Monday, April 17, 2006

Vancouver: I Cause an International Breakfast Incident

At breakfast one morning in Vancouver, I scanned the menu anxiously. When the waitress arrived to take our orders, I went last.

“I’ll have a cappuccino and the waffles,” I said.

“All right,” she said.

“And, do you have American bacon?”


Now look: It’s Canada. They have Canadian bacon in Canada, no? It stands to reason that in Canada they are not going to call Canadian bacon ‘Canadian bacon’. Hell, I’ve ordered bacon in Britain before and received Canadian bacon. So I’m asking, you know? I mean, the menu just says “bacon”.

I mean, now I know they call that 'ham' or something. But at the time.

“American bacon?” I answered.

“What’s American bacon?” she asked.

“It’s just like Canadian bacon, only more arrogant and Iraq-invadey,” I said.

A good, healthy, tension-clearing laugh from all involved.

“You mean strip bacon?” she asked.

“Yeah, sure. Strip bacon.”

“Oh, okay. American bacon. huh.”

And everyone is looking at me with furrowed brows.

Well fuck them.

It is American-style bacon. It’s our thing. Our birthright, Goddamnit.

Inside the brain of every Canadian is a klaxon alarm that sounds whenever they hear the word "American." We’re Americans too! We’re Americans too! America is a continent, not a nation! it cries. But what are we supposed to call ourselves, United Statesians? I think she simply refused to grant us the adjective for our bacon out of spite. Strip bacon, indeed.

My father then tells me that he thinks I have insulted all Canadians because I said that American bacon was more arrogant, thus implying that Canadian bacon is some arrogant.

This is the kind of thing my father says at breakfasts.

I told him that I didn’t think so, that you could be more obnoxious than someone who was zero obnoxious just like I could have more coffee than Tim, who had none. My father grew hot under the collar and red in the face.

“Ridiculous!” he nearly yelled.

“No it isn’t, it’s perfectly reasonable to say you have more money than someone who has none money.”

“That’s idiotic. No one talks that way. If they did, no one would understand them.”

“Well, everyone here at this table understood.”

“I guess you think you’re a better lawyer than me, huh? A better drafter, is that it?”


“You’re an idiot, Jeff. A real idiot, you know that?”


Families are the best, amirite?

When the waitress arrived with my meal, she placed the plate in front of me and said “Your waffles with American bacon.”

“Mmm, awesome.” I said, “I can almost smell the county music.”

Canadians, by the way, really say “Eh” at the end of declaratory sentences.

I mean the accent is one thing. It’s normal to have an accent. have more accents. Accents complete me.

But peppering your speech with some sort of verbal hiccup like “eh" is preposterous.

So, you know, relax, Canada.

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