Friday, December 29, 2006

LOST IN TRANSLATION...

Here we are in the midst of the Blogging Doldrums and I hope that you are all enjoying the Holiday Season. While many of you were pulling tinsel out of your cat's bum I was getting my computer back up and running and...

I just returned from a Canadian tradition of going across the American border to experience a cross cultural experience in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Grand Forks is of course infamous for hiding Nuclear Weapons in plain sight to deter those Godless Communist Ruskies from starting sumthin' that they ain't gonna finish during the Cold War.

Most North Dakotans cannot accept that a country with 30 million people could actually exist any further north than them. As if humans could exist in a climate colder than Pluto next to Alaska! When people in Grand Forks ask you where y'all from and you say Winnipeg they just smile and say OkeeDokee as if you are a lunatic.

The biggest challenge is simply trying to get into the USA in this post 9/11 world. As you nervously hand over your Canadian Birth Certificate and Driver's License the steely eyed Border Guard orders you to start singing,
"Bye Bye Miss American Pie, Drove my Chevy from the Levy..." then he asks a few questions

"What is the State bird of Arizona?"
"Who won SuperBowl XXII?"
having memorised the 3,000 page entry examination book you answer correctly and seconds before you are ready to snap and accept full responsibility for the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping he reluctantly let's you pass..luckily there were no members of al Qaeda present in my vehicle when I received my one and only speeding ticket in back in 1994 or I would be writing this from the Guantanamo Bay Koranic Retreat Centre in Cuba.

Despite the hassle Winnipeggers make up the majority of the tourists that travel 150 miles South to Grand Forks a quaint city of 67,000 of which 12,954 are students at the University of North Dakota.

Grand Forks is 92% 'White', 57% of them voted for Bush, and booze is practically free, which would seem to be a recipe for disaster but somehow it continues to be a vibrant destination for us Canadians because we are such cheapskates.

You see most of us travel to Grand Forks to go shopping at the
Super TARGET,
which we pronounce
TAR-ZJAY,
where for instance I purchased a shirt for $1.94...
I kid you not.

We also love to get snacks and gas at the inappropriately named Loaf 'N Jug mini mart!

Any trip to GF is not complete unless you drive across the bridge into the State of Minnesota and visit Cabela's. Cabela's is a recreational weaponery and wildlife decimation emporium.

Leave your thin skinned vegetarian animal rights bleeding heart at the door. Here young Americans stroll through the sporting goods wearing T Shirts that read
I LOVE WILD ANIMALS..
they taste great!

There is a staggering collection of stuffed North American Creatures on display. Any creature that you could Google be it fish, fowl or mammal, has been exterminated with extreme recreational prejudice and fashionably mounted on a gigantic 3 storey high montage and throughout the gigantic store. It is sort of like going to a hunting museum.

Here the timid gun averse Canadian tourists nervously wander about the 'Sporting Goods ' with mouths agape and stare blankly at items such as this Gatling Gun which you can purchase for $30,000.

Why not get yourself a sweet .44 Magnum and pretend that you are Dirty Harry..

"go ahead little Duck...make my day!"

So to recap:

Whateverpeggers are drawn to Grand Forks by impossibly cheap booze, affordable 80s styled clothing and the simple thrill of visiting a small but well armed city full of white people with Nuclear Weapons!

Oh and gettin' snacks at the Loaf N Jug!

34 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:12 PM

    $1.94 for a shirt!!!
    Is it cheap so that you can dump it if you get bullet holes in it??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous3:28 PM

    You were robbed! I only paid $1.00 for my TAR-ZJAY shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know how much you adore your shark shirt, not to mention your martini shirt. What covers this one? Booze, Guns, Nuclear Weapons? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous4:56 PM

    I love your outside-looking-in perspective on our fine country. I don't want to be an American Idiot, but explain to me how you find bargains down here when your currancy is worth maybe 2/3rds of ours?
    I would think the savings would be found in the opposite direction, unless your taxes make up the difference. I do know I had to budget most of my travel budget for gas when I passed thru your grand country. Anyway, this was a fantastically funny post and it's damn time you got around to posting it, you SLACKER! hehe......(just a little 'merkin humor there.....)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous5:40 PM

