Monday, July 25, 2005

Real friendly Canadians

More evidence that many Canadians are not our friends comes John Archibald's column in the July 10th Birmingham (Ala.) Post (if I can rediscover the link, I'll hook it):
Greg Taylor learned what it means to be an ugly American last month.
Only he's not one.
Not ugly. Not American.
Taylor and his family are Canadian. They moved to Birmingham four years ago when he transferred to work at the Honda plant. They've had a child here. That's child No. 3 for the Taylor family, but U.S. citizen No. 1.
In June the Taylors drove to Ontario, Canada, to attend a funeral and have a little vacation. It turned into what Taylor calls an "eye-opener."
Driving along Highway 400 in Canada. a driver surprised them with a rude hand gesture.
"He gave me the one-finger salute," Taylor said. "I wondered if I'd cut somebody off."
But it happened again.
And again.
Then it dawned on Taylor. He was driving through Canada with Alabama plates. With American plates. He was perceived as American, and he was feeling a kind of ill-will he'd never known.
That's not all. On June 22 Taylor's wife and children visited Canada's Wonderland, an amusement park north of Toronto. They had a good time, but were shocked on returning to the parking lot. Taylor described it in a July 4 letter to the editor of the Toronto Sun:
"My wife and family returned to our vehicle only to find a used condom wedged in the driver's door handle of our vehicle and numerous spit marks riddled the sides of the vehicle.
"Is this how Canada treats all visitors from the U.S.?" his letter went on. "If so, I am ashamed to call myself Canadian."
The episode is disturbing on several levels. As Americans, it's worrisome that our closest friend and neighbor hates our policy so - a recent poll showed 40 percent of Canadian teens see the U.S. as "evil." But that's not Taylor's point. He is upset and embarrassed that his countrymen would take that resentment and blame an innocent U.S. family. Any U.S. family.
Nobody in Alabama ever treated Taylor that way, he said. Not even those who felt Canada hasn't pulled its weight in the war on terror.

Well, well, well.
A spokesman for the Canadian Association of Tourist Traps (CATT) addressed Mr. Taylor's allegations point by point.
"That's our special wave for Americans," said Sonya Sinjh (Carolyn) Parrish, of the greetings Mr. Taylor received on the 400. "Also, we don't distribute used condoms... only unused ones. And when we see dirt on an American car, we try to help the bastards keep it clean."