Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Blame Canada

Okay, much as I love living in Canada, there are a couple of things that, in the interest of justice and truth, I need to address.

The first involves a series of Public Service Announcements that have been shown on Canadian TV since, apparently, the dawn of time. These spots highlight Canadians who've had an impact in the world, like, for example, Joe Shuster, who created Superman along with Jerry Seigel.

The ad, like all in the series, dramatizes what is meant to be "a key moment" in the person's life. In this case, it shows a twentysomething Shuster saying goodbye to a girlfriend as he gets on the train to move from Toronto to Cleveland. As he prepares to leave, he mentions to her "this new comic strip character" he's been working on.

Now, I can't vouch for the rest of the series, but I have to bust a can of truth on this ad's ass. First of all, Shuster was nine years old when his family left Toronto. He lived the rest of his life--he died in 1992--in the US. Second, Shuster and Siegel (who is not mentioned in the ad) did not create Superman until they were seventeen. The Man Of Steel wasn't even their first character with that name--as high school students, they self-published a novel entitled "Reign of the Superman," about a bald genius (sound familiar?) who conquers the world.

You know if something had been produced in the US that distorted the story so badly, there would be a national outcry in Canada, with cries of "shame on you!" and Members of Parliament banging tables with their shoes (apparently a popular hobby in Canadian politics). Not to mention that Siegel and Shuster gave up the rights to their billion-dollar character for something like twenty bucks and a sandwich (each), so get the story straight, okay? Oh, and the guy in the ad didn't look Jewish, either.

The other, more personal issue, involves Kentucky Fried Chicken. The first time I went to a KFC in Canada, I ordered the standard meal--coupla pieces of chicken, two sides. They asked me what sides I wanted. I said potatoes and mac n' cheese. I got potato SALAD and macaroni SALAD. Canadian KFCs don't have mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or baked beans.

I'm going to repeat that. Try to understand the implications.

Canadian KFCs don't have mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or baked beans.

When I complain about this to Canadians, they always tell me, "you can get fries." Dude, you can get fries anywhere. You can get fries at gas stations. I submit that the spuds, the mac, and the beans are as integral to the KFC experience as the chicken, mayhap moreso. This gross injustice can not stand! Shame on you, KFC Canada! Shame!

*sigh* Don't get me started on the anti-Krispy Kreme movement.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

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