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“Hi! Welcome to Gaslight Bookstore, how may I help you?”

“I was here last week and saw ______. I’ve been so looking forward to reading it!”

“We’ve never had that book.”

“Really? Jason put it on hold for me, even though you had lots of copies. He was very helpful.”

“I don’t know any Jason. Are you sure it wasn’t Samantha?”

“I don’t think so. Jason has worked here for years; I know him well. Anyway, can I order the book?”

“This is a bakery.”

“I beg your pardon? This is clearly a bookstore.”

“I think I know the difference between books and loaves of bread. Are you hungry?”

“Well, yes I am, but that’s beside the point. I want to buy a book!”

“Perhaps the hunger is affecting your brain. I can help you with that, but you need to admit that there was never a bookstore in the first place.”

“What…?! I’ve been buying books here forever! Can’t you just give me the book I want?”

“Don’t you mean you want this marble rye? We’re known for your marble ryes.”

“It does look delicious… fine, I’ll have one loaf of the rye and some of these croissants.”

“Ma’am, those aren’t croissants, they’re The Hunger Games series.”

“Please lock me away now.”

"Oh look over there! Canadian values!"

“Oh look over there! Canadian values!”

Oh, Kellie Leitch, you strange, unique, visionary xenophobe. I’ve been watching your video today. You know the one; everyone’s talking about it, and they’re not saying anything nice. In my favourite riff on this thing that you’ve unleashed on the world and that you no doubt believe is true and moving, someone has slowed it down by 40%, making you appear to talk like someone’s drunk aunt. And maybe that’s exactly what you are–no judgements here, because that would be mean and a barbaric cultural practice.

Kellie, you’ve been around for quite a while now, beating your drum about how Canada needs to have face-to-face interviews with every immigrant, refugee–and now you’re apparently adding visitors to that list?!–to screen for Canadian values. Do you have any other policies that the mainstream media isn’t reporting on because it’s fixated on this one batshit crazy one? I understand that you’re trying to carve out a space for yourself amongst too many candidates for the Conservative Party leadership, but won’t you need other ideas when you become Prime Minister? (By the way, it’s totally adorable that you think you’ll ever be Prime Minister, and please keep on saying you will be at every opportunity… I hope it’s the first thing you say when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you say before you drift off to sleep, perchance to dream about being Prime Minister, which as I said, is never going to happen.)

But Kellie, I notice you never really say–beyond meaningless buzz words and platitudes–what the Canadian values you hold so dear are. And so I’m here to help. Please feel free to use any or all of the following as examples of Canadian values.

  • Rolling up the rim
  • Knowing which parts of Alberta where it’s safe to cheer for the Oilers
  • How to correctly pronounce “about”
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes used to be funnier
  • Feeling inferior to Americans while using humour to pretend we’re not
  • Margaret Atwood is a goddamn national treasure
  • Knowing that Windsor, ON is at the same latitude as Northern California
  • Canada has the real Niagara Falls
  • “50 Mission Cap” is the ultimate Tragically Hip song; “Wheat Kings” is also acceptable
  • Our beer is better than American beer
  • Knowing whether to vote for Kellie Leitch

Those are the values all real Canadians possess. Oh, and the last one? Real Canadians know the answer to that, too.

Tiny Cars for Tiny Hands?

Tiny Cars for Tiny Hands?

Reading Rainbow – encourages children to read books but never has an episode about The Art of the Deal. Sad!

Planned Parenthood – who needs to plan parenthood? Just grab ‘em by the pussy and whatever happens, happens. (Always have a rock-solid pre-nup though, since women are always after your money.)

The Shriners – Anti-American tiny cars. When did America stop winning? When we stopped having big cars. Also, those things don’t run on coal so they’re destroying American jobs!

4-H Club – Animal husbandry, are you kidding me? Marriage is supposed to be between one man and one woman, then another woman whenever he wants to switch things up.

The Democrats – Losers. Always whining about how they won the popular vote. Since when is being President a popularity contest? By the way, they didn’t actually win the popular vote, I did. If I’d wanted to win the popular vote I would have done it. Next time I will, believe me. Looking to beat Stalin’s record of 99.9% in 2020!

"I saved the world from the Nazi scourge, and I only get to be a Captain?"

