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May 09 2014

Beware the wrath of Canadians

37 comments

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  1. 1
    opposablethumbs

    Canada sounds really rather nice. As a Brit I’d worry that maybe I was too rude for them … (on the other hand, there’s always constructive acerbity. Many Canadian Pharyngulites are a bit good at that, so I’m thinking that may be a thing) :-)

  2. 2
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    I watch a lot of John Green, and every time he makes fun of Canadians, he states that it’s fine because they’ll laugh along with him, they’re the nicest people, and he’s only jealous because they have free healthcare.

  3. 3
    Steve LaBonne

    Maybe if they were a bit less polite they’d hang up Stephen fucking Harper by his thumbs, and North America would be a better place. (Of course we let Bush and Cheney run around loose so I guess we’re in no position to talk…)

  4. 4
    sigurd jorsalfar

    That’s just Rob Ford making amends as part of his 12 step program.

  5. 5
    frugaltoque

    You should check the paper the following day.
    I’m sure the other guy will apologize for honking his horn too harshly.
    I mean, really. A little decorum.

  6. 6
    gardengnome

    In Australia ‘beeping’ at someone in the wrong will just get you two fingers… And besides, it’s illegal!

  7. 7
    plainenglish

    Steve Labonne@3: Have a little respect. Fucking is spelled with a capital F. The Right Honorable Stephen Fucking Harper. (and lately Fucking is to be italicized and bolded)
    And opposablethumbs@1: I can no longer publish any apologies as my local paper has shut down here. So I shall not properly respond to your ‘quite nice, a bit’…..Brit way of speaking. I know many Brits and most of them here in Canada say that they they did not enjoy the British fashion of getting angry by becoming constipated, that it seemed hard and too extreme. They would get truly pissed at someone on the tube, go home and eat laxatives. I just don’t get that… And of Canada where regular Brits settle finally, they all say, It’s quite nice here in Canada and you are a bit good at things, you know. (You could belong here, opposablethumbs. We have proper toilets now that many of you have decided to, well, relax over here.)

  8. 8
    plainenglish

    opposablethumbs:
    Oh, and do you remember that great Ex-lax commercial, performed with a lovely Brit accent?
    Ex-lax… only in Canada, you say? PITY! ;-)

  9. 9
    ambassadorfromverdammt

    Yes, we have flushable toilets now, but they are only available when the sewer lines are not frozen solid.

  10. 10
    Pete Newell

    Very plausible, but not entirely typical.

    Our assholes-of-the-road do tend more towards using their horns than their guns, though.

  11. 11
    timgueguen

    Years ago I saw an incident of road rage where I felt I might have to go run for a phone booth to call the cops, especially when the aggressor tried to get the driver of the other car to come out and fight. He got back in his car and left before violence took place, but it seems pretty close to happening.

  12. 12
    birgerjohansson

    The canadians are too polite to say that the Brit-style election system is fucked.

    When they install a proper election system, where every party that gets more than the threshold (say, 5% of the votes) get a proportional representation, the likes of Harper will be locked out of power..

  13. 13
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    That isn’t representative. At least, living in Toronto, it’s not. Death on the streets.

    It’s among the reasons that I usually look 4 times before crossing when I have the right of way.

    I think the most polite thing to do is not to inconvenience the person who broke the rules by getting hit. To be polite like a Canadian, you must be as passive aggressively polite as possible, even deferential.

  14. 14
    Dhorvath, OM

    Sounds more like the Island to me, I had someone run a four way at Watkiss and East Burnside then pull over to apologize to me for doing so. And just try to ride to school with a six year old and teach them to respect cars when every driver tries to let them cross by stopping for them.

  15. 15
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Thomathy –

    That’s not being polite. That’s being European. I would be standing in a crosswalk, a few feet away from a curb, waiting for someone to stop so I could get some lunch/a treat at my favorite patisserie, and eventually a nice driver would come along and stop and let me across the street just in time for dinner.

    Paris: where jaywalking is required to avoid malnutrition.

  16. 16
    blf

    Paris: where jaywalking is required to avoid malnutrition.

    Yeah, it’s so rude and inconsiderable for the pigeons to not be on your side of the road.

