Author’s Introduction: Everywhere in the news I’ve been reading about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and programs like ChatGPT will be eliminating thousands of jobs in countless industries. Thanks to recent advances in AI, fashion magazines can create images of fashion models that are so realistic, there may soon be no need for human models. Writers and actors are on strike right now in part because of very real fears that artificial intelligence will make their jobs obsolete. Why pay a few hundred background actors thousands of dollars when movie producers now can just create digital fakes to accomplish the same thing? Why hire writers when ChatGPT can write a complex script in minutes?
It got me to thinking. Is MY job as a humor writer at risk? You tell me. The other day, I asked ChatGPT to “write a satirical humor article about being an American man married to a Canadian woman in the style of Tim Jones’s View From the Bleachers humor website.” (My wife is Canadian.) … and this is what it came up with:
Title: “Oh, Canada! A Puckishly American Man’s Misadventures in Maple Leaf Matrimony”
Greetings, hockey fans and puck heads alike! Today, I’d like to share my unique experience as a proud American man married to a delightful Canadian woman, affectionately known as my “maple syrup sweetheart.” Strap on your helmets and get ready for a journey through the quirks and charms of cross-border romance.
Firstly, let me confess that I thought I was marrying just any other woman. Little did I know, I was committing myself to a lifetime of bilingual conversations and excessive apologies. Yes, you heard me right, folks—Canadians apologize for everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if they say “sorry” for breathing. But hey, as an American, I’ve got thick skin and a whole lot of misunderstanding to embrace.
Let’s talk about the cultural differences, shall we? I thought I was up to date with Canadian customs, what with my ice hockey obsession and my newfound love for maple syrup. But apparently, I was as clueless as a Zamboni driver on roller skates.
For starters, there’s the language barrier. No, we don’t speak entirely different languages, but it’s close enough. She’d ask me if I want to grab a double-double at Tim Hortons, and I’d wonder if she wanted me to join her for an espresso and some multiplication tables. Turns out, it’s just coffee with double cream and double sugar. Simple, eh?
Oh, and the food! Canadians have some bizarre concoctions that defy logic. Poutine is a greasy dish of fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy—because heart attacks should be delicious, right? And don’t even get me started on ketchup chips. Seriously, I never knew tomatoes and potatoes were such a match made in heaven.
Speaking of heaven, I’ve learned that Canadian winters are practically a pilgrimage for any self-respecting Canuck. They bundle up in parkas that make them look like walking igloos and carry enough hot chocolate to keep an army warm. Meanwhile, I’m shivering like a Chihuahua caught in a snowstorm, wondering why they don’t just move somewhere sensible—like Florida.
Now, let’s talk sports. I’ve always been a die-hard American football fan, but my Canadian wife has successfully converted me into a hockey enthusiast. I must admit, watching grown men chase a tiny black puck on ice is oddly entertaining. Plus, there’s the bonus of watching players’ teeth fly out like confetti during a fight. It’s like an episode of “American Ninja Warrior” but with blades on their feet.
Of course, every country has its politics, and the Great White North is no exception. The Canadian political landscape is like watching a sitcom on steroids. I can’t tell if their politicians are genuinely nice or just putting on a show. But hey, they’re so polite that even when they criticize someone, it sounds like they’re reading a bedtime story.
On a more serious note, though, I have to give Canada credit for its healthcare system. My wife brags about not having to sell our house if she breaks a nail. Meanwhile, I’m stuck navigating the labyrinthine maze of American insurance claims just to get an Advil.
Despite our humorous cultural misunderstandings and occasional icy banters, being married to a Canadian woman is a truly eye-opening experience. She’s taught me the beauty of poutine, the joys of apologizing incessantly, and that love knows no borders.
So, if you’re an American man considering walking down the aisle with a Canadian beauty, remember, you’ll need to embrace their unique charm, adapt to their lingo, and learn to love hockey. But hey, it’s all worth it for the joy of sharing your life with someone who can make you laugh, even when you’re stuck in a polar vortex.
Author’s Closing Note: This entire piece (except for my intro and this closing paragraph) was written by ChatGPT. Scary, isn’t it? That said, I would know in a heartbeat I didn’t write this piece as I would NEVER in a million years recommend someone “move somewhere sensible – like Florida.“ Now, I already hear your internal gears working. So let me stop you, okay? Please don’t post a snarky comment about how “THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU’VE WRITTEN IN AGES!” Sigh…
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m …. Out of a job.
#ArtificialIntelligence #ChatGPT #AIrisks #americanmarriedtocanadian #writingwithAI #usingchatGPTtowritearticles
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Putin vs. Poutine. One is an evil, deadly killer that over time has ruthlessly attempted to slowly eat away at and destroy the safety of an unsuspecting country. The other is Vladimir Putin.
Every day I read another news story citing Russia’s ongoing attempts to de-stabilize America. And then there’s the increasing specter from China, with its treacherous plans to steal all our technology and hack all our phones.
We’re also told to be wary of the menace from our southern border, where thousands of terrorist Hispanic children with their Hello Kitty backpacks are preparing to invade us.
As serious as these threats are from our east, west and south, our government, in its futile efforts to protect the American people, is looking in all the wrong directions. The real peril – and it is a formidable one – is coming at us from the north!
I’m talking about the People’s Socialist Republic of Canada. I have always distrusted Canadians – especially this one particularly beautiful redhead “comrade” I have long suspected of being a spy – my wife. And seriously, how can any country be that nice?
It’s not the Russian Bear we should be worried about. It’s the great white Polar Bear lurching towards our 5,525 mile-long unprotected northern border. Canada may not have the military clout to conquer us (their entire military could fit into a Walmart Super Store). No, their tactic is far more devious and subtle. You’ve heard the adage, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? Well, through the stomach is also the way to our demise – and it is how they plan to kill us.
