Friday, April 21, 2006

Philthie McNastie's

There is something magical about Toronto in the Springtime.

Unfortunately, its not Springtime in Toronto right now. Its quite cold. Cold enough for an American unfamiliar with the meteorological vagueries of Canadian weather to find himself quite chilly and in need of a coat and wooly hat of some sort.

I didn't find a hat or wooly coat, but I did find a Canadian Hockey bar aptly named"Philthie McNastie's" complete with approximately 14 alcohol-laden Canadians of approximately middle age and intellect.

If you haven't been to a "hockey" bar in celebration of a team called the "Maple Leafs" you simply haven't lived. For some reason I can never forget that we're talking about a team of full-grown men named after a leaf. Might as well be the "Toronto Dandelions" if you ask me. Good thing they didn't or my ordinary inability to hold my peace might have gotten me in a tight spot.

Actually, thats probably not true. My (very American) boss kept yelling "I JUST WANT TO PLAY HAACKEY" and nobody seemed to mind. I guess they just thought he was Candian.

So hockey is great I guess. Its sort of cold and slippery, but from what I can tell - most things in Canada are.

Toronto is very pleasant and metropolitan except for the unusually high number of smokers. Torontonians exhibit, based on my meager observation, a commendable dedication to cigarettes. Apparently the recent literature on tobacco hazards hasn't quite made its way north of the great lakes.

BUT the point is - the GREAT thing about Canada is the karaoke. I happened to be positioned on the front row at a long bar table with my friends and we were joined by 4 very young-ish little Candian Hams all rosy-cheecked over their impending performances. After the DJ finished waggling his ridiculous pelvis all around to Britney Spears' latest hit - the fun began.

We were all tense with anticipation over watching the first little Canadian girl try and belt out something totally unrecognizable. The DJ announced his excitement that a contestant had chosen some classic Canadian rock (whatever that is) and our little piglet made her way to the front. When she opened her mouth to sing for all of Canada - Alannah Myles' Black Velvet came pouring out in a torrent of power ballad fury the like of which I've never experienced.

I kid you not: this 5' 90lb Maple Leafs fan had to have been singing Black Velvet into a bar of soap for three years because I swear she put Alannah Myles to shame. She was followed by a veritable torrent of karaoke attempts - all of which were preceeded by the DJ claiming "more great Canadian music" which turned out to be 100% American top 40 hits. It just goes to show you - Canada is a grea big cold suburb of the US after all.

I wanted a taste of Canada and all I got was this Philthie T-shirt.