As you probably already know, Americans are not the most culturally aware people on the planet. We, as a whole, are not very geographically literate either. We have an amazing ability to truly believe that things that occur in other places are not relevant to us. It happens that we have a really big interest in Mexico right now (illegals, drugs, and guns, oh my!) but I am willing to bet that a large portion of the population have pretty much forgotten about the neighbors living in the attic – otherwise known as Canadians.

I consider myself fairly well informed (read: didn’t vote for Trump) and I have traveled to Europe a couple of times, the Caribbean and Mexico, but I have never ventured north into the wilds of Canada. Canada is a fairly quiet country, keeping mostly to itself, which allows Americans to come up with some pretty interesting ideas about it.

First off, most Americans would probably be hard pressed to remember that Canada is actually part of North America. Sad, I know, but true. Instead we tend to think of Canada as something completely different than the U.S. It is viewed as someplace where there is perpetual winter, like some sort of Arctic wasteland. While I haven’t quizzed everyone here, it seems clear that we all believe that even in July, Canadians are skiing and wearing gloves and jackets.

Additionally, we do not understand the government there. Not having a Prime Minister, we are not sure what that means. President? Figurehead? Elected Dictator? Who knows? Where is the Canadian seat of government? Hard telling, but a guess isn’t out of the question since they only have 5 “states.” And why is that? Why don’t they break the place up a bit? We all seem to agree that in one of those provinces (whatever that means) they speak French too, but there are questions as to which one and why is that is even allowed.

The mystery truly deepens when you get to health care. We know that Canadians have universal, government provided health care, but we just don’t know how to feel about that. On one hand we are told that you can go see a doctor for free. On the other hand we are told that free doesn’t really matter since the waiting list for someone in the middle of a heart attack is 6 months, so we would all just die anyway. And under no circumstances whatsoever are we to import drugs from Canada via the Internet. We are informed over and over again that there is no guarantee that they are safe, with the implication clearly being that they are not, so all I can assume is that Canadians are dropping like flies from bad drugs.

What is the population of Canada? 17 million? 142? It’s anybody’s guess. Americans are continually surprised to find out they have enough people to form a military, or at least one beyond Dudley Do-Right. We never seem to worry about them sneaking across the tree lined border either. Or we didn’t until Trump brought it up, which is weird since most reasonable people claimed that if he was elected, they would move to Canada. These same people also seem to believe that Canada would be happy to have them without anyone getting worked up about “foreigners.”

Of course, if you ask most Americans about Canada, you will hear the same two things. This applies universally, whether or not they have ever been to Canada or met a Canadian. There are two things Americans seem absolutely, positively sure about when it comes to Canada.

What are they?

It’s very clean and the people are very polite.

How did it get so clean? Probably the very polite people pick up after themselves. What does very clean even mean? I imagine it is something like Disneyland, where there are people running around behind the scenes picking up every scrap and making sure everything is perfect. Why would they do that? Because they are really polite? I don’t know.

But the thing I would like to know the most is how they manage to limit their election cycles to 11 weeks? And they say that was a long one. We, on the other hand, go at it for the better part of two years.

Please Canada, cross over that long, porous, unguarded, snow covered border and save us from ourselves. I promise, no one is looking.


Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  1. As a Canadian living in the UK, your post really made me smile. I grew up in Ontario, Canada and no, it doesn’t snow all the time. In fact, sometimes it gets so hot we don’t know what to do with ourselves. It’s great that you can poke fun at yourself this way – I know for a fact many folks have a lot of misconceptions about Americans too though so don’t be too hard on yourself. And it really doesn’t matter, I loved your article and this is just clarification, but there are actually 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada. I find it really hard to explain the concept of provinces to people over here and often describe them as like states though – that seems to be easier for everyone to understand. Thank you for sharing this post – it made me smile!

  2. Lol this post is funny. Americans also don’t know that they have won wars only thanks to the help of Canadian military. They also don’t know that Canadians burned down their White House. I can’t blame them for thinking Canadians are weak though, since our government just kisses their governments ass all day

    • So can you give examples of what might be considered Canada kissing America’s ass? Last I checked our Prime Minister was pretty damned classy in his first meeting with the new President.

      • Our prime minister is not the government and the president is not the government. That would be 2 people who are the FACES of the government

    • Canadians never burned down the White House! Rather, it was the British during the war of 1812 who burned down the White House.

  3. Rick Ovens Reply

    Great article and love your sense of humor! You might find this a bit confusing, but much of Southwestern Ontario is further south than many of your states. In fact, from Windsor, Ontario we need to travel north to get into Detroit, Mi.

  4. hrist Americans are the stupidest most destructive and ignorant people in the world.

  5. There r 10 provinces and 3 territories. We get a 2. Month long summer. The prime minister is the face of our gonverntment. And a province is just a bigger better state. Also Canada is the reason your White House is called the “White House” after we burnt it down during the war of 1813 ( which Canada won) u Americans just painted it over with white paint. So I’m nehalf of Canada your welcome.

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