Be aware of the dangers of having Canadian friends

imageI have several good blogger friends who are Canadians. I realize that many of you are now slowly shaking your head with that “I told you so” expression.

But I really try not to judge people or their cultures, no matter how strange or foreign they seem to me.

For the record, I have friends from southern California, too.

But let’s get back to Canada, where my friend and humour (see how I spelled that?) blogger Randall Willis resides. In Toronto, Ontario actually. I’d give you his exact address but it resembles the coordinates for a Space Shuttle landing. I’m not sure why Canadians use all those numbers and letters, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the metric system. All I know is it would take me longer to put the address into my car’s GPS system than it would to drive aimlessly until I found him by accident. 

Anyway, a few weeks ago we decided to have a gift exchange of sorts; I sent him a copy of my book in exchange for a “Canadian care package.” I say a few weeks ago because, as I mentioned, it was for Christmas, and would take me a week just to write the address on the package. After three ink pens and approximately nine feet of numbers and letters wrapped around a 6×6-inch package [I’ll say it for you: “That’s what she said!”], I sent my gift on its way.

A week later,  I got this…

I'm pretty sure I'm on the Homeland Security radar now. Thanks, Randall...
I’m pretty sure I’m on the Homeland Security radar now. Thanks, Randall…

My package was returned with a scary “finger-pointing” sticker, a big circle with a red line drawn through a package, and a notice asking for Customs Forms. Despite being a syndicated columnist, I have managed to live my life in relative anonymity in regards to any government agencies not having to do with liquor or voting — which, I should mention, will likely go hand-in-hand for many Americans during the next presidential election. But thanks to my Canadian friend, I’m pretty sure there’s a file with my name on it sitting on the desk of a disgruntled FBI agent with a dislike of humor columnists.

Still, I filled out the proper paperwork and resent my package to Randall even though I’m pretty sure someone was following me.

Today, I received a large package with a return address that appeared to be a mathmatical equation for infinity.

“Randall’s completely harmless and non-terrorist package has arrived from our neighboring ally country of Canada!” I said loud enough for any spies to hear. I then read the address out loud figuring anyone listening would either fall asleep or tune out after the first 10 minutes.

I opened the package and began removing its contents…

It seemed harmless enough
It seemed harmless enough

That’s when I suddenly became aware of another danger associated with having Canadian friends…

Note: One size fits all,even if it's metric!
Note: One size fits all, even if it’s metric!

Their love of hockey…

I have to admit, there is a likeness. At least around the hockey stick.
I have to admit, there is a likeness. At least around the hockey stick.


If not formy understanding of proper punctuation, Imght've been worries I had Marlie's scarf.
If not for my understanding of proper punctuation, I might’ve been worried I had Marlie’s scarf.

The more items I pulled out of that package, the more I realized the danger I was in…

Talk about big things in tiny packages! [If my wife is reading this, please remain silent]
Talk about big things in tiny packages! [If my wife is reading this, please do not comment]
… of slowly becoming

A pen hockey stick! Those Canadians have EVERYTHING!
A pen hockey stick! Those Canadians have EVERYTHING!

A Canadian hockey fan.

This should help me stay under the radar.
This should help me stay under the radar.

So for those of you who may be contemplating having one or more Canadian friends like my friend Randall, keep in mind it will likely draw a few stares. Possibly even some unwanted attention from Homeland Security. But don’t let that keep you from reaching across the border.

Just keep in mind they may hand you a hockey stick.


And thank you so much, my friend…




He is also now a Toronto Marlies hockey fan

Published by

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...

60 thoughts on “Be aware of the dangers of having Canadian friends”

  1. Um. I may have bad news.I believe that once you have donned the toque, not only are you inducted into the fan club, but you also become a fully fledged Canadian citizen… :p

  2. We Canadians who live in smaller towns have a much easier time sending and receiving mail. My brother used to send mail to me when he lived in Vancouver addressed with just my nickname, town and postal code and it got to me every time. (and not all of us love hockey, eh!)

  3. Hmmmm…all I’ve gotten from a Canadian friend is a few cards (that she made herself) and the joy in making fun of the way she says “out.” Perhaps I need higher expectations.

      1. We have been sued by those who have stepped on lego products and they have been hit by a ton of bricks. By the way the restaurant at the hotel is called Bricks.

