I Am Canadian - - The Rant That Unites Us All (hehe)

I'm not a lumberjack, or a Furtrader,
and I don't live in an igloo,
or eat blubber
or own a dogsled.
And I don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I'm certain they're really, really nice.

I have a prime minister... not a president,
I speak English and French, not American
and I pronounce it About, not A-boot.

I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack,
I believe in peacekeeping, not policing,
diversity not assimilation,
and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.

A toque is a hat,
a chesterfield is a couch,
and it IS pronounced Zed,
not Zee... ZED!!
Canada is the 2nd largest land mass,
the 1st nation of hockey,
and the best part of North America.

My name is Joe...

Thank you.

DeepForest DeepForest
24 Responses Oct 2, 2010

I say zee not zed. Ik uncanadian. But I like snowmobiling.

Hi, DF: You have a pretty good handle on the differences between Canadians and Americans. I always admire someone who takes the time to note the details and remember the differences.Regarding our Aboriginal brethren: Their cultural state is truly sad for the past 50 years at least - that's 3 or 4 generations depending on the ages of conception and for young native women, it's young. Theirs is a culture lost due to the wants of us, the 'white man.' Arrogantly we have felt the need to 'bring the aboriginal person along into our society' rather than obey the maxim of our own culture and let diversity reign. Our politicians deserve the blame as they (past ones - 50 years ago) used our Innu people to strengthen our sovereignty in our northern archipelago - uprooting them from their cultural ties with the territories they knew. On the "Indian" side the railway, then the mining industry and then the hydro-electric industry all required them to be relocated away from their hunting, trapping and fishing grounds. Of course, our politicians compensated them with money! HA - another compounding mistake as our Native peoples never ba<x>sed their culture on wealth - and their new-to-them wealth was soon squandered and to their moral detriment too. Moving on: So, in the past 40 years we have seen the last of the original native culture disappear and the new politicized native culture be introduced. By this I mean the children (now aged 50 +) started to go to universities, being sponsored of course, but at least learning about the world and the 'white man' other than about his alcohol, prostitution and welfare systems and consequently looking militantly toward regaining cultural stature through self-government. Again the Canadian Government failed them because you cannot expect 'a child' to grow without guidance and autonomy does not come without having some successful background experiences. But, perhaps there was malicious purpose in the Government's negligence...jump forward to my last line below....Coming closer to the present we are seeing the last of this generation being phased out (look at Attawapiskat) - where the 'gimme gimmie' wastage is finally ending. I now look forward to seeing the latest generation of our Aboriginal peoples coming into their own - no longer the FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) babies with prostitute mothers, but as really responsible adult leaders looking to take a role as equals in our society. It's been a long road for them from the treaty signings of the 1890's to today, but I think the amazing metamorphosis they've been going through is finally coming to an end.Now... do you think we should relinquish Montreal to them?

Politically - I'm not sure about the idea of opening the border as numerically Canada will just be absorbed by the US, and I really enjoy the world we have here compared to the US politics and ways to see things at times.<br />
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I agree we should cover each others backs - but I also think the US has to see and learn more about the world as they have been insular being the #1 superpower in the world. I think that world order is changing and quick - and I think we both will be looking from the outside in at other economical giants if we don't get our houses in order (the US in particular).<br />
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I think the last 8 years have shown the decline in the US fortunes and the increase in other world economical giants (mainly India and China) ....<br />
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I think getting more of a world view would benefit both of our countries - and agree we will have to work together - and keep work in our countries to keep our economical strengths in the coming years. I just don't know if open borders will benefit Canada ... <br />
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I do believe you have to have diversity with balance - but I think it is also time when we should reach out to the best in the world while continually improving ourselves - the days of borrowing on future money's earned are gone.<br />
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I also believe that it is time for the rich to pay too as they have been taking more than their fair share of the wealth but not being socially responsible to those with less.<br />
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If you don't' believe in that last line - this is why Americans and Canadians have to become more similar before we open up the borders wide just yet. I don't think that is a communist idea as I believe we should keep all people afloat and not always just think of ourselves - some people are really poor and deserve better lives. How we can do that, well, that is up for discussion as I am not smart enough to solve that conundrum.

Lets see. we our two countries have similarities and differences. I too was in the middle when We switch from imperial over to metric. I can do rough conversions in my head.<br />
However In the states the military has switched too the metric system as part of NATO.<br />
What i really wish is that over governments would pull their collective heads from their arses and open our border. Work together on the exterior one and make the interior open<br />
Really Ma and PA kettle from Podunk New jersey up to see the falls are that much of a risk....and Bob and Eunice from ***** Newfoundland on their way to Yellowstone with the kids are truly a danger.<br />
Come on people we need each other lets realize this and send a loud message to Ottawa and Washington.<br />
We might be siblings but ya gotta know when the chips are down we got each others back<br />
Sign me a proud Canadian who also is proud to say he is NORTH AMERICAN

I am not bashing - nor do I think Joe was. We all get along. Over the last 30 years, I have seen differences between Canadians and Americans that really didn't exist before.<br />
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I think Joe - like many Canadians would like us to stand out more - be proud of our accomplishments and like a few have said, have the Americans learn a little more about us as we do about Americans. But if we keep being ignored, it is ok with me. I like where we stand now - we have some big messes to clean up (and what is wrong with all of the politicians in our country - not that they are any better world-wide) but otherwise:<br />
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I am Joe and I AM CANADIAN! <br />
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lol! I think this was very funny, I am also a Canadian but am glad to have the Amaracans for neighbours! They should really get to know a little bit more about us up here!!!

I Am Canadian, too, and I agree with everything you said on your post except for the beaver being a proud and noble animal. I mean, with all due respect (there's a huge beaver lodge just below our house), I suppose a beaver is as proud and noble as any other animal, and I know about the fur trade and all that, but for a national symbol? It can be downright embarrassing at times.... I propose the Kermode bear - only in Canada, I say!

I think beavers are best.... nothing like a naked woman!

BJBRY - you would laugh at the area - it doesn't even look like a ghetto - and during the daytime you drive through, you wouldn't even know it is an area of interest.<br />
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There is a higher density of people with townhouses and apartments - but no more so than an area downtown loaded with condos.<br />
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That is why you actually have to look at our crime numbers - look at who is killing who - and after you take out anything gang related - the numbers are miniscule. We have worse looking areas with much less problems. Jane and Finch is very close to one of the cities biggest universities which is a nice area - they have a great sports centre up at York - so often events like the Canadian open and other track events are held there. Nothing out of the normal - <br />
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again, a lot of the problem is with media fanning the flames - making it sound worse than it is.<br />
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It is just terrible that the idiots in the gangs are reckless and shooting brazenly in public and sometimes this has caused some awful tragedies. I wish we would seriously look at how to end things like poverty and homelessness and unemployment - it would probably make a big differences and gangs would have little influence or place in a neighbourhood that is functioning normally.<br />
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Politicians are just so short-sited. I heard Chicago did some great things to help fight gangs (with better social programs and things of the like).

It is nothing like the racially divided areas of the US.<br />
There is absolutely no comparitive. I wouldn't think twice about driving through there any time of day. The odds of being in an altercation are miniscule. Come for a visit and you will immediately see the difference. It's obvious.

I have been in there after midnight - I think it is mostly dangerous if you are associating with gangs - a lot of the crimes tend to be young black men being shot - or random people standing by where a shooting happens.<br />
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I just wish we could get rid of two things here - guns and gangs (which is organized crime)- otherwise the city would be very safe.

