Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Greatest Canadian

It’s the fall of 2005 and, stealing a page from “World Idol”, comes “Greatest Human”, a contest pitting the “Greatest” TV show winners from all countries against each other. I’m on the phone with Swedish cousin, Lars, trying to explain the show.

Me: “You see, they had a Greatest Canadian, and Greatest American, and Greatest German, and so on and all the winners are going up against each other. It’s a nifty idea.”

Lars: “Ya, Ya. So who are the finalists?”

Me: “Well, there’s Nelson Mandela, and Copernicus, and Rembrandt, and Churchill, and Joanne of Arc, and Gandhi, and Guttenberg…”

Lars: “Ya, ya. So who is the Canadian on the list?”

Me: “Well, umm…you see, the thing is…it’s, uhh, Tommy Douglas.”

Lars: “Tommy Who?”

Me: “Tommy Douglas”

Lars: “Oh ya, him. Loved him in the Game!”

Me: “No, no. That’s Michael Douglas, he’s American.”

Lars: “So, who is Tommy?”

Me: “Well, he was the Premier of one of our smaller, less important provinces in the 50s. Saskatchewan – have you ever heard of it?”

Lars: “Saskatchewan…didn’t he play with Peter Forsberg last year in Colorado?”

Me: “No, no. Never mind. He was also involved in federal politics.”

Lars: “So he was Prime Minister? Like Joe Clark?”

Me: “No, no. He led the third place party. They won 20 or 30 seats under him.”

Lars: “I see…And he’s the Greatest Canadian?”

Me: *sigh* “I guess…”

(pause)

Me: “He’s also Kiefer Sutherland’s grandfather.”

Lars: “Kiefer! I love Kiefer! 24 is amazing! I’m definitely voting for Michael Douglas!”

Me: “Tommy.”

Lars: “Ya, ya. Tommy. Yay Kiefer!”

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