How America Sees Canada. From America, But Better.
The history of Canadian-American relations, an excerpt from America, But Better.
1775: “Awkward Autumn” becomes the theme at the annual British Empire family portrait when America and Canada show up wearing the same flag.
1776: America signs the Declaration of Independence, kicking their war with Britain into high gear. Canada, not wanting to offend anybody, fights for both sides.
1776–80: Thousands of British Loyalists in the US move north to Canada, still largely a British colony. A fur trapper is trampled to death at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s first ever Boxing Day sale. Bryan Adams begins his music career.
1789: Pennsylvania ends its prohibition of theatrical performances, allowing the signing of the Constitution and the centuries of drama it would incur.*
1812: A young America acts out its own colonial fantasy and invades future-Canada, then retreats, realizing a new driveway is not worth the roaming charges.**
1814: British forces capture Washington, DC, and burn it to the ground, although the pubs and bordellos remain curiously untouched.
1815: Britain finalizes the Treaty of Ghent after losing a round of Beer Pong. Well played, America. Well played.
1830–60: Tens of thousands of American slaves “emigrate” to Canada via the Underground Railroad, which is sort of like a Disney ride with less racism.
1861–65: American Civil War. Canada invents popcorn and takes to the sidelines.
1867: Three British colonies unite to form an independent Canada. American newspaper headlines exclaim: “Whatever.”
1901: A government census shows 3.5 percent of Canadians were born in America and 1.6 percent of Americans were born in Canada. When asked why they emigrated, the majority of respondents on both sides checked the box marked “Looking for hotter women.”
1907: The USS Nashville sails into the Great Lakes without asking. Canada apologizes for getting in the way, pays for dinner.
1921: Canada develops a defensive strategy to repel a US invasion. Canadians are instructed to “act normal” to avoid detection.
1939: Canada calls King George VI, politely asking permission to declare war on Germany. The king replies, “Who is this?”
1941: America and Canada cooperate to send 133,000 of their citizens to internment camps as part of a Japanese Community Outreach Program.
1945: At the end of World War II, Canada possesses the fourth-largest air force and third-largest naval surface fleet in the world. America giggles, calls it “cute.”
1958: America and Canada finally agree on the curtain color for the NORAD underground bunker.
1960s: Canadians, having already experienced a Toronto garbage strike during a heat wave, avoid entering the Vietnam War. Fifty thousand Americans move to Canada, giving rise to bong-craft’s “Glazed Age.”
1972: Canada realizes Richard Nixon is a Dick.
1974: America realizes Richard Nixon is a dick, pretend they noticed first.
1988: Canadian hockey great Wayne Gretzky is traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. Canada mourns, and learns that California has a hockey team.
1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) encourages trade between America, Canada, and Mexico. Canada and Mexico discover neither of them has anything the other wants.
2008: Canadian Justin Bieber is discovered on YouTube, instantly becoming an international celebrity—a far cry from his high-school nickname of “Singing-and-Dancing Pussy Boy.”
2010: Canada defeats the US in Olympic men’s hockey, winning the gold medal in overtime. Awesome.
2012: Canada is elected President of the United States. Global warming abruptly ends as the atmosphere’s greenhouse gases are blown into space when the entire planet exhales a collective sigh of relief.
*Although drafted while medicine was theoretical and man-tights all the rage, it is still referenced literally in modern American law.
** Exactly two hundred years later we get around to writing this book.