The Soupster snapped his fingers. “The Canuck will know,” he said out loud, although he stood alone in his kitchen late one evening. “The Knik Canuck will know!”
The Soupster stepped over to the phone and dialed his south-of-the-Alaska border buddy. The Knik Canuck had moved to Our Town from Vancouver, B.C. via Anchorage and he and the Soupster built a friendship out of periodic verbal sparring.
“You’ve reached me on my new hands-free cell phone,” Knik said. “I’m in the truckoot the road, eh?”
“It’s a little hard to hear you, K.C.” said the Soupster. “Is someone there with you?”
“I have the radio on,” said the Canuck, “Let me turn it down a bit.”
“You’re driving around at night listening to the radio?” asked the Soupster.
“I’m homesick tonight,” said the Knik Canuck.
“Don’t you know,” he asked the Soupster, “that you can pick up all kinds of Canadian stations in different places in Our Town on the car radio at night? There’s a couple of talk shows. I’ve heard broadcasts in Farsi and Chinese. I’ve heard Radio Netherlands repeated by the CBC. Different stations fade in and oot, but I can nearly always manage a clear bead on the Vancouver 24-hour all-traffic station.”
“How much traffic news can there be at night?” said the Soupster.
“Well, right now, there’s a disabled truck causing delays on the Knight Street Bridge and they have been telling people to expect congestion downtown due to the massive crowds coming oot of the Celine Dion concert at GM Place,” Knik said. “Also, there’s some kind of police safety check going on East Hastings and the Tsawwassen ferry is late.”
“I stand corrected,” said the Soupster, who was, in fact, standing.
“You just calling to chit-chat?” asked Knik.
“A question has been driving me crazy all night,” said the Soupster. “You’ve lived in both the U.S. and Canada.. The U.S. is seen as a Center-Right country, politically. Canada is seen as Center-Left.”
“I agree,” said the Knik Canuck.
“So K.C.,” said the Soupster. “Tell me the difference between a Conservative and a Liberal.”
“That’s a good one,” said the Canuck, continuing after a pause. ‘Well, I’d say that Conservatives favor restrictions on personal behavior, but fewer restrictions on business and commerce. Liberals want to see more restrictions on commerce and fewer restrictions on personal choices and behaviors. “
“Can you relate that to the U.S. health care debate?” the Soupster asked breathlessly.
“I would,” the Knik Canuck said before signing off. “But the Vancouver All-Traffic station is just aboot to air a special on pre-2010 Winter Olympics construction projects along the Vancouver to Whistler Sea-to-Sky Highway and I don’t want to miss oot!”
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