& occasionally about other things, too...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

How to Be a Canadian

How to Be a CanadianIn my efforts to become a Canadian, I've been serious, earnest, dedicated, studious and acquired a whole lot of other qualities that I didn't really think were of any use to me.

In addition, I did a whole lot of things that would turn me into a Canadian.


After two years and more of being at it, I was fairly certain that I was well on my way to being a Canadian.


Then, my son gently broke the sad news that I’m nowhere near being a Canadian. According to him, I’ll never be a Canadian because I speak English like
Russell Peters’ father – with a pronounced Indian accent. And he mimicked Peters' famous, "hodog" line.

So, I finally decided to call off my efforts at becoming Canadian because I was pretty much sure I could never succeed.

Just then, I got hold of Brothers Ferguson’s How to Be a Canadian. The brothers – Will and Ian – have written a book that is serious education. In one week, I now know everything that I need to know to become a Canadian.

Of course, the book doesn’t teach me the accent, but short of that, it’s indeed a ready guide to all things Canadian – How to talk like a Canadian, How to watch TV like a Canadian, How to eat like a Canadian, so on and so forth.

While reading the guide, I got this feeling that everything had been written in a sort of larger than life, hyperbolic style. 

Having lived in Toronto since 2008 and being constantly engaged in trying to learn yet another way to become a Canadian, I have become extremely serious and I realise I've  lost my sense of humour, somewhat.

I’m not alone. The constant need to be politically correct in a multicultural society deprives most Canadians of a sense of humour and the ability to laugh, a stray Russell Peters notwithstanding.

It was towards the end of the guide, when I came across the following passage that I was really confused and asked my son. He took one look at the cover and said, it a funny book, father. You're supposed to read it to enjoy and laugh.

Well, I'll be damned. Anyways, Here's passage. And, now that I realise the book is humourous, I'll read it again.

Chart: Clip ‘n’ Save

A Handy Chart for Aspiring Novelists (Or, How to Get a Cozy Review)

Plot: No

Cryptic dialogue:
Yes

Cryptic dialogue hinting at a dark past betrayal:
Yes

Was it incest?
Probably.

Female character as empowered victim:
Yes.

Healing:
Yes, but only at the end.

Humour:
No.

Irony:
Yes.

Characters who spend most of their time remembering things that happened to them before the book actually started:
Yes.

Isn’t the concept of an “empowered victim” an oxymoron?
 
 Shhh.

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