How do I know this? Because I recently visited a Canadian family in Vancouver, BC. We took walks together, chatting about the challenges of living in a northerly country with only four hours of sunlight on a good day. We pondered whether Canadians will ever learn how to spell words like “color” and “theater” properly. We laughed. We bonded. I thought they were my friends. They even forgave me for living in a country that elected a president who thinks Canada’s capitol is the North Pole. (Every American knows Canada’s capitol is Toronto.)
The entire time I was in this perplexing alien land, folks were extremely polite and hospitable. My guard was down, and so they lulled me into a false sense of acceptance – and trust. Too late, I learned that secretly, they all despise Americans. Why? Perhaps they envy our ingenuity in creating Disneyland and the diaper alarm. Or maybe their shame over our women’s hockey team beating theirs for the 2018 Olympic Gold medal was too much. The truth is, I now believe my hosts were trying to kill me the entire time, and I have definitive proof.
On my final day there, my Canadian “friends” took me out to a popular local eatery for a last meal before I headed back home to the states. The specialty was a popular traditional Canadian meal called poutine (“poo-teen”) and they insisted I try it. I had no idea they intended this to literally be my LAST MEAL.
I know, you’re saying, “Tim, you sound paranoid!” But let me explain. This meal was created by the most dangerous specie of Canadian: the French Canadians – and is composed of greasy French fried potatoes mixed with large chunks of cheese curds, smothered in a thick blanket of beef gravy – or as it’s better known, the Three Pillars of Death. The portions are huge. The “Child Size” is so named, I believe, because it’s roughly the size of a toddler. My theory is that poutine was originally used as a substitute for mortar to adhere the ice blocks together on igloos.
Flashback to the cozy scene at the restaurant. Within minutes of gorging on this lard-based sludge with the consistency of wet cement, I could barely stand up. My dinner-mates were ever so solicitous as they ushered me into my car and bid me a fond farewell. I could hardly stay awake on the three-hour drive home. I could have died in a car crash – which in retrospect, clearly was their plan all along.
Poutine – a French Canadian dinner staple consisting of French fries, cheese curds and beef gravy that has become Canada’s signature meal – or as I call it, The Artery Assassin.
In doing research for this article (why are you laughing at the thought I might do research?), I learned that poutine is insanely high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and refined carbs, and causes instantaneous thickening of artery walls. In fact, a single serving (typically 5,000 ounces) can kill you (although in full disclosure, that’s more likely due to the waiter deliberately dropping the ponderous plate onto your head at the sound of your American accent.)
Fortunately, for me, I only ate a small portion of my 64-ounce “Infant” serving, or else, I’m fairly certain I would have suffered a heart attack – or at least a really bad case of indigestion.
What the mainstream media won’t tell you is that it’s all part of a nefarious plot to invite Americans to come to Canada, to help prop up their faltering economy, and then, when we least suspect it, serve us a truck-bed serving of poutine, so we’ll all keel over from cardiac arrest. Then they’ll take our cars, break into our homes –and steal our flat screen TVs and jewelry – while leaving a very thoughtful apology note on the kitchen counter.
I now believe Canadians are hellbent on destroying America. They have long been jealous of us, mainly because they are sick and tired of the NFL drafting all the best football talent before the CFL gets a pick. Their plan is to take us out, one unsuspecting football fan at a time, by offering to make us home-cooked meals of their artery-clogging poison.
You may be asking yourself, “Hey, if poutine is so deadly, why do Canadians keep eating it, and why aren’t they dying from it?” – to which I say: you ask really annoying questions. You’re forgetting that they’ve had a century to build up an immunity to this deadly concoction. They also drink maple syrup straight from the jar and consume Canadian bacon by the shovel-full, and yet somehow survive. Those bastards have arteries of steel.
America, it’s time to stop falling for all the Fake News stories about Russia, China and Mexico trying to undermine our great country. Our real enemy will be invading from the north. And they know the fastest way to bring us to our knees is through our pie holes.
Tonight, when you tuck your kids in bed, tell them you love them, promise never to make them write everything in two languages, and be sure never to let them visit Canada. Because if they do, they may never return, thanks to a poutine overdose – or perhaps because they will be duped by Canadians’ devious displays of hospitality, generosity and the country’s incredible natural beauty. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019
The United States shares a border with its neighbor to the north, Canada, that’s 5,525 miles long – or if you happen to be Canadian, that’s 8,891 kilometers – not that anybody really uses kilometers, mind you. Did you know that our border with Canada is the longest unprotected border in the world? I’ll bet there are a lot of things you don’t know about our friendly neighbor to the north.
As someone who has been married to a Canadian for 25 years, I am an expert on appreciating the subtle cultural differences between our two nations. I continue to be surprised by how little most Americans know about the great nation of Canada. When asked, What’s the capital of Canada?, 55% of Americans guessed Toronto. Another 25% chose Montreal. And 15% responded, Could you repeat the question? The correct answer, of course, is Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Many Americans think of Canadians as beer-swilling, hockey-playing, toque-headed, parka-wearing moose-hunters, whose favorite food is a beaver tail pastry, covered in maple syrup. In reality, only a small minority of Canadians are moose hunters. Most prefer to hunt caribou. The true picture of Canada is much more nuanced and includes Royal Canadian Mounties officiating curling matches on floating pack ice.
The sad truth is that most Americans know next to nothing about our next-door neighbors to the north. Time to set the record straight. Here are seven widespread myths (only two of which I’ve been spreading) about Canada and Canadians.