As you probably know by now, it’s coming up to Thanksgiving weekend here North of the Border. As you definitely know, Lynn studiously avoided any sort of mention of that fact in the strip owing to what she referred to as a need to not ‘confuse’ her American readers and you also know that I love to make a meal of a tiresome joke about her being so out of it and paranoid that she thinks that if someone from Peoria were to learn that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the latter part of November, he or she is going to be so outraged at the sheer anti-God un-Americanness of it all, war will be declared to force us to celebrate it when God intended. This, I think, makes for a nice hook for what I’d expect to see in a Foob Thanksgiving special. That’s because about six months before where I would set the story, Lynn had John and Elly on that cruise laughing at the ‘loutish’, ‘low-class’ American tourists who looked almost exactly like them. The central dramatic tension of the plot would, in my imagining of events, be based on a very silly misapprehension that tells us more about Elly than it does about the American I imagine her to by trying to appease. I do realize that I’ve given the game away but bear with me through the Foob Shaming as I take you back to mid-October 1995:( Collapse )
The inspiration for my exercise in Elly-shaming is a series of sketches that Steve Smith did on a pre-Red Green program he and his wife did back thirty years ago. What would happen is that he portrayed an American long-haul trucker who, while admiring Canada and its many positive qualities and respecting the Canadian people, had a slight problem. He was confused and saddened by the fact that despite living in a great place and having lots of good things in their lives, Canadians sure did have a hard time admitting that they had a lot to be proud of. He said that if he were a local, he'd be a lot more grateful before concluding “But then again, I’m
not a Canadian.” Every time I see Elly go out of her way to not see what she’s got going for her, I think of that man and I remember that Elly is what we Canadians are in the dark: colonials ashamed that we’re not as ‘good’ as people from whatever imperial centre we envy. THIS is why she never celebrates it in strip: she feels shame that the old centre of the world Britain does not have a specific Thanksgiving and that the new centre to the South celebrates it later in the year; either way, we are somehow weak, defective and wrong.