It's Thanksgiving Eve in the United States, a time when tensions between America and its neighbour to the north are already quite high. After all, Canada celebrated Thanksgiving a month ago -- when it's supposed to be celebrated.
I know speak for all of Canada when I say that your belated Turkey Day is a slap in the face to us, America.
All this said, you can imagine my concern -- nay, my absolute outrage -- when Jill Shackner, the anthem singer for Wednesday night's game between the New York Islanders and the Winnipeg Jets, replaced the words in Canada's perfect anthem with a line from "America the Beautiful".
"We stand on guard for thee," she was supposed to sing. Instead, she gave us: "God shed his grace on thee." It was scandalous. No doubt some Canadians fainted.
Okay, listen. I understand that it's not uncommon for someone to make a little mistake in the anthem. I've sung the anthem at a sporting event before. It's scary. You're up there in front of thousands of people, and nothing happens until you battle your way through a very difficult song with, usually, no accompaniment whatsoever. Mistakes are made, and that's forgivable.
But this? This is a declaration of war.
Listen up, Jill, if that is your real name. God is already keeping our land glorious and free -- we don't need him shedding his grace everywhere too. Maybe you guys do down there in Canada's pants, where God is shedding everywhere and crowning your good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea, but up here in our home and native land, we're too busy standing on guard for thee -- thee being Canada, the best country -- to worry about whether or not it's springtime for God's grace.
Maybe I'm making too big a deal about this. But I don't think so. Not this time. I can handle mistakes. But Jill is throwing shade. And in Canada, only maple trees can throw shade.
Canadians, hear me: I understand we're a merciful people, and this may have been a simple error, but unless we get an apology here, we can't stand idly by while America begins what could very well be the gradual process of changing our entire anthem into theirs.
We let this one slide and pretty soon "our home and native land" will be replaced by "where spangled banners wave". Next step? We're the 51st state. Not happening. Not while I'm alive. And, thanks to free health care, that's going to be awhile.
You may not think we can win this fight, but stop for a moment and think about Canadian history. We've beaten America before. Heck, our awesomeness inspired the Star-Spangled Banner, come to think of it. It was written a week after the burning of Washington. That song may as well be titled "Canada is winning".
Now, I'm not saying we do that again. It's a lot harder to get to the White House these days, especially with Channing Tatum running around. I'm just saying we go down there and make a ruckus. Ideally, they agree to let us settle this in a hockey game. That's preferable. It's how we won the Cold War. Actually, come to think of it, America's going to be in Sochi. Let's just beat them there. Do it for the anthem.
And what did God think of his unexpected commitment to shedding grace all over the Great White North? He was not pleased. The Islanders lost, and I have to believe he had something to do with that.
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- New York Islanders