A Quiet Riot, Eh?


I felt a little bad the other night when the Americans beat the Canadians in their hockey game.  It just meant so much to our northern neighbors – and they’re so reserved about everything else.  Did you know the Canadian Prime Minister asked his nation to cheer loudly and wave Canadian flags during the Olympic  events?  He didn’t want them acting like they were at the PGA.

A few years ago I actually saw a Canadian “riot” on the news. When I heard the announcer say “riot in Canada”, I immediately started to pay attention. Really – what could possibly shoot up a Canadian’s blood pressure enough to riot?  The answer was embarrassingly obvious: hockey.

When that particular game ended, the Canadian fans oozed into the street. They didn’t want to go home drenched in depressing , degrading defeat. So they milled around fueled by too much of the fermented national beverage. Soon a department store window was broken – and the crowd decided to “riot” – Canadian-style.

It was hard to watch. The Canadians didn’t know what to do. Some danced to music only they heard. Others walked on the hoods and roofs of cars balancing with one hand as the other clenched a can or bottle. Many drunkenly smiled and waved at cameras and camcorders guaranteeing their place in oblivious-nitwit history. (“No dear, that’s not Mommy. I was at University that day and we all watched this debacle with disgust.”)

One inspired rioter-trainee managed to mount heavy electrical lines a good 20- or 30- feet over the crowd and began an impromptu tightrope walking show with real sparks popping. The confused Canadians, either to keep the dolt from electrocuting himself or to show off their superior target shooting skill, began to hurl bottles and cans at the guy.

Most of the containers missed, but, of course, crashed on the heads of the mob on the other side of the wire. This prompted massive, retaliatory can and bottle throwing from that team. Finally, someone scored. The dope took an impressive dive onto the pavement and it was about that time when all the police arrived. Lots of police; seemingly hundreds of them.  While the police began lining up in an impressive formation, a loudspeaker blared a woman’s voice, “Would you please disperse? You must leave this area! Would you please disperse?”

The Canadians seemed to get annoyed that anyone in authority would even speak to them like that. So no one moved and their taunts grew louder. That’s when the first tear-gas canisters were shot at the street near the front line of demonstrators.

Now, everyone in the world learned in ‘Rioting-101’ that a tear gas canister should be picked up with a gloved hand and thrown back at the police. I mean, that’s basic; you’ve seen it dozens of times on TV, right? But not these newbies. They just left the bombs where they landed. Then, while most of the crowd moved back, a handful of chowder-heads actually hung around the gas-spitting canister and looked at it like it was just a large version of the smoke bombs they set off in the sixth grade. Surprise! Soon they started coughing and retching and falling down and making a terrible mess. It was just too embarrassing to watch.

I clicked off the television. Actually, I didn’t know quite how to feel.  I decided Canadians are best at being civilized Canadians.  If they want to see some real buffoonery, they’ve got 300,000,000 southern neighbors who are experts at it.

6 Responses to “A Quiet Riot, Eh?”

  1. Bill says:

    Most rioters either want to score some loot or –if they’re young–to be seen by their peers and maybe get laid. Buffoon is a good word for them.

    Yes yes, I know, sometimes there are legitimate reasons to riot blah blah blah, but I’m referring to the majority of the participants. Even in a good cause, most of them are jerks.

  2. Joe Bele-Isle says:

    “Watch out for that flying guy or he might not land on the pavement!!!”
    “Is that crispy thing what I think it is?”
    “Yeah! Yeah it IS!!”
    “Heck! I’m not ever gonna do that!”
    “Yeah. I didn’t know skin could get stuck to a high voltage wire.”
    “I didn’t know High volyage would give a guy a erection!”
    “I guess it depends on which end is stuck to the wire.”

  3. Brenda says:

    Too funny Joe. You’re a riot (pun intended)!

    Canadians seem to be very friendly, happy people, a little corny at times, but good people. It makes you wonder about the deep seeded craziness inside of everyone….the need to let loose and forget the rules of civility. Is it rebellion against the mystery of life or is it the struggle against the moral restraints we are confined to?

  4. paolo. says:

    Brenda, those philosophical questions? Ask Paris.

  5. Brenda says:

    It’d be good for a laugh, wouldn’t it?

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