My Canada Day Memory

Happy Canada Day!

When I was 16, I worked for a company that did special events. On July 1 of that summer, my one-day sent me to a mall where I took turns with another guy, wearing a 7-foot Mountie uniform and walking around the mall greeting kids. The Mountie’s breeches came up to my ribs, and the Mountie’s head sat on top of mine (I looked out a V-shaped piece of mesh at the the base of the neck). Since I was mostly blind, my partner led me around and made sure kids didn’t kick me.

When he was sweating inside the uniform, I did the same. Plus, the name had just changed. So I spent half the day explaining that “It’s no longer called Dominion Day, it’s called Canada Day.” And then I handed out little Canadian flags.

mountieSince I was actually born in the US, I got a laugh out of lecturing Canadian kids on an approved-by-government-committee holiday name change.

Kid: “Why isn’t it Dominion Day anymore?”

Me: “Not sure. I guess they want to recognize it as a country.”

Kid: “Oh.”

But that’s no less baffling to a kid than the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner, including “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?” (huh?)

Adding to the je ne sais quoi of the day was the fact that I ran into my high school law class teacher, who was quite tickled that I was spending my summer teaching Canadian mores.

Anyhow, happy birthday, Canada. You were a fine country to grow up in, and I was happy to help teach a wee bit of civics to your youngsters. Especially because none of them kicked me in the ass.


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