Monday, November 23, 2015

Canadian Sense of Humour

Do you think that Canadians have a specific sense of humour?

I read an online article last week and it got me to thinking about this. (I'll share the link at the end.) The article is a compilation of comments by Canadians on Tumblr, in which they're "pulling other people's legs" as my mom would say. I'm wondering whether this kind of joke is one that we do particularly well, or that maybe is more common here.

There certainly are a lot of comedians who came from the Great White North (which is in itself a Canadian joke about Canada). Here's the Wiki list of Canadian comedians and it's a long one.

I think we live with this kind of quick humor all the time. My husband, for example, does a great deadpan delivery. He'll say something completely preposterous but do it so seriously that the other person often believes him. The Queen Bee - the dog we lost two years ago - was a standard poodle. Poodles are an old breed but he took the stories to a new level. One night, we had guests for dinner and one of them commented on how the QB turned in tight circles before lying down. All dogs do this, of course, but Mr. Math rolled with it.

"It was a survival mechanism developed by the Wild Poodles of the Serengeti," he said solemnly. "By bedding down in the tall grasses of the savannah, they could hide from predators at night."

"Really?" said our guest. "I had no idea."

"Oh yes, the Wild Poodles of the Serengeti were the origin of the breed."

"There must have been a lot of predators there, though. What about lions?"

"Oh, the Wild Poodles had a symbiotic relationship with the lions. They guarded the lions while they ate, and in return, the lions left the bones to the Wild Poodles. They preferred the marrow, and their tongues were shaped perfectly to extract it from the bones, which the lions didn't do as well."


"Of course, French explorers noted this behaviour and it was from their drawings of the Wild Poodles of the Serengeti consuming marrow that French silversmiths originally derived the marrow spoon. The shape is perfect for its task, and in fact, their bringing Wild Poodles to France - where ultimately they evolved into the poodles we know today - could be directly attributed to the French admiration of their ability to extract marrow. Do we have a marrow spoon?"

He would have gone on like this for as long as possible, but I didn't have a marrow spoon, (much less a bone with marrow) to compare with the dog's tongue, and our guest finally caught on.

I'm not "the funny one" but I've often had to remove these kinds of exchanges from my books, because my American editors didn't understand them. That's happened hundred of times, but here's one example for which I still have documentation. This is a passage from Ember's Kiss, my edight Dragonfire novel. Kira (a friend) and Brandon (the hero and a surfer) are talking about the Banzai Pipeline, a beach with a specific wave form in Hawaii. It's tough to surf the Pipe, but Brandon is good at it. This is the originally delivered manuscript.

Here's what happened in the edits. If you've ever used Track Changes in Word, this will look familiar. Track Changes allows multiple people to work on a document, each using a different colour. In this case, the copy editor (CE) is using red, and the author (AU - that's me!) is using red. The CE highlighted the last line in the excerpt shown above, and here's the comment:

I could have fought for this, but by this point in time - my last New York edited book - I was tired of these exchanges. And the fact is that if the CE didn't get it, probably a lot of American readers wouldn't have gotten it either. Still, I liked the line. I have the rights back to this book and when I republish it, that line will be in the final book.

Why talk about humour this month? Of course, I have a devious reason for it! (Ha!) My Coxwell Series of four contemporary romances and romantic comedies in now available in a digital boxed set. You can get Third Time Lucky, Double Trouble, One More Time and All or Nothing in one file for a special price - only at iBooks and Kobo. I price my boxed sets of series so that if you buy them all at once, you get one free. There's also an excerpt in the back of this boxed set for Simply Irresistible, the first book in a new series of contemporary romances and romantic comedies coming next June. (There's an excerpt on my website, too - just follow the link.) This time, there'll be no one to comment on my Canadian jokes!

And here, as promised, is the link to the article that started me on this train of thought: 19 Times Canadians Mercilessly Trolled The Rest of the World on Tumblr

Enjoy! Then tell me whether YOU think Canadians have a specific sense of humour. I'll give away a trade paperback copy of Double Trouble one person who comments. Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I definitely think Canadians have a different sense of humour. We like to laugh at how other countries perceive us. I cannot think of another country that does this. I could be wrong, but there are none that I know of.