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Eh?

By Cyrus Sarfaty


I’m an American citizen by birth.

And not only did my parents and grandparents live in the States for over a century, my hometown of Toronto is so assimilated to American culture that it’s essentially a 51st state.


But somehow, every time I meet an American, within a few minutes it comes out that I’m from Toronto. The course of action is usually this, more or less:


[Lights up on CYRUS and CLUELESS AMERICAN, chatting somewhere in America. They have just met.]


CLUELESS AMERICAN

Oh cool, where are you from?


CYRUS

(speaking with a local “dialect” to show CLUELESS AMERICAN I’m not kidding around)

I’m from Tronno.


CLUELESS AMERICAN

(taken aback, as if personally offended)

You mean… Canada?!


CYRUS

Yup…


[Curtain.]


Indeed, as American as Toronto may be– the front page of The Globe and Mail had three separate op-eds about Trump’s new sneaker line– it still finds itself unabashedly homogenized with the rest of Canada in the eyes of Clueless American. I thought it would be noble to put myself in Clueless American’s shoes (size-12 pink flip-flops, because two can play at that game) and experience a Canadian’s typical d-eh.


5:30am

“Connor! It’s aboot time ya lace up your skates, kiddo!”

“Sorry!”

Back from an early-morning maple syrup harvest up at the cottage, my mum’s telling me it’s already time to hop on the ice for some shinny. After donning my red and black ‘buffalo plaid’ sweater, my tube socks, and my toque, I grab my stick and a couple paucks and hop on my moose, McKenzie. We arrive at the lake, frozen over by the nonstop cold, where my buddies Justin Trudeau and Drake have waited for me.


7:00am

I skate back home, stopping for a French Vanilla coffee and a bacon-and-egg breakfast sandwich at Timmie’s. I haul McKenzie into the garage, smack against the hockey nets and lax sticks. Almost knocking over the sticks, she grunts and apologizes. I apologize. She apologizes again. I apologize again. She apologizes again. And so on for the rest of the morning. Expressing my remorse isn’t a waste of time though– the only thing keeping me busy is not studying for the SAT.


11:00pm

Just about nothing happens for the remainder of the day. There’s nothing to do: no culture to celebrate, no architecture to marvel at, no sports teams worth tuning in for. Finally, however, after going down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, I learn that none other than Chris Diamantopoulos, the actor who played boom-mic operator Brian in five forgettable episodes of The Office, was born in Toronto.


This is ground-breaking news! If Canada did indeed have a national identity, a common form of unification, a panacea for internal strife, it would be bragging about “underrated” celebrities who also happen to hail from our nation. Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Carly Rae Jepsen… and did you know Dwayne Johnson’s dad is from Nova Scotia?


I call all of my buddies, shrieking at the top of my lungs and hyperventilating on all fours while I deliver this paradigm-shifting information to each one of them.


“THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED THE BOOM GUY IS CANADIAN! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! OH MY GOSH! IT’S ABOOT TIME WE GET SOME RECOGNITION! FINALLY! FINALLY, BUD! WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF HIM! I THINK HE’S THE ONE PAM ALMOST HAD AN AFFAIR WITH BUT ULTIMATELY DIDN’T! MY PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED!”


Just a day in the life.

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