Saturday, June 6, 2009

Not Quite Ready for Prime Time, Apparently

From today's Weekend Edition National Public Radio program in the U.S.

"Close your eyes and imagine a perfect vacation. Where you would choose to go if money, distance and time were no limitation? Paris and/or Provence? Rio or Hong Kong? The peaks of New Zealand? Or the pastas, porcinis and vinos of Tuscany? A recent poll says you'd go to Canada. An online survey of people in 20 countries shows that Canada is the place most people would choose to visit if Loonies — were no limitation. Host Scott Simon speaks with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Michael Enright about the new study."

At last! The recognition we deserve! Surely listeners from around the world will come and spend their tourist dollars in Canada this summer!

But wait a minute. What's Michael Enright's first comment upon hearing the news about Canada's standing in this poll? Laughing, he says "my first reaction, being a Canadian of course, is I have to apologize to all the other countries. You see, that's part of our national charater, so I'm really sorry to those folks. "

He goes on to describe "the perfect week in Canada." On Ontario? "Hmm, if you like fishing and hunting and shooting and killing small animals, I suppose Ontario is ok. Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world, the food is varied and interesting." About BC? "Now BC is very interesting because the people who live there know that they've got it made, and they have probably the most beautiful geography in the country, and they never stop talking about it, but they don't tell you about the rain and as you know, it rains all the time." No mention at all of the Canadian rockies. He mainly praised Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, but even there "you set the clock half an hour ahead, 1956."

I should have known better. The story's headline on the NPR website reads, "Your Top Vacation Spot? Canada, Apparently."