Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Great Canadian Quiz

by Darlene Ryan

I’m asked a lot of questions about Canada and Canadians on a fairly regular basis. That’s because I’m the token Canadian among my writing collegues. I have American writing friends, French writing friends and British writing friends. I’ve answered questions about money, maple syrup, health care and the common loon. And I’ve discovered that other people don’t know a lot about us. I did a little survey this past week, asking non-Canadians what they knew about Canadians and found out that—at least among the people I asked—we’re thought of as polite people who drink a lot of Tim Horton’s coffee and watch a lot of hockey. And maybe that’s the reason the rest of the world doesn’t know much about Canada. Instead of talking about ourselves we’re standing in line at Tim’s, talking about last night’s game and telling the young woman at the counter, “No, I think he was here first.”

Thanks to everyone who commented or emailed about The Great Canadian Quiz. Here are the answers:

1. Who is Don Cherry? Former coach of the Boston Bruins and commentator on CBC TV's Hockey Night in Canada. Known for his outlandish suits.
2. What is dulse? Dried seaweed. (You eat it.)
3. What is a double-double? A Tim Horton's coffee with two cream and two sugar.
4. What’s a two-four? A case of 24 (Canadian) beer.
5. What are the Original Six? The original six teams in the National Hockey League: Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers
6. What do you do with fiddleheads? Eat them. Well, not me.
7. Name the Canadian president. Trick question. We have a prime minister. Bonus points if you know his name is Stephen Harper. Extra bonus points if you know our federal election campaign began today and will end when we vote October 14.
8. How long is a CFL field? 110 yards
9. What piece of hockey equipment was Jacques Plante the first person to use in a regular season NHL game? Face mask.
10. How many provinces and territories are there? 10 provinces and 3 territories
11. Where is the CN Tower? Toronto
12. If it’s ten o’clock in New Brunswick, what time is it in Newfoundland? 10:30
13. What color is the $50 bill? Red
14. What color is the one dollar bill? Another trick. We have a one dollar coin. It's gold colored.
15. What is a loonie? The afore-mentioned one dollar coin
16. If you’re in Cavendish, PEI and the weather forecast says it’s 32 degrees outside will you be going swimming or tobogganing? We use the Celcius scale. Swimming
17. When is Thanksgiving in Canada? Second Monday in October.
18. Name Canada’s major league baseball teams. Sort of a trick, there's only one: Toronto Blue Jays
19. When is Canada Day? July 1
20. When is tax day in Canada? April 30.


paul lamb said...

I'm pretty sure you would eat a fiddlehead, and I'm pretty sure you'd go swimming if it were 32 degrees (centigrage) out. After that, I'm you're typical parochial U.S. citizen.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I hope #7 is meant as bait, but I think it's still a little unfair.

After growing up in the east and then living for 16 years in the west, the one thing I know for certain is that there are many Canadians who don't know the answers to all of these. When I've traveled in the past I used to give to friends copies of Pucks, Pablum and Pingos.

Auntie Knickers said...

I took your quiz at my place, probably would have done even worse, but I live in Maine and we have a lot in common with the Maritimes.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

I know about loonies and toonies (twonies?)--coins--I knew enough about time zones to get the Newfoundland/New Brunswick question almost right, and I've eaten sautéed fiddleheads, but I'm ashamed to say I drew a blank on the rest. And how about literary questions? I'm decently knowledgeable about Robertson Davies and LM Montgomery.

Sharon Wildwind said...

I can't believe I missed one. Neither my husband nor I know what at two-four is!

Julia Buckley said...

Without going to the internet or a reference book, I must confess I know the answer to NONE of these.

My only info about Canada in recent years was Michael Moore's documentary in which he informed me that America and Canada both have lots of guns, but only America uses them regularly in acts of violence. And he said that Canadians keep their doors unlocked. Is that true? (You don't have to tell us about YOUR door).

Darlene Ryan said...

Not bad, Paul, although to be honest, I don't like fiddleheads. Everyone I know does so I cook them but don't eat them.

Sandra, you are right. I've stumped quite a few Canadians--there are a lot of us who don't know how many territories there are or what time zone Newfoundland is in. I like to think of question #7 as more sneaky than unfair. :)

Liz, you get points for knowing about toonies and loonies. And there will be a Canadian literary quiz in the future so consider yourself challenged.

Sharon, you don't know what a two-four is because you have no disreputable broadcasting friends--and I think it's more of an east coast term.

Julia, I lock the house, the car, the shed and the bikes but I have friends in the country--I won't say where--who keep the keys to their truck under the floor mat in case anyone wants to borrow it.

Sandra Parshall said...

Are you talking about fiddlehead ferns? You EAT them?

Wasn't Jacques L. the first to wear a helmet?

Clair Dickson said...

The only one I can answer is the loonie (dollar coin-- I love loonies!)

Around the mitten-shaped state, Canada is where you go to drink at 19, the short cut to Niagara Falls (better to stay on the Candaian side), and the origin of those danged quarters that I can't use in the vending machine... =)

Darlene Ryan said...

Yes, Sandy, fiddlehead ferns are eaten. I steam them and everyone eats them with a bit of vinegar and some butter.

Clair, I know what you mean about the quarters, sometimes I get a couple of yours in my change and the self-serve checkouts at the grocery store literally spit them back at me.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Sigh, I sooo don't know the answers BUT if you had asked about the television drama North of 60 which was filmed in Canada and ran for several seasons, I could have answered almost any question on that subject.

1. Name each of the characters who shot at Albert Golo?

2. Where where the pay phones located in Lynx River?

3. How many traffic accidents were there in downtown Lynz River?

4. How many pet dogs or cats lived there?

5. Why did the cariboo (spelling, sigh) leave the area?

6. Which two characters lived in housed that were actually tents?

I could go on, but it's time for my snack.

Marlyn said...

I'm a Canadian, but I have to admit I don't know what a two-four is or the length of a CFL field.
And wasn't Jacques Plante the first goalie to wear a mask?

I look forward to the Canadian literary quiz.

David Cranmer said...

I'm looking forward to the answers because I'm ashamed of only knowing two!

Darlene Ryan said...

I only have one person who got all 20 right and she's a teacher. (And Canadian.)

Marlyn, you are correct about Jacques Plante. And to be fair I think two-four may be an eastern Canadian expression.

Lonnie, how did you manage to see North of 60?

Anonymous said...

I'm sending this quiz to my Canadian cousin. I've got hundreds up there. My grandpa decided to wander further after his whole family wandered over from Bukovina.
I'm sending them the quiz!
I'd like to know what the Canadian Miranda sounds like. I became interested in other country's version of Miranda after watch the British Life On Mars and realizing that the Brits changed theirs.

Anonymous said...

The extra bonus point question for #7 was just plain cruel: "...our federal election campaign began today and will end when we vote October 14."

Ouch. That really hurts.

Janet K.

Auntie Knickers said...

OK, so I got 8 1/2 right. I did know Canada has a Prime Minister, but I was confused about the head of state and thought maybe you'd added a President when I wasn't looking. Both my husband and I thought Montreal still had a baseball team, and he knew it had been the Expos.
Obviously I still have a lot to learn, and need to read more Canadian mysteries.

Dave said...

Coming late to the discussion, I think I'd have been able to answer most, if not all, of the questions (being Canadian after all). The NV-NF time question might have thrown me for a loop if I didn't listen to CBC Radio 2 a lot :O) About the two-four, I think it's more used in the east, though I have heard of it. Not being a beer drinker, I don't really know what us Westerners call it (two dozen? box of beer?) Good fun though.
Dave Bennett