You May Be Telling Me The Truth…

Or you may be telling me a lie. Conventional social behaviour demands that I keep this question to myself – resolving it or letting it linger in silence.

If I were to question you, I would need to be either a lawyer or a judge – or the school or family equivalent. I would need to be in a position of enforceable authority to attempt to make the decision. What I did after that also would also be linked to my position – and in many cases that position is one of powerlessness.

Or so it would seem. Let us suppose you are in a social group and someone makes a statement to you. It might be about any sort of thing – politics, religion, finance, morals…or it might be a purely artistic or technical subject. You hear it and you observe that the speaker is looking for a reaction. However, you are not sure whether you have heard a true statement, a true statement in a nest of lies, or lies outright.

And the speaker has paused and is looking at you to see what your reaction will be. Here is the point at which you become a citizen of Canada. You select a quick response from the following:

a. The Manitoba Shuffle.

Move your feet several times as if you are securing stable ground. Look the speaker in the eye, and say ” Well, I’ll be darned “. This gives the impression that you might either agree or disagree, depending upon what the other person would like – but they have no grounds to preen or glare because of it. it is you being darned.

b. The Saskatchewan Slide

This time you waver from side to side and say the exact same thing as in ( a. ) but add ” eh? ” to the end of it. Canadians always play on the ” eh ” team…

c. The BC Burp

All of the above, but put a hiccup at the end. Or suck the air back through your teeth.

You’ll have gained time to edge toward the speaker or the door in the process and you can kiss them, punch them, or escape from them as you see fit. But remember that you are now a Canadian. You will have to bear the burden of moose, maple syrup, and the memory of Margaret Trudeau.

I’d have mentioned Alberta Apathy but who really cares, eh?

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