b Papa Dog's Blog: This Weekend: Thanksgiving Dinner Almost a Week Late

Papa Dog's Blog

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

This Weekend: Thanksgiving Dinner Almost a Week Late

Thanksgiving was this past Monday, but it’s not a holiday in the U.S.* Since Mama Dog was in Santa Barbara the weekend before, we decided to have our Thanksgiving dinner the weekend after. With the exception of last year, when we decided we couldn’t manage both a Mama Dog’s birthday party and a Thanksgiving dinner in the space of a few weeks while caring for a newborn bairn, this has been an annual event for me since 1997 or thereabouts. The concept at first was to invite every expatriate Canadian I know in the area, but it turned out I didn’t know enough to round out the guest list. I widened it to people who’ve lived in Canada at one time or another because, really, that’s what we tend to do in Canada. Alexander Graham Bell? Spent a couple years in Ontario. Great Canadian hero. John Lennon. Did a bed-in in Montreal once. Definitely Canadian. Also, those first few years I was counting on Bernardo to cook the turkey, so I had to find a qualification he met to attend. His year in Vancouver does it. Still, parties being what they are, the guest list I started out with isn’t always the one that shows up in attendance. I widened things further. You had a Canadian grandparent? Okay, you’re in. I had completely given up inventing qualifications when I invited the Pirates to the 2000 dinner. Turns out Mama Pirate’s dad lived in Victoria for a while. They’ve come to every Thanksgiving dinner since. Vaughn Sentrie has come to several, and his only qualification is having spent a week or so in Vancouver when Bernardo moved up. Dan the Chemist comes because American Thanksgiving is his favourite holiday and he enjoys having the two Thanksgiving dinners. My only rationalisation with him is that he talked fondly of having taken train rides in the Gatineaus. So that’s what it’s come down to. If you know what the Gatineaus are, you can come to my Thanksgiving dinner.

One of the things I’ve been doing the last few years is a mandatory Canadian Trivia Quiz, designed to have a little fun and make my complacent American friends aware of how little they know about their next door neighbours. The first year consisted mostly of obvious geographic stuff – name all ten provinces and their capitals, that sort of thing. It’s gotten a little more involved as time’s gone on. To take the sting out of having their ignorance exposed, pretty much everybody gets a prize in the quiz. I usually have enough prizes for the top eight or ten scorers. What I generally do is place an order at Canadian Favourites for a whimsical variety of foodstuffs that people maybe wouldn’t choose for themselves. A can of Habitant Pea Soup, for example, is somewhere around sixth prize. Several years running the top prize was my last mint Aero bar, the straggler I would save for this occasion from the last case my family sent me. This year I don’t have any Aero bars except for the case that’s coming in my Canadian Favourites shipment, and I’m not giving the whole thing up, so I’ll have to think of something else.

I placed the order about three weeks ago. This Monday it occurred to me that I hadn’t received a shipment notification. I checked the website and saw that orders are supposed to ship in 7-10 business days. It had at that point been about 13 business days. I sent an email to their customer service address saying that I needed the order for a party this Sunday and that if it wasn’t going to make it in time, I might as well cancel. In fewer than 24 hours I received a reply so polite and deferential it must have been written by an actual Canadian. It acknowledged that they were running a little late and said they’d upgrade me to express shipping so as to ensure the package’s arrival before the weekend. Today I finally received the shipment notification and have been keenly tracking on the UPS web site. The box should arrive at Mama Dog’s office tomorrow, and we should have fabulous prizes for the party. So woo hoo to Canadian Favourites’ customer service. Good on them. And now all I have to do is finish writing the quiz.
*Well, actually, they call it Columbus Day down here (except in Berkeley, where it’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day). But it’s one of those holidays where you have to work for a bank or the post office to stay home.


Blogger Twizzle said...

Re: Columbus Day Holiday

...or, you have to attend Baby Dog's Daycare. They get hell of holidays off, including that one.

For the record, both of my paternal grandparents were born in Canada, so there you go!

8:51 AM  

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