BJRY - just a question - have you ever been to Canada or are you just spouting off on stuff you see and read in the news? Just curious.<br />
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And honestly, if there ever is a fear mongering news state, it has to be in the US. I have lived in a few places in the world, and I visited quite a few more. The feeling I get when I see American news is like watching state run communist news out of the old Soviet controlled Poland (sorry - that was the only Communist country I had visited while it was under the Soviet Union). But the effect was the same - your news is quite controlled, the government has a big hand it what is news or not, what is controlled and what is not. Business has a big part in what gets out, what doesn't (if you don't see the connection, just delve deeply into interest groups and lobby groups in the States - and see what is being controlled by the government and what is not. The food industry in North America is a real scary true life adventure about lobbying, government formed to to lobbyist interests - check out Food Inc. to get a small idea about this) - America the free and brave is not as free nor as brave as you like to think it is.<br />
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But all of what I said aside, when it comes to safety, I think the numbers show the truth between US vs. Canada on relative safety. For the worst parts of Canada, they just don't compare to the ghettos in the states. Do we have issues here - you bet we do. Gun crime is up - the media also panders to fear mongering - all we do is see is crime headlining the news on a bad day. But is all media not susceptible to trying to grab the attention of viewers by sensationalizing - I mean, I think this credo still stands true anywhere in North America (if not the world) - "if it bleeds, it leads" - meaning that disaster or violence sells more news that nice happy stories. Sensationalism sells papers, it guarantees viewership - and it may be selling truths that are only one part of the picture - here and there.<br />
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As for vacation time, we are in the lower numbers of the world for sure - but many surveys (other than American news agencies) often rank the US as lowest paid time off in the world - that is not a good thing.<br />
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Americans have the shortest vacation in the developed world<br />
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Average number<br />
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of vacation days <br />
France 38 Netherlands 25<br />
Brazil 34 Portugal 25<br />
Sweden 32 S.Korea 25<br />
Italy 31 Belgium 24<br />
Denmark 30 New Zealand 21<br />
Spain 30 Norway 21<br />
Ireland 28 Switzerland 20<br />
Austria 27 Australia 19<br />
Germany 27 Canada 19<br />
Britain 26 Japan 15<br />
Iceland 25.5 USA 13†<br />
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†Average only; Not required by law.<br />
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I thought that stat. would be an easy thing to find, but each organization has different numbers and ranks countries in different order. I was shocked to learn that the US does not require those vacation days by law and that about 25% of Americans do not get holidays at all. Even more telling was who did the poll - when I looked at a few American news media polls results - Americans faired much higher than they did anywhere else in polls taken around the world. I think your media is trying to sell something to the American public ... though we in Canada are not much better and are no where near some of the 1 month off mandatory holidays like a lot of Europe. <br />
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Our countries are quite similar but there are some subtle differences as outlined by other people above.<br />
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I too love visiting the States and spend many of my vacations in the sunny parts of the country - but as much as I love visiting, living is much of a different thing. We do have different politics, our cities and cultures do differ slightly (multiculturalism vs. melting pot), Canadians are slightly left leaning with some social government features vs. capitalist and business dominated money markets (the credit crunch in the US does define a large difference in our banking systems - hell, as Canadians, I think our banks are healthier because they gouge us more (so more money in their pockets), Canada is less populated than the US and our population is centred mostly around our borders (90% of Canadians live on 10% of the land) - so that creates its own set of differences ... we do have two official languages, the US has 2 as well, just unofficial (which in itself is going to manifest itself in many future problems - the unofficial language being Spanish) ... and so many other smaller things ...<br />
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As for the Quebec question - there are differences between English and French Canada for sure - but not as much as exaggerated by the media. They would lie on one side of the scale while Albertans would lean to the polar opposite - while seemingly the rest of Canada fitting more into the middle of those two ...<br />
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the only issue and area of great poverty we have neglected to speak about here (and which is fairly neglected in any news whatsoever) are the ghettos we have on native reserves across the country - the poverty of our native and aboriginal peoples is universal. And it is there that we have been most neglectful. It would be the true black mark against our country and really is the one mess nobody is talking about.<br />
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And by the way - WOW - I did not expect the type of response I got from this thread - it was a fun reminder of a powerful commercial for many Canadians. I think this thread shows our pride - that is quieter than someone from the US, but there nonetheless.<br />
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I can still shout loudly - - <br />
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I am Canadian!

We love our country :)

BJRY, I used to live in Quebec... Just to let people know, not everybody is a separatist. Yes, the politics is a royal pain, but the media stirs up the pot... I've survived 2 referendums concerning Quebec leaving Canada. It's stressful. So, to answer your question, yes, a majority of people love Canada... Quebec is a melting pot of various cultures & languages. Yes, French is the working language & you do need it to find a good job. But living there at one time, I now can switch with ease from English to French. There will always be the threat every election concerning separation.. Sometimes it's high, other times it's low. If Quebec ever separated, Montreal as an island stated that they want to be part of Canada. Then there is the Indians who own their land which would rightfully stay with them. Also, what about money... Or military....??? There is so much to think about. I just hope that it never happens to my country. There is also laws in Quebec that children can only go to an English school if their mother went to an English school. You have to have a paper to state it's true. Unless, you go private. So, Quebec has it's problems, but it's a beautiful province with amazing entertainment & restaurants... The skiing is amazing & it's so easy to hop over to United States to go for a hike in Vermont.. Hope this answered your question.