    Gosh that's funny.
    We didn't get down there this season, but I know full well of what you speak. They're so close and yet know NOTHING of Winnipeg. DUH!
    My favourite...beer and crispy creams at any gas station. Even at the current $0.87 on the dollar it's still really cheap!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous7:09 PM

    I have heard of such things.Like Vancouverites sending mail from Seattle when Poste Canada's oon strike. Just as well the Pacific Ocean is between us or the gun-nutters from here would have a field gun. Field day!
    The local Tar-zhay is about twice as pricey as KmartBut we do have Kiwi cheap in The Wharehouse.(Useless trivia...in London, the ware'ouse means prison!)
    Happy New Year to all on this side of the Dateline. The rest of you can read this again tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  7. $30,000 for a Gatling gun? Sheesh! You would think they'd give them away considering how expensive they are to operate. "Oh, you want bullets with that?

    What does one do with a Gatling gun? Go duck hunting with Vice President Cheney?

    Try driving that back over the border. Gives a whole new meaning to "Anything to declare?"

    Ok, I'm out. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous2:33 AM

    Ha ha. Oh North Dakotka.

    I will be honest, I have never been to a real redneck state (assuming you don't include Alberta). I've only been to Cali, Washinton, Florida, NY, etc.

    I don't know how I'd react there. I mean, they're even more redneck that we are here I think, and I can hardly stand my fellow Albertans.

    Regardless, the low prices down there are great. I mean, a shirt at that price is a steal - no matter what it looks like.

    ReplyDelete
  9. grumblican3:18 AM

    Day-um, Son! Yew got ah real
    flair fer catchy phrases:

    "extreme recreational prejudice"

    Kinda rolls raht offen th' tongue,
    doanit? Yew given' much thawt ter
    runnin' fer office? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have a friend who spent a school year (8 months) at UND in Grand Forks. He was from Marin County, north of San Francisco and I'd met him while backpacking around Europe. Needless to say, he suffered *severe* culture shock. We're still firends but he never made any lasting friendships in ND, the (lovable) snob.

    Happy New Year, HE, and all the best in 2007.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous5:35 PM

    Discovering you blog is one of my BlogYear 2006's finest moments.

    Have a fabulous new year! Cheers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous12:58 AM

    I am good at bargaining but it seems here we don't need to bargain here.

    Have a great 2007, donn along with your family.

    May your posts cheer us, frustrate us, irritate us but never bore us.

    Cyber *hug* from me on the first day of 2007.

    *grin*

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous3:10 AM

    North Dakota?! Didn't know anyone lived there...really. Border!?? should came to Mississippi, now that is crossing the border.

    Super Target!?? We don't even have a regular target!

    Happy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Happy New Year, Darling HE. XX

    I love you completely and unconditionally, but I do wish you'd dress better ( I am, of course, just joking - I much preferred the unclothed pictures ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post, Homo UnAmerican.

    You need to wear that $1.94 shirt over this week so I can take a pic and blog about it.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    ReplyDelete
  16. nu-clear its pronounced nu-clear.... :) $1.50 for a shrit, i was stooked geting one for $5 in singapore. Do the guards realy ask americana questions? this may be a stupid question but our country is currently trying to implement this.
    Australia is trying a "Australian Vaues" test.. asking immigrants things like Bradmans batting ave, phar laps wins and AFL finals winners..

    Is there room for 2 more ex-pats in canada?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous5:19 PM

    Ooooo luvie-kins. You've got me - and it looks all the rest of your fan club - breathing hot and heavy for the tease of a peek at that $1.94 boy-nipple clinging (a goil can hope, caint she?) Sup-ah Tar-Zjay shirt of yours.

    Damn. You certainly know how to cross the line well. Kudos to you!

    Very decidedly glad to find my way back to your northern stoop and find your left handed swipes still spot on! Damn good fun.

    As I shared with your blogging bud W-i/W-o ... I have missed your good wit during my much needed break from words and the web.

    Looking forward to more returns.

    Ever yours
    ~Lady

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you so much for checking out my "Dreamweaver achievement" art website! I appreciate your comments and I return compliments to you; this blog is so funny! You have highly entertaining writing skills!!!

    I can also say that North Dakota has fabulous prairie landscapes that are almost as hot as the spectacular Manitoba skies. John and I passed the Border Test last summer and drove to Chicago through all these midwest states where I took a ton of digital photos to paint.

