Thursday, December 11, 2008

Invasion of the Canadians

On a clear day, we can see Canada across the lake from the beaches in Erie, PA. The shores of Ontario are 34 miles from our shores in Erie. I like to think of us as the first line of defense against any Canadian onslaught that might come against our great land. When you think about it we are a key cog in the National Security wheel. No season of year is as dicey in this regard as Christmas time. With the convenient excuse of "no sales tax" the Canadians cross the border and invade Erie by the busload each winter. We may regret allowing them to move about our country so freely and shop and eat and drink and whatnot...they are sneaky those Canucks. Here are three recent sightings:
  1. Kohls - My mother in law saw a large bus emptying at the front of the Kohl's department store in Erie. She approached one from the emerging legions and discovered that they were all from Toronto. I wonder if the word "kohls" is some canadian military code sounds kind of Canadian, eh?
  2. Buffets - the buffet restaurants in Erie have been overrun with the foreign visitors as of late. C'mon you can't use the sales tax excuse on buffet restaraunts people. I looked it up -there is no sales tax on restaraunt food in Canada.
  3. Starbucks - I saw a busload emptying near Starbucks the other day. Seriously? They have their precious Tim Hortons for heaven's sake - what the heck are they doing in our Starbucks? There must be reconnaissance and surveillance going on for some future initiative...
I'm not trying to be an alarmist or anything but the first time I see a Mounty trotting down the street - I'm calling Homeland Security...


Danny Lucas said...

A single bus carries 48 people; you have encountered about 150 people from Canada (max).

My love affair with Canada is lengthy, but I recall the one time I cried in thanksgiving for the Canadians.

I was watching WQLN, a PBS show called "Stranded Yanks". It is one of the most spellbinding television productions ever, because it is true.


It was a bad day for the USA.
For the first time ever, we grounded every plane in the skies and sealed the borders totally.

252 international flights were bringing citizens home. They could not return to their origin due to fuel consumed.

And, they could not land in the USA for the country was closed.
An announcement went out to all airline traffic everywhere:
"All airways over continental U.S. are closed. Land at the
nearest airport, advise your destination"
--Message sent to all commercial flights en route to the United

Never in all history had an announcement like that been made. Never since.

"43,000 dazed and frightened passengers were suddenly grounded
in Canada. Many landed in places they'd never heard of: Gander,
Goose Bay, Moncton. Most were Americans who were supposed to be
headed home."

Stranded Yanks, the PBS story, tells their stories.

By my calculation, 896 busloads of Americans could not get home. For five days, 43,000 fellow citizens were given Canadian hospitality in motels, hotels, and personal homes.

They sat with total strangers watching TV screens of smoke collapsed buildings, where many of their family members embered.

From one end of Canada to the other, Americans were nourished in body and soul spontaniously. We are forever in their debt for doing that for us.

We are Stranded Yanks still, perhaps Stranded Planet would be better phrased. We all stand outside of heaven waiting to go home....when the Gates open. In the meantime, it is a fortunate person to be in the company of a Canadian while waiting our turn to go home.

I stayed in Flin Flon, Manitoba during high school. I stayed in a home of Canadians there. My friends asked me for my phone number at the house (there were no cell phones in those days).

I asked the host family for their phone number and if people could call me there.

"Yes", they replied.
"By all means, do call.
Our home phone number is 12."

The busload of American high school kids laughed uproariously as I told them I could be reached at "12". "Gimme a call, eh?"

I took my daughter to see Niagara Falls with a church group. We went by bus. Enroute to Buffalo, Karli (4 or 5) made a request.
"Dad, do you think we could go over to the Chinese side?"
"Sure", said I.
Once there, I pointed to the myriad flags and explained how to spot a Canadian flag over a Chinese flag.

Years later, my daughter....then maybe 7 or 8, triumphantly told me:
"Hey dad! I can spell Canada without any A's. Can you?"


With a fast growing grin, Karli told me:
"C, eh?"
"N, eh?"

We laughed together.
Canadians have that effect on me.

Bethany said...

This is totally random and has nothing to do with your post, but I've heard you use the word "reconnaissance" three times within in a week. Twice during last weekend's message and then once here in your blog. I guess that word stands out to me for some reason. I think I might try to use it more in my vocabulary.

Derek said...

I love that word

nonick said...

See Canada from the beaches? I don't think so. Three miles tops, farther if you're in a lifeguards chair. Maybe you could spot the top of one of their windmills though. joe

Larry Shallenberger said...


You should see Derek in a staff meeting batting around the words "reconnaissance" and "cannuks" in strategy meetings.

Danny Lucas said...

It is a Biblical word and activity. "Go,scout out the land" advises Moses. Numbers 13.

Reconnassaince made the difference between being a Caleb and a coward.

A local blogger, "A Like Affair With Words", (now an extinct blog) used to write 5 favorite words on a post. She "liked" words too. I recall "gloaming" and "fungible" as among her favs, but I need to do a reconnaissance at Google to recall what they mean.

Fungible is fun to say, eh?

I think having young children requires reconnaissance knowledge...
just to survive, Derek.

I can't find cannuck in the Bible, nor curling or hockey puck, so perhaps a reconnaissance for wisdom and truth needs done in a different portion of the compass.