Volume 33, Number 8, August 1998


Oh Canada, No Canada!


TO:                 Debra A. Levy, USGlass Magazine

FROM:        Lyle R. Hill

SUBJECT:       Your Future

You are on the verge of making what I feel would be a terrible mistake, and I truly believe that I have an obligation to you to speak my mind on the matter with the sincere hope that I can save you from yourself. While it is true that you have elevated USGlass to the position of the most widely read and quoted magazine in the American glass industry today, there is no reason to believe that you can repeat your success elsewhere . . . particularly in a foreign country. Specifically Deb, I refer to the announcement in the June issue of USGlass that proclaims that you have now purchased the Canadian publication known as B.C. Glass and Glazing Canada. Deb, this is a terrible mistake. A nice girl like you has no business getting involved with the Canadians.

You see, Deb, the Canadians are not to be trusted, and I will now give you good reasons why this is so. And hopefully, by the time you are finished reading this, you will have come to your senses and you’ll abandon this foolish idea of yours.

First . . . the Canadians lack a sense of humour. Just try to name one decent, talented comedian from Canada. You can’t do it, can you? We can boast of talents such as Dan Ackroyd, Jim Carrey and the late, great John Candy, along with such great comedic actors as Michael J. "Back to the Future" Fox. Even our serious news journalists such as Peter Jennings and Morley Safer offer a wry sense of humour unmatched by any Canadian.

Secondly . . . Canadians lack a sense of history. So that their memory is always near and dear to us, we Americans honor important historical figures by putting their likenesses on our coins. Not so with the Canadians. Just take a good look at their coins . . . you’ll see beavers, ducks and while you will find a portrait of a queen, she’s from some other country. I don’t understand this lack of regard for their heritage. They have produced a few significant people that could be used on their money. How about the Great Gretzky or Ann Murray or that prime minister guy . . . Mickey Rooney? Wait a minute, I may have gotten my Rooneys mixed up. I think the prime minister guy was named Mull Rooney, not Mickey. But either way, you get the idea.

Thirdly . . . Canadians lack decency. I support this position based on my own personal experience. You see, a few years ago I took a certain Canadian aluminum supplier by the name of Freddie Fulton to a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game while he was visiting Chicago. This was a true act of kindness inasmuch as his ticket alone cost me two big green bills with some guy’s face on them.

At any rate, these Canadians would have you believe that they not only fully understand and love the game of hockey, but that they probably invented it as well. However, after observing Mr. Fulton though an entire game, it became quite obvious to me that he neither appreciated nor understood the game at all. For not only did he act like a complete gentleman while the Hawks destroyed the Maple Leafs, he also refrained from swearing at the referees, throwing any refuse out onto the ice when a bad call was made and most telling of all, did not stand and scream his head off during any of the numerous fights that occurred during the contest. Obviously, he has limited knowledge of the game of hockey.

Fourthly . . . Canadians are wasteful. Just look at the way they spell. For instance, you’ll notice that I used the Canadian spelling of the word "humour" earlier in this article . . . a simple act of decency . . . kind of a cultural olive branch? However, we Americans long ago eliminated superfluous letters such as "u" in our writings. Through vs. Thru as another example . . . and while we are on the subject of thru, um, through . . . I am.

Sincerely yours,

Lyle Hill


Levy's Response . . .


TO:             Lyle R. Hill

FROM:    Debra Levy

SUBJECT:    Your Memo

Lyle, Lyle, Lyle, poor misinformed, ethnocentric Lyle.

Thank you so much for your memo concerning our newest venture in Canada. Our whole staff is very excited about BC Glass & Glazing Canada and we are now in the process of opening offices in Toronto and Vancouver.

You need not have too much concern, as the magazine will be written for and by Canadians. However, I am compelled to correct the many misstatements of "fact" in your memo.

First, Lyle, you should be aware that those comedic talents that you cited and so admire are all from Canada! That’s right. Ackroyd, Carrey, Candy, Michael J. Fox, and even Peter Jennings and Morley Safer, are from Canada—a country so rich and generous in its talents that it has shared some of its best with the States.

Further, I must disagree with your second point implying that U.S. coinage has a high degree of historical significance. In fact, a recent study conducted by a prestigious university (and verified by Jay Leno on the Tonight show) clearly shows that the average U.S. citizen has no idea whose image is on what coin or why it’s there.

Thirdly, Mr. Fulton’s civility during the Blackhawks game can be explained in one word: Chicago. Fulton saw the game in Chicago and was afraid that any display of affection for the visiting team would have cost him his life. In fact Mr. Fulton personally told me that throughout the game he was surrounded by three thugs—all of whom work for you. Talk about lack of decency!

I refuse to comment on your fourth point concerning the proper spelling of any words in the English language, regardless of the number of "u"s contained therein. Having edited your writing for the past four years, I must say this: you are the LAST person who should be commenting on what is and is not proper spelling.

Finally, I must take issue with your use of the word "American" throughout your memo. Only those with a truly myopic view would fail to recognize that Canadians (and Mexicans as well as those from Central and South America) are all Americans, and the world does not revolve around the United States or Chicago, IL, for that matter.

I don’t know what can be done to rehabilitate you, Lyle. But I’m willing to take the first step. A copy of the Oxford University’s New Canadian Dictionary, along with The Beginner’s Guide to Hockey by Gordie Howe are on their way to you. Humor me and read ‘em, eh?



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