    My personal experience with americans is I love them but they always have trouble understanding my french accent... Ordering Subway sandwiches takes forever for me and usually results in sign language.

    Next time I'll try Loaf n Jug!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You get a hahahaha :-) for this travel report. My very best wishes for a wonderful 2007 !

    ReplyDelete
  20. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!
    Sorry for being so tardy but we just finished taking down all of the hollowday crap and I hope to catch up with all of you in the next day or so...

    cream de la creme,
    Somebody's jealous.

    dmmgmfm,
    DOH!

    christine,
    Believe it or not there wasn't even a Dukes of Hazard or Farrah Fawcett picture on this shirt...and for $2 I would have bought it anyway!

    THE michael,
    Now there aren't really any bargains (other than my shirt)because I found out that my 100 spool of blank CDs was $8 cheaper here at the Walmart when I got back..f%@#$^!..anyway we don't have a loaf N jug so it was all worth it.

    brian,
    Crispy Cremes are are 200% fat..that's why they are so damn good. We wanted to get across before the Passport became mandatory..now going to the States will be like trying to enter East Berlin in the 70s!

    dinahmow,
    Gun-Nutters is right. It is weird to think that every person around you is 'packin' heat' but I think that it acts as a deterent much like it did back in the 1800s in Dodge City..as long as everybody is armed nobody wants to pull out their piece...Yee Haw!!

    breakerslion,
    I would love to see the expression on the border guard's face if I was towing that Gatling Gun behind my Van...ooh I would have to pull up and then quickly turn around so that it was pointed at their little glass booth..let's see how brave they are then..HEY BIGSHOT BORDER GUY! Go ahead ask me how much I spent you little twerp...make my day.

    anonymooseblogger,
    Albertans are rednecks except that they expect the government to pay for suturing their self inflicted gunshot wounds...and even though there are booze stores all over the place it still costs a fortune...so Albertans are disqualified..you need to have cheap booze or there is no real advantage to wearing cowboy boots and having a gun rack in the rear window of your truck.

    grumblilical cord,
    I should have said extermination rather than decimation...I counted about 25 deer along the highway who chose to throw themsleves into oncoming traffic rather than face drunk rifle totin' rednecks on skidoos! The lesser of two evils.

    andrea,
    Yikes he must have thought that he enrolled at Bugtussle U (Petticoat Junction reference)..I imagine that the most sought after program in the Arts Faculty would be the Masters in Taxidermy.

    Irene,
    Aah that is so sweet...I hope to catch up in the next day or two and see what you are up to.

    gautami,
    Awesome review..never boring is my ultimate goal and those irritating/frustrating posts will all come back to haunt in my golden years.

    awaiting,
    See.. you 'real' Americans think of North Dakota as if it were some sort of hinterland on the edge of nowhere...beyond lay the vast barbarian wastelands of bilingual socialism and bacon flavoured doughnuts.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh Cherry!
    You are such a dear and I love you indubitably (did the BBC ever show Arrested Development over there?) and you are a world class kidder..MUAH!
    I hope that you had a marvelous vacca!
    XX OO

    withered out,
    It is actually not that bad..for 1978..it looks like something that I would have worn to one of our Beer Bash events at College..except I still would have worn my life jacket over top of it..do you remember that?

    aidan,
    Ha the Yanks don't ask questions yet..but Canadians will need Passports from now on to enter the Centre Of The Universe. Australian values??? I gather the irish convict gene pool is feeling a little threatened these days?
    Don't come here we all want to go there...atleast during our winters.

    lady flippin' wordsmith!!
    Heart be still you have returned from the great unknown..welcome back...I can't wait to see how you have adjusted to life in the witness protection program.

    *em*
    You are soo cute! I don't understand why they wouldn't understand you..all americans have watched Inspector Clouseau and Pepe Le Pew!...they do however tend to converse in Joey-French (Friends)..you know the Comma-ca-bla-bla-bla...maybe you should order with a Texan accent next time..
    "Howdy fellers, Ahl hav that thar big ass beef number 4 and doggonit make it aquick..A'm so dang hungry ah cud eet a frozen dawg!"

    hildegarde,
    Hello Zoeteke, Happy New Year! Thank you for the lovely message...can't wait to see what you're shooting.

