I will venture some well-thought-out criticism of this country and hope to God you idiots don’t accuse me of being unpatriotic.
Our babies have gotten uglier. I don’t know why this is but you can’t deny it’s happening. Is it inbreeding? Is it high levels of newfangled foodstuffs like yogurt and lettuce? Who knows? There is just no answer out there, but look around, babies are not cute any more. Women seem to not notice it as well because often they become emotionally attached to their babies. It can ruin my whole day – some proud and delusional woman will shove her terrifyingly ugly thing right in my face and I am made to scream. It’s just about at epidemic proportions. If it keeps going at this rate none of us will want to go outside by the year 2015 for fear of seeing a disgusting-looking infant. If women are going to keep having these gross little meatballs I think we need to start thinking about social engineering of some kind.… We could set up a tribunal of judges and decide which babies need to be shipped off to England, where there have never been good-looking babies. We could have this whole country looking beautiful and fresh in no time. I would say Thai babies can get a pass. I’ve never seen an ugly Thai baby. Never. We should as a nation be encouraged to breed with people from Thailand. It could solve everything.…
College! This country has gone college crazy! Everyone and their dog has to go to college. If you make it through high school and you don’t go to college, then you are an outcast. Well, this is ridiculous! I think we should go back to the good old days when nobody went to college except for homely women and pasty rich white guys from Boston. What’s wrong with making birdhouses for a living? You don’t need college to lay tar on a roof. Is there a better job than laying tar on a roof ? You play around with hot tar, you’re outside with your buddies cracking dirty jokes and then you head to the bar for some icy cold beers. Is college gonna get you that? Nope. Here’s what college will get you: a sad, lonely, competitive longing for unattainable goals and a deep anxiety about impending failure and finally death. Studies show you will also get herpes.
Imagine sitting in an airport lobby for three days. The only food you can eat is raw potatoes and water. The whole time you’re being forced to listen to babies crying and the hits of Sha Na Na. Also there are no bathrooms. This is the kind of insufferable boredom one feels the moment you enter Canada. Your whole body begins to physically decay. The spiritual life drains out of you. Suicide constantly enters your thoughts. Being awake in Canada offers nothing more than watching the sands of your own mortality pass through the hourglass until it is empty. There is nothing to be hopeful about. There is no projection of something better, only existence in the rawest form.
A Canadian might tell you he is happy. Don’t be fooled. He is living within a sickening paradigm that defines happiness as joyless existing devoid of those qualities that make us human. Almost any Canadian you meet in our country and who has been out of Canada for a while can tell you that he now lives in a magical land.…
I’ve done news stories in Canada. I don’t like to go there but sometimes duty calls. Within about five minutes of entering the country I start having suicidal thoughts. The prospect of death seems like a better alternative than being in Toronto or Vancouver. I usually start drinking, which is what the whole country does. They make their beer with a higher alcohol content so they can numb out the pain faster.…
Go there. You’ll see. Of course, drinking is a two-edged sword. It can lead to great sadness. Combine that sadness with the naturally depressed state of everyday living in Canada and you will want to lie down on a railroad track. I have done this. I was covering the winter Olympic Games in Calgary. I was trying everything in the book to stay positive. I made sure I had friends around. I packed a pamphlet of daily affirmations, along with puzzles and games. I played flute every morning. I hung out in the ski lodge by the fire and read children’s books to Baxter. But it was no use.
Slowly Canada worked its way into my bones. I lost focus. I was told to cover the women’s biathlon, normally a very exciting sport with skiing and rifle shooting and women, but I became more and more aware I was standing in Canada. My stomach became heavy, like I had eaten mud. My shoulders stooped. I lost any bounce to my step as I trudged through the snow. Life lost all meaning until a light of hope guided me. I followed the light, a beautiful blue ray, for what seemed like days. The light sang to me. It sounded like the voices of Karen Carpenter, Debby Boone and Olivia Newton-John combined into one welcoming, nurturing symphony. I was in a near-blissful trance and when I saw where it had led me I was euphoric. It was a railroad track. My escape from Canada was only a nap away. I lay down and fell asleep. Luckily for me a big Swede came along. The Swedish people have a great capacity for boredom. Although they are not boring themselves, they can withstand boring situations and boring people with great skill. The Swede took me to a McDonald’s, where I was nursed back to believing I was in America. I stayed in the confines of those golden arches for a full week before I even had the courage to step out into Canada again. In the hundred or so steps I took to the helicopter that was waiting to take me to the United States and safety, I contemplated strangling myself.
Again, I don’t want to disparage any Canadians here. Outside of their own country they can be simply delightful. I’ve met some very playful ones. I do however keep my guard up. If someone is introduced to me as a Canadian I instinctively fortify myself for the torrent of soul-crushing boredom to come plunging out of their mouth. I even cover my ears if I suspect them of not having been properly Americanized.
Excerpts from Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings by Ron Burgundy. To be published on Nov. 19, 2013. Copyright © 2013 PPC. Reprinted by permission of Doubleday Canada.