  17. 17
    ibbica

    I’ve considered setting up an LCD display for the rear window of my car to flash a quick “Oops, sorry, my bad :(” at the push of a button… I too have had people apologize for cutting me off or the like, and it’s amazing how quickly a simple and genuine “sorry about that” can diffuse anger. It lets you know that the person misbehaving wasn’t intentionally being an asshole, which seems to be the default assumption of others while driving. Something about not interacting face-to-face…

    Of course, if I’m being honest I’ll admit to also wanting to have other notes available to flash, like “We’re already driving 30 over the limit, back the hell off!” or “Hey dumbass, ditch the cellphone and pay attention!”, which admittedly might be slightly less productive.

  18. 18
    doubter

    As a Canadian, I would like to apologize to anyone who was confused or offended by the ad shown above.

    Sorry, eh?

  19. 19
    Tigger_the_Wing, Back home =^_^=

    ibbica

    Of course, if I’m being honest I’ll admit to also wanting to have other notes available to flash, like “We’re already driving 30 over the limit, back the hell off!” or “Hey dumbass, ditch the cellphone and pay attention!”, which admittedly might be slightly less productive.

    That last might have been useful last week, when a UK-registered artic nearly ran a couple of cars (including ours) off the dual carriageway section of the N25 by pulling out to overtake, regardless of the fact that there were vehicles in the outside lane. He was on the phone.

    My daughter got revenge later, when I was collecting my meds in the pharmacy. While waiting in the car park, she found the employer’s Facebook page and sent them a strongly-worded message.

  20. 20
    Travis

    This is heresy, but, am I the only Canadian that is perhaps a little tired of the nice Canadian myth? It grates on me, especially when I see a forum where dozens of Canadians jump in to say how wonderfully nice we are (maybe imgur is just driving me crazy, as that is where I see this most often). That and our obsession with defining ourselves based on hockey and a coffee shop started by a hockey player.

    I dunno, I also dislike hockey fandom, and do not care much for the game anyway. I don’t really fit the stereotype very well.

    a few feet away from a curb, waiting for someone to stop so I could get some lunch/a treat at my favorite patisserie, and eventually a nice driver would come along and stop and let me across the street just in time for dinner.

    Back home in New Brunswick people do this all of the time, at non-crosswalks. Just when I am trying to cross the street illegally. It drives me nuts, often there are cars in the other lane so I cannot cross even though they stopped, or it throws off my timing as I was planning on crossing just as they passed but as they slowed down and stopped ruining that. I just want to scream “I’m breaking the law, stop accommodating me!”

  21. 21
    numerobis

    Travis@20: It happens in Pittsburgh too. Confused the hell out of me — for a minute I worried I’d taken a wrong turn and ended up in Moncton by accident.

  22. 22
    JohnnieCanuck

    ambassadorfromverdammt @9,

    You remind me of an old RCAF* episode where they took the show live to Inuvik or some similar northern community where utilidors carry water, sewage, etc. above ground in a heated tunnel all because of the permafrost. More than a few jokes were made about frozen sewage.

    *Royal Canadian Air Farce, Canadian comedy on CBC radio.

  23. 23
    janiceintoronto

    I got pulled over for speeding the other day and received a stern talking to.

    I apologized.

    The cop apologized for having to pull me over.

    I apologized for having wasted her time.

    She told me not to feel bad about it.

    I thanked her for making me feel better.

    She said, “don’t worry about it, it’s OK”.

    We both drove off, sedately.

  24. 24
    Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff

    I live in Vancouver, BC, and my work often puts me with American lawyers visiting here. On a break I took one out of the office onto the street to find lunch. He gawped at a passing bus whose electronic signboard read: “Sorry, Not in Service”.

    “Oh my God,” the lawyer exclaimed, “Even your busses say they’re sorry!”

  25. 25
    David Hart

    So you’ve heard of a Mexican standoff? Apparently the opposite, where each party is too polite not to let the other go first, is called a Canadian standoff. There’s even a game.

  26. 26
    Travis

    janiceintoronto,
    That is surprisingly polite. Reminds me of some videos I saw on one of the YouTube channels I follow. He has a few videos of his interactions with Japanese police officers, including a case when he was pulled over for a traffic violation, and they have always been so incredibly polite, far more polite than I am used to. Now, I realize Japan has issues with how confessions are extracted, and there are serious issues with how investigations are handled, but the every day interactions are pretty impressive.

