So I stopped at the convenience store to pick up a bottle of iced tea. I was in luck, though I rarely stop at this particular store so I was flying blind, so to speak, they had the brand of iced tea that I enjoy because it’s made of real all-natural tea (instead of just labeled all-natural tea which often contains high fructose corn syrup or sucralose). The young man behind the counter was relatively grubby looking; I pulled out my wallet to pay. As I did so, he looked like I had just pulled Magenta’s ray gun and was about to stun him. I handed him the two dollars and waited for my change. He looked at me oddly and gave me my change and I turned and left. I politely said “Thank you”, he was silent. Just as I was approaching the door I heard him mutter something.

“Fucking Canuck.”

Here’s the thing. I have more Canadian cash than American cash to my name at the moment. I had taken out too much cash from the ATM the last time I was in Canada and found myself with a few extra bills. Since we are going to Toronto for pride in a couple of weeks, I have opted to wrap my American cash in Canadian cash in my wallet so that I don’t forget I have it when we go back. I’m also not shy about the fact that I love Canada very much (at least the parts I’ve been in) and would love the opportunity to move there so I also keep the Canadian cash around to make people notice me in an odd little way. It makes me stand out, it makes them think. I like to think that it makes them think that not everyone is the same. I was born and bred in the United States and I love my country, but I have to admit that over the past ten years or so I haven’t been as proud of it as I have been in the past.

I thought out shrugging off this little grubby man’s comment but I decided not to. I turned back to him, walked a few steps in his direction and simply said:

“Thank you for demonstrating one of the many reasons the rest of the world dislikes the United States.” I was calm and rational as I said it. The grubby little man just stared back at my comment. Another woman at the register smirked. It was then that I turned and walked out.

It was the second time in relatively recent history that someone has insulted Canada around me. I think I find this surprising.


  1. “I was born and bred in the United States and I love my country, but I have to admit that over the past ten years or so I haven’t been as proud of it as I have been in the past.”

    You are going to regret saying that. Now you will never get to be First Lady.

    I feel similarly to you. I don’t get to visit Canada as often as I would like, but it is always pleasant to drive up there. One thing I notice when I cross the border: the Canadian guards are invariably nice and well mannered, while the American guards coming home are usually a bunch of dicks. Perhaps it’s the location of my crossing. I make most of them at the Detroit/Windsor border.

    For Canadians heading south into the U.S. the first Americans they encounter are the border guards. Can’t these guys act a little better? Don’t they know they give America a bad name? I think they know but just don’t give a shit, just like your boy at the store.

  2. You should still write a letter to the store owner for discrimination. Do some damage.

    I’m going to be the devil’s advocate though here. Living here in Toronto but working in the US, I often have American dollars in my wallet…and I honestly have been called a “fucking American” by personnel up here.

    I love my Maple Leaf country. But we’re just as guilty of the rudeness you encountered.

  3. I’m not surprised in the least.

    I keep forgetting what it’s like outside of NYC.

    Are you two coming down for Pride?


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