Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: How to Be a Canadian

By Lynn Willoughby

How to be a Canadian ~ Will and Ian Ferguson

I am a fan of Will Ferguson and his brand of sarcastic humour always hits my funny bone.  This book is no exception.  It is a light hearted satire on all things Canadian, with chapters on beer, sex, politics, the weather, curling etc.
There is a lot of fact filled Canadian trivia in this book – some I knew and some I didn’t.  Did you know the Harlequin Romance press started in Winnipeg in 1949?  It now “…reighns undisputed as the world’s largest publisher, standing astride the globe in eighteen languages and more than a hundred countries…”
How about curling?  Do you remember when both the Brier and the Tournament of Hearts were sponsored by Export A?  Or when Hec Gervais won the Brier and the World’s and weighed 415 pounds at the peak of his game?
Do you remember when the National Ballet of Canada “…assisted Russian superstar dancer Mikhail Barishnikov in defecting from the USSR “…and not signing him to a long term contract?”
There is a pop quiz where the Ferguson boys ask “…if you hear the name Elvis and think of figure skating you get one point.”   Or are you one of the “…30,000,000 people in Canada …who has frozen their tongues to the side of a flagpole?”
The wit and satire of these brothers does not spare Bryan Adams, Stompin’ Tom, Shania Twain or Celine Dion.  There is no doubt that they themselves love Canada – our politeness, the “12 ways to say I’m sorry,” the “I am Canadian” rant.  This book is so much fun, and a great time to read it would be this year while we are celebrating Canada’s 150 birthday.
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