  27. 27
    jrfdeux, mode d'emploi

    Travis @20:

    Yeah. I’m Canadian and I know I can be a total dick. Also, pedestrians in downtown Vancouver. Sometimes I feel a faint urge to play Real Life Carmageddon with them and flap my doors open and shut as I drive by the bastards.

  28. 28
    Raskos

    Anyone who thinks that Canadians are nice and deferential has never watched an NHL game and never sat in the Visitor’s Gallery at Parliament, i.e. when we’re dealing with one another. About something important, like which net the puck should go in.

  29. 29
    timgueguen

    Yeah, the “nice Canadians” thing can get quite annoying. I suspect you can find places in the US where people are more polite and deferential, and would find a lot of Canadians quite rude.

  30. 30
    twincats

    Born and raised in L.A. county Californian here, so I know from rude drivers. Spent some time in beltway VA where the rude drivers are a whole different breed. Haven’t visited Canada yet.

    So, when DH and I drove up to Reno some years ago and stopped in Carson City to sightsee, we were all sorts of confused when we never really needed to look both ways before crossing the streets. NOT EVEN IN FRONT OF THE CASINOS!!!!! Seriously, don’t stand on the sidewalk to watch the traffic go by because it will all just stop and wait for you to cross. While they wave at you and smile.

    Really messed with our heads.

  31. 31
    Stacy

    Back home in New Brunswick people do this all of the time, at non-crosswalks. Just when I am trying to cross the street illegally. It drives me nuts, often there are cars in the other lane so I cannot cross even though they stopped, or it throws off my timing as I was planning on crossing just as they passed but as they slowed down and stopped ruining that. I just want to scream “I’m breaking the law, stop accommodating me!”

    Believe it or not, this happens to me in Los Angeles, California.

    It’s very annoying. And then I’m annoyed at myself for feeling annoyed with the nice driver who’s just trying to be nice.

  32. 32
    adrianchan

    Unfortunately the situation has been changing in Vancouver. I can be standing on the side of the road on a marked crosswalk and most drivers will still pass by without even attempting to slow down. Some will even maintain their speed as I’m crossing, probably hoping I’ll pass their lane.

  33. 33
    artymorty

    People are too eager to feed the “polite Canadian” stereotype sometimes. That overly polite personal ad isn’t even from Canada; a simple Google search confirms that it’s from Grand Forks, North Dakota / East Grand Forks, Minnesota.

  34. 34
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Which fits well, artymorty, as I was just about to say that in my own multi-immigrant, widely-travelled experience, my fellow Canadians’ much-vaunted niceness is more properly compared to exactly those same Dakotans/Minnesotans’ version of the same. The bite is generally underneath the polite, but never think the bite isn’t there. We are the mouse sleeping next to the elephant; directness cannot be our path to achieving our goals (the usual supervillain-nation stuff: World Domination, Socialized Healthcare, a Tim Horton’s or two in every neighbourhood, oh, and, y’know, the NHL installed as the world’s favourite sport; amongst our weaponry are politeness, pulling shirts over people’s heads, and an almost fanatical devotion to maple syrup*).

    But the surface values of politeness, the public performance of la politesse, in general, these are more prized in Canada than in the US. It goes all the way to our constitutions.

    The US’ promises “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happinefs”.

    Ours says “peace, order, and good government”.

    Pretty much says it all.

    * I’m only saying this to yank my fellow Canadians’ chains about being stereotyped. :)

  35. 35
    jimmaughan

    Suppressing aggression is a necessary survival tactic in cold climates.
    Stomping out of the cabin or igloo in a huff during/after an argument is not an option.

  36. 36
    Al Dente

    an almost fanatical devotion to maple syrup

    I was credibly told by an inhabitant of Soviet Canuckistan that the Canadian national food was Kraft Dinner (called Kraft Mac and Cheese in less advanced societies) with poutine as a close runner up.

  37. 37
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Yes. And if you’d be kind enough to pass along the name and address (with postal code, please) of the miscreant who let that out person who so kindly gave you that info, we’d just love to have a nice friendly little chit-chat with them, which will in no way involve anyone’s shirt being pulled over their head.

    Thanks ever so.

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