I agree with Basspla<x>yer. I'm Canadian & I've travelled quite a bit for 'work' & pleasure. I even drove across Canada & camped all over. I felt safe. But, it was not the same in United States. One road trip, I took the wrong exit near Miami & ended up in a very bad area. Bars on the windows, cars with missing parts.... U name it. Guys actually stood up & started to point at my car. Luckily, one of my passengers was from Miami, & quickly gave me directions to get out asap. At the time, it was in the news that they shooting random people on highways.... It was a bad experience... But it doesn't stop me from going to the States... It's a beautiful country..... I just have to pay more attention to exits :)

The thing is BJRY those kind of news reports only make it to America. I live in Ontario and have never heard warnings to avoid parts of Vancouver or Toronto for that matter. Having dated an America and having seen the differences first hand I will tell you it is<br />
dramatic. I used to live one block from Jane and Finch and although I probably wouldn't go for a stroll there at 2:00 AM, I never felt apprehensive being there during the day. It's a stark contrast to the feeling one gets in a US city if you are near a housing project or a poor area of town. I have never been anywhere in Canada where I've felt uneasy enough to turn the car around. It has however happened to me in Detroit, Atlanta and LA. <br />
The underlying theme is that Canadians rarely turn to guns to solve a problem<br />
You would never hear of a Canadian burglar being shot by a homeowner. Most gun violence here is either gang on gang drug related of some sort of domestic quarreling. <br />
You have to live it to appreciate it I think. I never feel uneasy while being out in public in Canada but have felt that way many times in the US.

Best commercial ever<br />
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In Quebec, it is necessary to have a mistress - or equal rights - a man on the side - c'est la difference. If Harper had one, I think most of the country would be shocked, but not in the bad way (except for his party supporters who are pro-family oriented).<br />
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Hell - we would be happy to see a sense of humour more than just once in a blue moon - he has his shorts a little too tight most of the time. I just wish we had some flashier leaders - it is like an accountant leading the country - a pretty controlling accountant, but an accountant nonetheless.<br />
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I think Canada would welcome someone who is really outspoken, eloquent, intelligent, honest and hard working with the good of the country in the back of their mind at any time. Michaëlle Jean for Prime Minister? I just know we need a real leader - it has been a while.

Well said DeepForest... As a fellow Canuck I travelled alot in my job, I've been asked the strangest questions concerning Canada eh? Lol... I had to stick the eh in!!<br />
Also, I loved the commercials too:)<br />
Happy Thanksgiving;-)

They were fun commercials though. I remember this kind of funny road hockey one with kids playing on the street - and they move the nets for a car - and Don Cherry rolls by - that used to crack me up too!<br />
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I only saw that one a couple of times - then it disappeared.

Hey BJRY <br />
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- that is a pretty broad and sweeping generalization about Canadians and metric - again - like I said, it is all age group - maybe you have never met Canadians under 35-40 as that is about the age they did the switch - but everything is metric here - we have no choice - so it is learn it or not know - I know it - but I still says miles per gallon though I know I drive 100km/h - and I know gas is 1.05 a litre right now etc. - that would be like me saying all Americans think Canadians live in igloos - a really vague and incorrect generalization - though, I have been asked about igloos by a few Americans in my life time - straight faced - so, some people don't know - like some people are not fluent in Metric.<br />
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As for Dangerous - it is all in comparison - look at the numbers:<br />
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http://www.canada.com/sc<x>ripts/story.html?id=7948313c-3034-456a-af36-e6cfdb97d66d&k=60696<br />
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Sadly - much of our guns used in crime comes from across the border where they are legal (and deadly).<br />
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So, when you are compaing 381 murders in LA to 70 in Toronto to 18 in Vancouver - there really is no comparison - you tell me what is safer. There are some rougher areas in Toronto - I think there is a core downtown Vancouver that is rough (I have never been) - but for the most part, Vancouver is a really beautiful city.<br />
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Los Angeles (3,829,000) <br />
Chicago (2,926,000) <br />
Toronto (2,572,000)<br />
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We don't have the urbanized ghettos like the States - just some rough areas - and while there is gun play - it is relatively safe. Sadly there is gun play and drugs like any other major North American city ( I lived in Tokyo - and this is NOT a problem) - but any North American city for sure.<br />
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Since the US is the gun capital of the world - we cannot seem to escape that reality.

