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    Monday, May 02, 2005

    Growing Up Canadian
    by Expat

    Every once in a while, when talking to friends and family on this side of the border, I am reminded that my childhood was somewhat different then my American counterparts.

    Here is my feeble attempt at compiling a list of those differences.

    1. Canadian kids grew up making crafts and playing make believe with Mr.Dressup instead of hanging out in Mr.Rogers' Neighbourhood.

    2. The frequent trips to Petro Canada with a pocketful of pennies, nickels, and dimes to buy sour soothers, blue whales, and red hots.

    3. Challenging friends and family to "toothpick races" at the first sign of the snow melting.

    4. Having a hockey rink in the backyard.

    5. The delight of having lips, tongue, and fingers stained red from eating Old Dutch ketchup chips.

    6. Watching Sesame Street and not noticing that the parts with Dodi, Basil the Bear, and Louis the Otter were spliced in for Canadian content.

    7. Having a major crush on Gus Pike from Road to Avonlea. *love sigh*

    8. Wondering why that chick was named "Busy" on Ready or Not.

    9. Reading Chickadee magazine and watching Owl TV for cool Dr.Zed experiments to make at home. (My mom never did get me a sheep's stomach to make Dr.Zed cottage cheese!)

    10. Spending the summer at Lake Okanagan and constantly being on the look out for Ogopogo. He was spotted once while I was there - by patrons of a bar across the lake from our summer house.

    Expat Talkback:
    What memories do you have of growing up in Canada?

    Posted by Expat at 11:36 AM

    Gus Pike, Busy and Chickadee. Classic! Every Sunday night...what was it about Gus that attracted us so much?

    I grew up watching shows on TVO and CBC. So some of my TV memories are Today's Special, Edison Twins, Dr. Snuggles, Read-a-Long, Tele Francais...oh I loved all the 15 minute shows :).

    What about having to make your Halloween Costume large enough to fit your winter coat underneath? Or having 2 costumes. 1 for school, and 1 for trick or treating.

    We had a rink on our front lawn :)

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1:57 PM, May 02, 2005  

    What's a toothpick race?

    Growing up in Quebec, I have to say that you can't talk about a Canadian childhood without mentioning la cabane a sucre (aka "sugar shack" or "sugaring off").

    Our candies had different names as well. We used our pennies to buy Blue Barbarians and black ones called Petit Negres. (Yes, that means "little niggers" and no I'm not making that up, it was the actual name on the box.)

    I forgot about Today's Special and the Edison Twins. I loved those shows! The Polka Dot Door was always good too. Remember You Can't Do That on Television? For some reason, I really wanted to be like Moose!

    No kidding about having to have your Halloween costume big enough to fit a snowsuit under! I can remember plenty of Halloweens back in Saskatchewan where we had snow! It was impossible to walk from house to house with all of those layers on! LMAO

    Toothpick races are the best, Matt. At the first sign of spring, when the snow just begins to melt, you go outside and lay your toothpick in the water in the gutter. Then you watch as the water takes it away and through all of the little caverns and tunnels that are still in the packed snow. First person to have their toothpick go into the sewer is the winner!

    The term "sugaring off" really cracks me up for some reason! LOL

    CFL football when it had more than 5 teams! ROFL

    - The Beachcombers
    - Tiny Talent Time
    - The Trouble With Tracy! ROFL

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10:22 PM, May 02, 2005  

    I've never even heard of "Ready or Not", which must mean I left Canada a long time ago. I remember watching "The Irish Rovers" and "The Beachcombers", though -- I seem to recall that the Beachcombers was on Sunday nights, as I associate it with a feeling of dread about going to school on Monday morning. I also have great memories of summers spent at the cottage on Eagle Lake in Haliburton, and exhausting trips to the CNE. I can smell the horses now!

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1:48 AM, May 03, 2005  

    I always thought that Relic from the Beachcombers was wicked cool. In fact, I still thought that actor was cool when he played Daddy Johnson on Jake and the Kid.

    Ready or Not was on Global from 1993 to 1997. I think that it was targeted towards pre-teens but it was a pretty good show. Speaking of shows for teens, I loved Degrassi Junior High. Joey Jeremiah just epitomised cool.

    Anyone remember the CBC's short lived late night show, Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui? That was awful. Uber awful. Then, when the CBC realized that nobody was watching Ralph, they pulled him off the air and filled his slot with Rita and Friends. LMAO Other crappy Canadian talkshows include, The Dini Petty Show, Jonovision, and Open Mike with Mike Bullard.

    ROTFLMAO at the memory of the CFL having more than five teams. Poor Canada just can not keep their sports teams. :o(

    All I remember about The Beachcombers is that it was on after Fraggle Rock on Sunday night, and that it made me sad because it meant it was my bedtime. To this day, The Beachcombers for me is synonymous with "go to bed because you have school in the morning."

    LMAO at the two of you associating The Beach Combers with bedtime!

    A suggestion for a blog item -- perhaps a discussion of the worst Canadian television shows? Canadians make great documentaries, but also horrible wrecks like "The Trouble With Tracy"...

    Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10:32 PM, May 03, 2005  

    Great idea, Mudpuppy! ;)

    Thanks for the suggestion!

    I just found a website that has a ton of Today's Special clips, including the theme song!

    What a walk down memory lane that was! LMAO

    Looking at the clips reminded me of another great Canadian kid's show, Under the Umbrella Tree, which is now available on DVD.

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