...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Sunday, November 14, 2004

"Canada" and "fanaticism" don't usually go together, do they?

Remember the story of the "Canadian five-cent coin" from last year? Basically I got a Canadian nickel in my change, and I wanted to show Ryan, who is Canadian. The catch was, I didn't know if Canadians called their five-cent coins "nickels" or not, and I didn't want to assume that they would automatically follow the American model, blah blah blah cultural relativism. So I came up all excited, "I have a...[dramatic pause]....Canadian five-cent coin!!" Ryan: "Yes, we call them nickels."

Maybe you had to be there.

Anyway, when Cloe and Angela and I went to Vancouver for spring break last year, we bought a map of Canada and put it up in the dorm hallway, outside my room. I taped a Canadian nickel to it and wrote a little sign pointing to it: "This is a...Canadian five-cent coin!" This year, I put the map up again in the hall outside my room, since most people living around me know the joke behind it or just don't pay attention to it at all.

A few minutes ago, though, I noticed a kid that I've never seen before standing outside the room (the door was open, so I could see what was going on in the hallway), looking at the stuff I've posted outside the door. "Uh...who's Canadian?" I heard him ask someone down the hall. The person didn't know. The rest of the conversation went down something like this:

Kid: Uh...Jessica?
I: Yeah?
Kid: Um...Are you Canadian?
I: No, a friend of mine is. And I got the map in Vancouver over spring break last year. There's sort of a story behind it--
Kid, interrupting: I was just wondering, because you seemed kind of fanatical about it. About Canada.
I: [baffled] Well...not really.

[awkward pause]

I: Um...are you Canadian?
Kid: No. I have a friend who lives in Canada.

With that, he sauntered off down the hallway.