  4. We Canadians are secretive buggers when it comes to our address. Always keep them guessing is our motto!

    Good to see you all decked out in Blue. Randall knows his hockey!

  5. Get your Canadian blogging friend to come down here to visit, and then take him around to your favorite spots. That’s how I get even with (um, I mean, reciprocate) my Canadian blogging friends. Good fun, eh?

      1. You made me nervous for just a moment. I thought you were going to say you throw that trash at Buffalo, where I’m located. Throwing it at Cleveland is perfectly OK by me.

        (BTW, the QEW also scares the heck out of me, which is why my Canadian friend has to come visit me instead of the other way around. But then he’s not overly thrilled with the NYS Thruway.)

        1. Most of my American friends…met all over the country…come from Buffalo. The only town to be on fire every freaking night of my childhood (thanks, Irv Weinstein).

          On the hockey front, love the rivalry of the Marlies and the Rochester Americans…class organization.

  6. What hockey? That’s Canadian camouflage for after election day when you need to sneak your family across the Northern border.

    PS Still waiting for that book…or as we spell it, boouk.

  7. A family friend from Florida, while visiting my humble Canadian abode, got quite upset that she had been given fake money at a store (she assumed it was fake because there was a picture of a bunch of kids playing hockey on the back of the bill). I then explained that it wasn’t fake, we just really like our hockey.
    As an aside, what can you expect from a country that has loonies and toonies for currency?

    1. I’ve always thought our money looked a little stuffy. I’d like to see Jonathan Winters on our $10 bill. Of course with your metric currency, you have twice as many options…

  8. Lol, I live in Toronto. My husband is a die-hard leaf fan. Whenever we travel on vacation, he wears his leaf baseball cap. He’s taken lots of ridicule (in jest) for having the nerve to wear leafs publicly lol, they are so bad, but the most expensive tickets of any other team in the league. And, oh, btw, I don’t know where your friends live, but we have street names, not numbers, with a house or apartment number. I find much of the US is full of numbers like: 384093048578 North 485th St. LOL

  9. You look MAHVELOUS in blue, my friend. A lucky thing, eh? (See what I did there?) 😀 Hooray for friends, unusual gifts and all! Please wear ALL of the above when you come to Florida!


      1. My husband says I keep the a/c cranked down so low, you could hang sides of beef in our living room, so if you stop by to see ME while here, you’ll be safe. I can’t guarantee more than that, though. We are expecting 90 degrees tomorrow. No Christmas fire in the morning. 😦 But, hey. At least the roof won’t cave in from the weight of the snow piled on top. (You have to look at the bright side.)

        Merry Christmas to you, too, Ned. And to your whole family, as well.

        1. Perfect, Marcia! When I get to Florida I will be taking a refrigerated truck directly to your home 😉 I’ll bring some beef with me!

          And Merry, Merry (that’s twice the merry) Christmas to you and your family too, Marcia!

  10. Cool! Glasnost! (I hope I spelled and used that word correctly). Back when my hubby was on a ship, working for Uncle Sam, he was off the coast of the USSR (Cold War time) and threw a few bottles with notes in them overboard. A fellow found one and wrote the hubster a letter. The letter was intercepted and delivered to hubby by the NIS (Naval Investigative Service). Something about the return address (the guy must have used his work address: he was a government scientist there in the USSR) alerted authorities. Hubby opened the letter in front of the NIS agents. All was well. When he wrote back to Oleg, the KGB got ahold of the letter and asked Oleg what it was about. Apparently the return address involved USNS and an APO. Years later, after the end of the Cold War, we finally met Oleg in California. We’ve since lost touch.

  11. omg Ned, my big brother emigrated to Canada yesterday. Yes, emigrated from good ol’ England to live in an isolated, empty, frozen habitat (well, seems like that in comparison to this wet country). Any advice on how to handle him when he ‘goes native’?

    1. I’d obviously suggest lots of hockey gear, mostly for the warmth. Also adding the letter “u” to words like “humour,” “colour” and “The Commodours.” I think he’ll be happy there nonetheless, and when the rest of the world runs out of maple syrup for their waffles, he’ll be happy he made the move.

No one is watching, I swear...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s