April 26, 2001

These pages, written by an American who has been living in Canada since 1992, are intended to give Americans a better idea just what goes on in the Great White North. Evidently they're therapeutic for Canadians too. Just yesterday, the Globe and Mail Review section ran an article about the difference between Canadian and American (I mean U.S. American!) identity. Well, it was actually only an intro to an article about art, but it's a good example of how Canadian articles often start, no matter what they're about. "How Canadian murder differs from American murder" "Today's Canadian traffic lighter than American traffic" Whatever. Here's point five.

5. Canadians drink milk from bags.

Yes, and it's often 1 or 2%, which refers to the amount of fat content. Canadians are extremely conscious of fat content. However, their consciousness unfortunately comes from advertising encouraging them to consume more fat content. A marketing battle ensues. The milk bags are clear plastic, tubular, of 1L volume. One needs scissors to open them, which leads many Canadians to have a pair of scissors in the kitchen (a good idea in any case). However, a bag of milk with a hole in it can't stand up on its own, and therefore all Canadians must own a cheap plastic jug, such as the ubiquitous Mistral available suspended in grocery stores above the milk aisle. The jug is made to hold the tubular milk bag, and sports a handle to facilitate pouring. I'm not sure if I've described the shape of the bag precisely, because it--unlike a real tube--has corners. It is the corner which is snipped to create the spout.

No comments: