July 1, 2013 | Lists
Canadians enjoy a good quality of life when the heating is working properly, the people are in the main easygoing and our banks even managed to withstand the financial crisis (imagine the financial savvy required to succeed in an enterprise where people give you money. Then again, there is the government…) And if you break your leg, you won’t get a fractured arm to match as the hospital throws your non-insurance carrying ass out the door.
However, the place is by no means perfect. In Ontario, for example, you have to buy beer from an arms-length government cartel called The Beer Store, the name of which reflects the pinnacle of government creativity. And a restaurateur daring to grace an Italian menu with say, Italian, is liable to be prosecuted by some linguo-fascist hired to preserve French culture, and in a place as unlikely as, say, an Italian restaurant.
So, while the country is great in many ways that distinguish us from the US other than the lack of Chinese food takeout seen in TV sitcoms, we concede that there are some areas that could stand improvement. Here we offer ways to improve things in Canada beyond the obvious such as allowing beer and liquor to be sold to people as if they were rational adults and not forcing language laws on a populace that couldn’t give a big bucket of merde. Here are our Top Ten Ways to Improve Canada:
1. Throw the French/English debate off balance by introducing Portuguese as a surprise third national language.
2. Snow days might become increasingly rare due to global warming. Keep the tradition of fun alive by introducing “Sure, we screwed up, but your children won’t even have it this good” days”.
4. Come to grips with the fact that even though they were born here, there is basically dick all Canadian about someone who made his fortune abroad at an early age never to return.
5. Find a way to speed up the sap coming out of a maple tree.
6. Seal clubbing in the maritime provinces gives our country a bad name. Resolve this by encouraging the impoverished people trying to scratch out a living in that economically ravaged part of the country, to sell foodies on the concept of seal sashimi. That way, when someone does the ol’ angry Fred Flintstone on such a cute creature, it’ll have a second life on a dinner plate and on the web via Yelp.
7. Rig cholesterol tests to give bacon eaters a false sense of security and convince them to continue on as they are.
8. Canadian politics can be difficult for newcomers to follow as it’s often difficult to identify what, if anything individual politicians stand for and who they represent. It’s much easier with sports — the New York Yankees and Manchester United are globally recognized brands. We propose that politicians adopt uniforms according to party affiliation:
NDP: armbands and Red Guard uniforms make them easily identifiable them as anti-initiative, cultural Marxist wealth re-distributors that they are. No need for campaign literature!
Conservatives: Tennis sweaters, polo shirts, and similarly obnoxious garb worn to suggest nonchalance regarding both the big sell-off of the country’s natural resources and the actions of their mendacious, entitled, thieving senators.
Bloc Quebecois: Pantalons and berets.
Green Party: Birkenstocks, Saris – basically anything that wouldn’t need to be taken to the cleaners if a baby spat up on it.
Liberals: Since they have no distinct political identity to call their own, they switch back and forth between the four sartorial choices.
9. Introduce prime ministerial term limits. As it stands a prime minister could, if he’s healthy and doesn’t mind those horrible Ottawa winters, be re-elected right up until he pulls that final poll both lever into the great beyond. This makes for stale politics. We propose for elections to be held every year, though if the governing party wins a challenge — for example, its leader beats a super computer in chess — that group wins immunity and can stay on until the next round of voting.
10. Eliminate the beaver as national icon. The beaver used to be on the heads of Canadian frontier folk and later was featured on the nickel due to its status as one of the country’s iconic creatures, right up there with Canadian geese and Howie Mandel. Beavers played an early role in luring in explorers keen to track them down and slaughter them for their pelts, but they haven’t done much for us since. As a recent beaver mauling of a Belarussian man makes clear, they can be dangerous, but more than that beavers have become an unwelcome font for tawdry sexual innuendo. The connotation was so common that the historical magazine formerly known as The Beaver (perfectly acceptable when they named it) had to change its name because spam filters thought a rather crude lesson in anatomy rather than history was on offer.
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April 25, 2013 | Lists
Urinals exist because pub owners were fed up having perfectly good ceramic ruined by drunk guys who couldn’t wait for a stall. In theory, they could be convenient for the vast majority of men who pee standing up – we’re not here to judge those who do so sitting down or after having thrown a roll of plastic over a motel room floor. But in practice it is far preferable to wait for a stall than to stand in front of the porcelain and be subject to the numerous breaches of civilized conduct taking place at nearby stations.
Here in an extension of our earlier guide to Bathroom Etiquette, we offer our male readers – and any female dexterous and bold enough to give it a go – 8 tips to ensure civilized conduct the next time you see a man about a horse (and by that we mean excuse yourself to urinate in a public washroom):
1. It goes without saying that conversation is verboten in this environment even if one utterance from you over your mobile phone could save the lives of thousands.
1b. Whistling is acceptable so long as you keep it at a lower register and don’t modulate to anything too grandiose.
2. Elbow depress the lever. Even industrial strength Purell would be no match for whatever strain of globe-annihilating super flu resides on its handles.
3. Flush that handle as if you’re dynamiting an enemy base — full way down with an eye peeled to ensure it all goes down. Nobody wants two nostrils full of your asparagus lunch.
4. Aim for the middle cake. Much like an eye patch cures lazy eye, you can train your urethra for future snow John Hancocks.
5. The most absurd configuration in the history of pub/restaurant bathroom design is the combined toilet and urinal in the same room with no dividers. Protest against this aberration by using each facility in a manner typically associated with the other.
6. If there’s splash-back, treat the sink like a baptismal pool and explain away the wetness being too close to the road when a car went by (hint, this is much more effective if it’s rained in the past 12 hours).
7. Anyone who’ll eat a urinal cake on a bet for less than what it would cost to buy mid-sized sedan should be electronically tagged and set loose in the wilderness.
8. If you enter a bathroom in which another urinal is in use, pick your spot as strategically far away from the person using it as possible. To judge if you have left enough space, imagine whether you would be able to hit the individual if you decided to stop and turn midstream. If so, move further away.