 He’s a funny guy. And older, which I really appreciate…

    1. Hahah! Thanks so much 🙂 I basically said the same thing to my wife, except with an emphasis on the “no” part. Still not exactly sure what poutine is, but it definitely sounds like grounds for a divorce if I have any.

      1. Since I am half French, I am supposed to like this stuff, but it’s really very bad. It’s essentially fried potatoes with cheese curds and gravy. Gross. 😦 Don’t eat it unless you’re in terribly great danger of insulting a sweet little old lady! Oh and btw, poutine isn’t really an Alberta thing. They can do a great steak – cow or bison. Yum!

        1. Poutine sounds like most of the food I had living in Georgia — everything has gravy and potatoes. The cheese curds just makes it fancy 😉 Thanks for the tip on the bison. Maybe with a side of poutine! 🙂

  2. Welcome (temporarily) to the team, Monsieur Ned. A quick word to the wise (arse). Be prepared to lose a bit of your Yankee dollar on the exchange rate as the Canuck buck (or loonie) is worth a tad more than your greenback at the moment. Oh, and also try to get your citizenship on a Friday so you can enter the Lotto Max lottery, cause if you win you won’t have to pay taxes on the windfall and the prize is at it’s very least 10 million of those Canuck bucks.

    1. Wow! Thanks for the tips! Let me see… 1) Get citizenship on Friday, 2) lose money on dollar exchange, 3) buy Lotto Max ticket, and 4) retire a multi-millionaire. Man, I LOVE Canada!

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