    ReplyDelete
  22. grumbuler9:03 PM

    Ah! 25 more Beetles fans, finding out the hard way! "Why don't we do it, in the road?" Kin
    yew say. "Hemi"? Yee-hah!

    ReplyDelete
  23. hey dude HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hows it going? Where r ya? I miss u!!

    Keshi.

    ReplyDelete
  24. grumblinista,
    OUCH! Yessiree bob I applaud your nostalgic sentiment. I was tempted to just say DOE!

    Keshiroo,
    My darlin' blogga' from downunda how are ya mate? My frickin' 'puter was on the fritz but I am back..
    (thank you Mr. Dell for making 68 discs to upload if you need to reboot)and ready to rumble! I'll be by to have a lash in a jif.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wait a minute....never mind letting you into the states i wanna know how u got back into Canada...hehehehe Changed your name to protect the innocent.. i can now understand the inexpensive shirt cuz well your government supported...
    Well Bro wishing you and your family a wonderful 2007...we got some snow now so come out and snowmobile a little.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous1:42 AM

    "...or there is no real advantage to wearing cowboy boots and having a gun rack in the rear window of your truck."

    LOL. My Ontario born-and-raised dad would love you.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Yes, I do remember the lifejacket. I think I was in my "just shake your head in disbelief" stage with you.

    Still, wear the $1.94 shirt. I will blog about it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What is up with the $1.94 shirt? Who sells an item for $1.94? Down south we would never sell an item for $1.94. The cashier won't be able to do the math if I gave him a $5.00 bill. I will hold up the line with him trying to figure out the change after a %7.5 tax. That is why we have giant $1.00 stores with stupid giant blow-up wrestlers on top of the building Adverstizing the sale in some foreign language. Next time come further down South, but don't tell anyone you are from Canada, they might be surprised that you speak English. You have to practice your Mexican or a subform of Spanish.

    P.S. I love Cabela's. I wonder if I can order that Gatlin gun by mail? I always get their catalog.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous12:37 AM

    Howdee dodah day dahrlin! Yeah, your Lady is bloody well back. And damn happy for it - but Hey! SHhhhhh ... shut your 'ole! Don't be breathin' no word to these geegaws 'bout me an' me time in the witness protection program.

    Sheesh.. last thing I need now is to have shoot anyone dead in the head to be hid in the shed .. ya know?

    Happy shopping luvie - 'tis damn good to be back

    Ever yours
    ~flippin' lady

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous2:18 AM

    Bacon flavored donuts!

    I'm having a cardiac arrest now.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous10:33 AM

    ooh- i wanna go there too! it sounds like a complete jol!

    ReplyDelete
  32. hodedoor,
    HFNY to you too Prairie Dog!
    How is the Tundra? Must get expensive feeding all of the Musk Ox and Caribou running through the yard.

    anthropomorphicblogger,
    Oh yeah, your Dad and I would have a good chuckle over the phoney baloney cowboys..Yee Haw!

    withoutinoutin,
    I will wear my beautiful shirt...and my Lifejacket if I can find it.

    Ces,
    YOU LOVE CABELAS??
    Are you a hunter gatherer of wild game or do you just get the warm fuzzies thinking about your man in his Camo Pyjamas?
    I can speak Spanglish with the best of 'em...I would love to make it back to the deep South where men are men and sheep are nervous.

    Ladyword Johnson,
    Your thinly disguised threat will not dissuade me from revealing the truth!...whatever that is.

    Awaiting,
    Doesn't that sound awesome!MMMMM..
    and coffee flavoured beer.

    Angel,
    Jol sounds a lot like Jail..I'll have to consult my Afrikanner Translation Wizard...oh yeah I have to get a new one my Favorites sidebar is empty again...aaah don't you just love computers...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous10:15 PM

    Loaf N Jug. If this place wasn't in North Dakota, I'd swear you were making that up.

    I'm married to one of the next door neighbors...a Montanan. I've heard stories. Q's dad even had a copy of a North Dakota joke book

    ReplyDelete
  34. ms.val,
    Yee Haw Montanee..well then he must know dmmgmfm's laurie?
    That is the old joke that we Canadians get from Americans Oh you're form Canada then you must know so&so?
    Yeah Office Glen in Toronto..sure I know him.

    ReplyDelete

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