I was biking with my camera bag the other day when a jeep buzzes my bike and some tool shouts: "isss errsss". What the ?! What did he say?! Then noticing my camera bag hung over my shoulder I deciphered his shout.
Tool! I shifted gears and pumped the peddles. But my old man style Comfort Bike is no match for a Jeep YJ. Just as well, what would I have said if I did catch up. All I could think of in my panting rage was a line from Seinfeld: "It's a European Carry-all!" I'm not sure that would have helped my poor bruised masculine ego. (So frail we are as men.)
As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians we should be well used to cowardly jabs. Remember when Ellen DeGeneres had her own sitcom. The big fellow from the show whose character was Canadian was listening to a fellow Canadian comedian. The comedian was making "Newfie Jokes". In response the big fellow replies (laughing hysterically) "It's true those Newfies are so stupid." It made NTV news. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that were watching of course sat with their mouths agape. Sort of like me on the bike. Senseless to enter into debate on that one. The Ellen show vs NTV Evening News. Nothing to do but grin and bare it.
An episode of South Park where the crudely drawn little characters go to Canada has a scene where they end up in Newfoundland. The Newfoundlander they meet says he wants to meet the Prime Minister of Canada because he is passing a law that won't let him "shag his boys". Of course if your watching South Park it's really your own fault if it manages to offend you. Sort of like peeing into the wind.
People like SS craptain Watson has practically made a living off making the popular culture believe that the Newfoundland and Labradorian is somehow a lesser class global citizen. "Where priests rape orphans".
Our national journalists too like to shout from cars. I guess they garner the same sort of self-righteous pride that a school yard bully gets from stealing milk money. Marge Wente's "Scenic Welfare Ghetto"; Ric Dolphins “Walrus and Welfare investigators and whatever else it is that terrifies Newfies"; Bill Lankhof's "the biggest thing to happen in The Land Cod Forgot since the invention of the pogey cheque"; and Charles Lynch comments about Newfoundland and Labrador "Whiners" during Meech Lake - suggesting that between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador Canada's youngest province would have to go.
At least the Lynch article doesn't require any rebuttal, Rick Mercer adequately hammered that nail in his one man show "Show me the button and I'll push it (Charles Lynch must die)". In at least this last case Rick, being a better man than I, was able to catch that Jeep YJ and not only counter the attack but blow the thing to bits.
Then there's shows like "Ed's Up" featuring Ed of Bare Naked Ladies fame. Flying his plane away from the Churchill River where he has just helped the Steelworkers build a bridge there is a brief glimpse of that spectacular Labrador coast, and Ed speaks of the Newfoundlanders who he had just met saying. "I've never met a Newfoundlander I didn't like."
God love ya Ed. I guess for those who actually set foot on our soil they come to know something of who we are on The Rock and in The Big Land. Shag the others. The rest can kiss kiss my stupid-newfie-welfare-whining briny arse - Purse included.