Saturday, November 10, 2007

We're here and we're winning! (sort of)

The Canadian dollar is beating the U.S. dollar for the first time since nineteen-eighty-something. Yes, I said "beating"! We are winning the dollar race, do you hear? Neener neener, nyah nyah nyah!

Except, financial people keep interrupting my gloating with their pessimism. "A high dollar is bad for the economy!" they warn. "The U.S. is going to stop importing our stuff! Our manufacturing industry will suffer!" (Canada has a manufacturing industry? Wow, really? Because I rarely see the words "made in Canada" on anything in our stores. But I digress.)

Anyway, I'm thinking that it's time for the Canadian and the U.S. eonomies to re-think their relationship. They need to have A Talk. One of those talks that goes on until at least 4 am, where all the ugly truths come out. Because this sounds an awful lot like one of those bad relationships where she (for the sake of argument) can't dress up too nicely, or seem confident, because he's jealous and needs to keep her down to feel good about himself.

"You think you're worth $1.06 of me?" accuses the American dollar. "Oh yeah? You're putting your cold nose up in the air like that? Bitch! You'll see what happens. You'll come crawling back to me in a week, begging me to buy your exports. Then I'll push your government around a bit, just to prove that I can."

That's what it's like to be Canadian. We have the whole upper half of the North American continent, but a lot of Americans don't even know that we exist. One time, in Texas, my grandfather stopped at a gas station to fuel up. Noticing his accent, the attendant asked him where he was from. "Canada," said my grandfather. "Oh," drawled the attendant, with a friendly smile, " and what state is that in?"

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