I am thrilled that Clay Morgan is guest posting here today. He is a very hot commodity. In the past two weeks, he’s landed an agent, been Freshly Pressed (featured on WordPress’s homepage), spoken at a large conference, and been a star at Muckfest (see photos below, except the alligator one).
You’ve seen his name around here before. He’s one of my best blogging buddies and biggest supporters. He was my co-conspirator in the SearchBomb craze (stay tuned for SearchBomb 2.0, by the way). He’s funny, he’s kind, and I’m proud to call him my friend.
But he’s not Canadian.
So his writing occasionally lacks the letter “u”, Scout’s honor honour. Still, when his book hits the shelf, I’ll happily send him a cheque or – if he prefers – a check.
Here’s Clay in all his hilarity. Read him. Comment. Then go to his blog, Educlaytion. It’s about pop culture, the meaning of life, and the 40 Worst Dressed Cities in America. That’s “America” as in USA (as opposed to North America). And subscribe to Educlaytion. Trust me. You don’t want to miss this train, eh?
As a highly respected well-paid college professor*, I thought I would spend my time here today painting a picture for you, dear reader, of the land of our gracious host Leanne, the one and only Ironic Mom. Yeah, more like Iconic Mom. Woot!
Ahem. Sorry, I’m just a little excited to finally be here. But I knew this day would come and the topic for this special appearance hit me like a sack of moose meat when I saw this tweet from Leanne on her recent journey home across her beloved homeland.
If you think driving across Canada for a couple days is so bad you should try spending four months in elaborate academic study of the place. That’s what happened to me last spring when one of the colleges I teach at asked me to teach Geography of U.S. and Canada.
A couple things you should know about me.
1. I never turn down an opportunity, especially when it may help pay bills.
2. As a history undergrad I once failed college geography.
I justify this failure by pointing out that the girl teaching the course was one of the worst people to ever attempt college teaching. Please also note my seething hatred for the study of dirt and topography.
I love the places of the world but could care less about the acid content of soil. I barely passed biology, people, and that’s the study of my own life. So when I saw the textbook I was supposed to teach from, nay even understand, I puked on the soil in front of me. I believe that made it more acidic.
Then I realized that Canada has given us some positives for sure dontcha know. My overview Powerpoint on the country included, and I am not making this up, six pictures of Pittsburgh Penguins. Special thanks to Montreal for giving us Mario Lemieux, eh?
So in return I’d like to pay tribute to our neighbors to the north, specifically the part where a fab and funny Canadian blogger finds her inspiration. You’ll soon see why she’s a “humour” writer.
The following are actual facts as I understood them during my elaborate preparation for the single most tiresome class I’ve ever been asked to teach. This preparation included forcing myself to outline the most boring textbook ever written by a human.
1. The word Canada comes from the ancient Algonquian term Kanata which stands for “we mostly just have trees.”
2. Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world. This is one of the reasons why those Canucks act like they’re so important even though most of the junk in Canada’s trunk is barren wasteland.
3. The national symbol is a leaf. Just one leaf. Apparently the Canadian founders shared a loathing of craft time with Leanne. The planning session for the flag must’ve consisted of looking up at a tree.
4. There are lots of trees in Canada. Nearly half of the country is covered in those things. In fact, they have about 1/10th of the entire world’s forest. The truth is that they don’t even like maple syrup; they just eat it on everything in hopes of not drowning in the stuff.
5. Literally half of Canada is frozen all the time and the rest is frozen half the time. Umbilical cords are cut with ice skates so new mothers and children can practice figure eights and triple salchows on the way home from the hospital.
6. Canada has 10 provinces, 3 territories, and 1 self-loathing region that wants to secede.
7. Leanne hails from the Western Interior or Prairie Provinces, currently Alberta (motto: You’ll love us once the zombies come) which was named for legendary Inuit R & B singer Alberta Flack.
8. The largest city in Alberta is Calgary, home of a hockey team called the Flames. The team founder named them this out of desperation to be warm for once.
9. Sadly, I can find no important Pittsburgh Penguins born in Alberta. Bryan Trottier is important, but he’s from neighboring Saskatchewan.
10. The letters in Saskatchewan can be rearranged to spell “neat hacksaws.”
11. “Saskatchewan Bryan Trottier” can be rearranged to spell “Snotty brainwasher attacker.”
12. Alberta produces nearly 9/10ths of all the natural gas in Canada. Insert your own punch line here. These jokes write themselves, folks.
13. What Americans call the Plains, Canadians refer to as the Prairies. No certainty on what exactly they’re praying for, but it may be death once winter hits.
14. The climate of Leanne’s region is volatile with hot summers and bitter winters. Their version of Old Man Winter has been known to wield both a cane and shotgun. Residents are encouraged to bathe in superglue year round so as to avoid the destruction of all their skin.
15. The Prairies contain great farmland, very bountiful. I suppose this has something to do with all that great soil! (*crushes and snorts valium*)
16. Just for extra kicks, this region gets pounded by more hail than any other part of North America. Many school children have been known to carry pitching wedges to the bus** stop so as to take advantage of the predictable precipitation by practicing their short game.
*I didn’t say I was a good college professor.
**Canadian buses are actually just zambonis.
What’s your favorite thing about Canada (besides the soil)?