“I saved the world from the Nazi scourge, and I only get to be a Captain?”

Some of the greatest heroes the world has ever known have had military ranks. Some of them have actually served in the military, notably Captain America, even though he seems to have been handed the rank of Captain straight away, rather than enlisting as Private America and being promoted, whether through merit or on the battlefield. Others, like the often-overlooked Sgt. Rock and the more-heralded Nick Fury, never got a commission, in spite of fighting their way across Nazi-occupied Europe.

Who appointed Captains Britain and Canuck to their ranks? They always seemed to be lone wolves. Maybe they got drummed out of their respective services for insubordination. Captain Marvel served in the Kree Army before saving the universe on more than one occasion, while the other Captain Marvel got all his powers from a magician and would almost certainly go by the name Shazam if saying the word wouldn’t turn him back into Billy Batson, who’s much too young to enlist.

But the real question is, with all of their heroics and freedom-fighting and leadership, why haven’t any of these heroes been promoted to higher ranks? Why no Major Mexico, Lieutenant Colonel Liechtenstein, Brigadier General Bolivia, or General Germany, for example? Dictators like Qaddafi and Noriega, who by all rights should have been defeated and disgraced by justice-seeking heroes, instead outranked all of them (to be fair Noriega appointed himself General, but if Captain America had ever become President, it’s almost certain he would have humbly remained a simple Captain).

Maybe part of being heroic and risking your life to save your country, the universe, or even just a cat caught in a tree is being modest enough to accept your rank in life, even when you’re more of a man than the rest of the Army put together.

"Not so tough without your arrows, are you big guy?"

“Not so tough without your arrows, are you big guy?”

Green Arrow – duck a lot and wait him out; he only has so many arrows. Then punch him.

Aqua Man – first, kill all of the creatures of the oceans so he has no allies, then kill him.

Wonder Woman – she’s a sucker for masculine wiles, so just make her fall in love with you.

Hawkeye – see Green Arrow

Recently a co-worker of mine quietly said, “Is it bad that I don’t know who Judas is?”

Although I was initially taken aback, I quickly realized that she has no real reason to know the story of Judas: even if Muslims consider Christians and Jews “People of the Book,” they would have little occasion to actually read our holy texts. A lot of Christians, to say nothing of secular Westerners, haven’t read the Bible either. But most of us know the story of Jesus, and by extension Judas, anyway, because it’s become a part of the larger culture.

Relating the story to my colleague, I mentioned Jesus Christ Superstar, which is the source of much of my understanding, and thinking, about Judas–I didn’t have to read the Bible to know the story and, because my knowledge came from an arguably blasphemous source, my take on Judas is tinged with a radical, hippie-flavoured veneer. Whether Judas betrayed Jesus for silver or to fulfil his destiny is one of the great theological debates, and can be had whether you’re a believer or not.

I wonder which universally-relatable stories I’m missing out on because knowledge of the history of Islam and the Qu’ran is as lacking in Western societies as tales of the Last Supper and the 12th disciple are in young Somali-Canadians. Who is Muhammad Ali (not the boxer, but his namesake?), and what could I learn by studying his life?

The story I told her:

Judas and Jesus were best mates at school but Judas was always jealous because Jesus was better at sports and had an easy way with the birds. Still, they went into business together as freelance prophet and disciple. But Judas thought they’d switch off roles as they moved from city to city: being a disciple was hard work while being a prophet was where the real money was. When Jesus started making time with the lass Judas fancied, the disciple had had enough and sold his stake in Salvation, Inc. for 30 silver pieces, intending to set up shop in another town and help the poor there. But when Jesus got nicked by the bill for claiming divinity, Judas was blamed for betraying his old son and, knowing his propheting days were over, packed it in, offing himself in a right nasty way.

Hey, it’s not up to me to spread the so-called truth.

Anonymouse!

As cigar is to cigarette, so etique is to etiquette?

The cock is ticking!

The beautiful will inherit the Earth… according to the wealthy.

B.O. Wolf, heroic (and smelly) figure from Old English literature.

Dorothy Parker was really full of pith and vinegar.

If the porn industry discovered Chekhov: Uncle Vulva, The Cherry Pie Orchard, The C-Gulp, Three Sisters.

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