CANADIAN CLUB—an appropriate response to a day at the PNE

We bears had the house to ourselves all day yesterday. Meanwhile my parents were observing carny people—not just the blue-shirted PNE ride operators, but other, more interesting people, squeezed into all sorts of unfortunate outfits, bouncing along feeding themselves corndogs. My mum saw a woman with four nipples, arbitrarily arranged beneath a stretched-to-the-limit-of-physics tanktop. And when she took the girls to the bathroom she met a new mother dressed as a stripper.

Needless to say, they had an awesome day, although they spent a great deal of our alcohol funds on PNE-priced items such as, well water, at $3.50 for a half-litre bottle.

Now who needs water?

The only time we really need water is when we buy CANADIAN CLUB instead of CROWN ROYAL. Which we did out of curiosity today. We had just chastised my dad for buying—at the PNE—a pan-flutist’s CD for $20, which was ultimately my mother’s fault because she spent 15 minutes coursing through the PNE prize home while my dad waited on a bench being wooed by the pan flute. My mother heard it too; he was playing “Unchained Melody,” and the teenagers behind her were grasping for the artist. “The Righteous Brothers,” my mother said, which they either ignored or didn’t recognize, then the girl told her boyfriend she was sure she’d heard her mom playing that song, which netted her some noises of disgust. And she added, she would never have a white kitchen, although the wine rack beneath the deer’s head was pretty dope.

My mother didn’t mean to buy CANADIAN CLUB today, but the liquor store is right beside the bank, where she had to go to spread a small cheque between two separate accounts to cover such liquor-unfriendly things as her gym membership and the car insurance. She was trying to be nice by buying a cheap mickey of rye so she could sip something guilt-free instead of getting into the more expensive CAOL ILA 12 my dad brought back from Vegas. She was trying to do a good thing, but you have to admit she just ended up looking like an alcoholic, especially when the mickey fell out of her gym bag at Steve Nash Fitness World.

I’ve come to the defense of CANADIAN CLUB many times, especially since it’s typically pitted against fit-for-royalty CROWN ROYAL, which is a nice, smooth rye. If you order a rye ‘n’ seven at the bar, the bartender will usually try to pass off CANADIAN CLUB on you for economy’s sake. And with 7-Up or gingerale, this is perfectly reasonable. CANADIAN CLUB is plenty rough compared to CROWN ROYAL, but who cares when you’re mixing it with pop? Neat, or even over ice, it’s a different story.

When I drink CANADIAN CLUB, I feel like a ruminant. I can taste grass and hay, along with some jagged alcohol, which I like. What it lacks in nuance it makes up for in straightforwardness. With a sweet, fizzy mixer, I actually prefer the rougher-edged CANADIAN CLUB; it asserts itself better, and the pop hides its earthier tones.

If I were a cow, like the one the kids observed giving birth at the PNE, I’d wonder what the hell humans were doing with grains, making things like CANADIAN CLUB. I’d also wonder why there was a set of crowded bleachers right beside me while a farmer stuck his whole arm inside me, tied a rope around my calf’s leg and yanked it out. (Miss P and Miss V did enjoy the whole business, but they thought it took too long.)

There are a lot of weird things at the PNE. It makes Walmart seem downright sedate, and apparently it takes a lot of energy to spend 10 hours there with a four-year-old and a six-year-old. I’m delighted it drove my mother to drink, even if it was just CANADIAN CLUB.

8 thoughts on “CANADIAN CLUB—an appropriate response to a day at the PNE

      • Haha that’s what my brother – who has no children – is always telling us to do. I always associate Canadian Club with little old ladies for some reason, so it’s appropriate that you’re granny would also make such a suggestion. As you are Canadian, who do you think she be included in a real Canadian Club? I’ve always wondered.

  1. Carnies!

    I think my parents had Canadian Club around when I was a kid. My Mom claimed that she had to stop drinking Canadian Club & water because plain water started tasting funny. They moved to just drinking wine, which facilitated my Canadian Club thievery. And by the time I was 16, I think the bottle contained mostly water.

    • That is an incredibly wholesome story. I got the warm fuzzies thinking about it. Canadian Club does indeed make regular water taste funny; it makes everything jagged and pointy, which is good sometimes but not so conducive to family values. Your mom sounds awesome. I wish she would adopt me.

  2. Well if you have to drink…then, I guess…but Can’t do the Canadian Club…the thought makes my fillings claver…My Sweet Tart mixed us some drinks (bless her soul) but she made it backwards..2 parts Canadian Club 1 part coke…me…well didn’t realized it…(don’t ask) until way too late (maybe two or three drinks later) that something was really wrong with her mix..Well let’s say toxic doughnut is not a good thing..And although spinning rooms, pretty lights, loud noises, and cool, so cool porcelain are all I recall after the “party”…I do know the smell is a trigger…and not a good one…

    • Those are all wonderful associations. Better to have them with a rotgut product like Canadian Club than spoil your love of something better (like Crown Royal). Ahhhhh, CC does have its moments in the sun, that’s for sure, but it’s still evil.

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