I didn't think BJBRY was part of the choir - see he post - so I thought I had to respond. Joe Canadian did rock though - what happened to those good commercials - now we have a bunch of dudes skating in a race on some pond - and the announcement sounds like any budwesier commercial - is it me, or does it sound like an American watched a whole bunch of classic Canadian beer commercials, tried to write something (as most major beer companies are no longer Canadian) that they think is Canadian-like and they just don't get it right?<br />
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Ever since the beer companies were bought up by American companies (I think now owned by European companies) they just haven't come anywhere near as good as the old commercials.<br />
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I used to love the one where the guys (and gals) break into an impromptu street hockey game in the middle of Bay street ...<br />
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or the car commercial with the kids playing street hockey and having to move the net for the car ...<br />
those were great commercials.

The language is a cross between British English and American English - so you do get both. Most of the spelling differences are in the newspapers which have adopted American spelling as most of the countries news feeds and the companies that supply them are American. Also most spell check software is American, therefore even when you try to spell the Canadian version, software will automatically try to correct it (like on the software that runs this system) - sometimes you forget, sometimes you get annoyed and often only the vigilant and picky keep the Canadian spelling of words. But as a Canadian, it is confusing.<br />
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As for measurements - everything here is in metric. The problem is if you are over a certain again, metric is either foreign to you (as you were taught in imperial or if you are younger, you know nothing other than metric. I was raised right in the middle - they completely switched halfway through grade 7 or 8 - somethings I totally know in metric, and some things never clicked as I had already learned and figured out how it works in imperial mesaurements and never caught on very well. So that is how it works - ask a 20 something about imperial measurements here in Canada and they will scratch their heads not even knowing what you are talking about. So we are a metric country. We changed, we got over it! So why are American not getting with the world picture? hehe<br />
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A US gallon is an anomaly all around the world. haha ... my question to you though is why is a country stubbornly sticking to a set of measurements that is different throughout the world. America the stubborn? Hehe ..<br />
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hey, I would be the first to agree that we are more similar than far apart as two countries. But you might get to see the fun in your lifetime where they switch up the rules - then I could ask you why can't you get a handle on it - your brain seems to learn some things forever - it gets hard to unlearn them.<br />
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Lets see - we support gay marriages, we have two languages and believe in multiculturalism, we have gun legislation, very low crime rates for very large cities (remembering a city like Pittsburgh is the equal population - possibly smaller than our city Hamilton), public health care (really a good thing), we have a province that is a complete different language than the rest of the country, we have quite a few parties in our political system (not just two - but let's face it - it is like cable TV so many choices but nothing on to watch), we believe in big business but did not have a complete market crash (nor a lending crisis), etc. So you can see how we differ - I think since the 70s, we have gone a different path and it would be hard to go back to thinking and doing like Americans like we would have been able to since the 70s.<br />
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I like our differences - I visit the US almost every year but I know I couldn't live down there as a Canadian expected to what we have up here and really like our tolerence on most issues ...<br />
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so be happy where you are - we are happy too.<br />
You guys are like an older brother to us - sometimes you tease and pick on us and forget about us - but we are family nonetheless. Just don't think I haven't forgot all of the noogies you gave us!!<br />
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haha ... we don't completely hate you it is true - but we do scratch our heads sometimes when you say the things you do. Like, "say what???" Sometimes like that crazy aunt or uncle we have ... maybe after a few beers or hot toddies at gramma's house - then BAM! <br />
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Something comes out ... <br />
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just wish you knew a little more about us as we knew about you!<br />
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:P<br />
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I guess we are just waiting to be appreciated.

lol...Howdy Joe the Canadian.