Just like our pals in the United States, Canada is full of hicks. That said, there are some major differences between Canadian and American hicks. While American rednecks eat Wonder Bread and fingerblast their sisters as NASCAR plays on the half-broken TV in the background, Canada’s hillbillies wear toques, drink beer by the two-four, and ride snowmobiles until somebody eventually crashes into a moose.
They’re called hosers and they’re funnier than their southern counterparts because, (a) as latitude rises, so does the calibre of comedy, and (b) Canadians pass their soul-crushingly frigid winters by making each other laugh, huddled for warmth in igloos or mid-lake ice-fishing huts.
So, as we look back at our purportedly final year on Earth, let’s focus on the important things. Here are my awards for 2012’s craziest acts of hoserdom, which mainly involve getting plastered and eating moose turds:
The Canadian Hoser Lifetime Achievement Award
The actors, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, acted stereotypically Canadian in and out of character. In an interview from 2000, Dave recounted that, “Rick and I used to sit in the studio by ourselves like it was happy hour. We would drink real beers, cook back-bacon, and literally make hot snack food for ourselves while we improvised and just talked. It was all very low-key and stupid, and we thought, “Well, they get what they deserve. This is their Canadian content. I hope they like it.”
The Freddie Mercury Award for Artistic Achievement
Technically, Robert Wilkinson’s drunken yet near flawless rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the back of a cop car occurred late in 2011. But his video went viral in 2012, and it was made even more wonderful with his unabashedly hoser court appearance this past November… so he scraped his way on to our list.
Charged with impaired driving and refusing to give a breathalyser test in Edson, Alta., he showed up to court heavily bearded, wearing sunglasses, a Viking helmet, and a stupid t-shirt. In the interest of making every litigation mistake possible, he decided to represent himself, safely securing a $1,400 fine and a year’s suspended license.
The Spectacular Admiration for Pizza in the Face of Athletic Adversity Award
There’s simply not enough time to get into why Toronto sucks generally, but when it comes to sports, let’s see, the Maple Leafs haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, the Blue Jays just had their “worst season,” according to pitcher Jason Frasor, and the Raptors couldn’t dunk a rainbow sprinkle donut into a double-double from Tim Horton’s.
Dwarfed by the US, Canada has a bit of an underdog complex. So, if free pizza is given to the crowd every time the Raptors score at least 100 points at home, hosers will gladly settle for a loss if it means they’ve won a free slice.
The Hoser vs. Nature Award
Newfoundland produces a bizarrely tough breed of hoser. Last May, Michelle Higgins was driving to work from Norris Arm, Nfld., when she smashed into a giant moose, totalling her car, breaking two bones in her neck, and giving her a major hoofprint on her forehead. The bizarre thing is, the impact caused her to black out and she continued to drive the remaining 40 km to work. Coworkers were shocked when she arrived bleeding in a shredded vehicle. Michelle describes her first encounter with a coworker in the parking lot as she was coming to: “She says, “Michelle, are you OK? You’re bleeding. Did you hit a moose?” I said, “No, I never hit a moose. I never even seen [sic] one.” She says, “Well look at your car. You were in an accident. You’re full of moose hair, you’re full of glass. I’ve got to get you to a hospital.” I don’t remember anything else except screaming out in pain, “Oh my head. My head. It’s burning.”
Death-Defying Hoser of the Year
Staggeringly drunk, a man from Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass was run over by 26 train cars after he passed out between some tracks. According to RCMP Sgt. David Dubnyk, “I’ve never seen the likes of it. Until this, I wouldn’t have known that a person could actually fit under [there], especially the engine of the train…” The man survived the incident with pure hoser nonchalance; as Dubnyk describes, “He got up and grabbed his beer and just walked away.”
The "Making Kids Eat Poop" Award
In May, Manitoba junior high staff trip tricked some students into eating moose feces during a canoeing trip by telling them that they were chocolate-covered almonds. One girl vomited after turdlets got stuck in her braces. Parents were outraged but, come on, you can definitely smell shit a few inches away, before it enters your mouth. Sure, adults probably shouldn’t let kids eat shit, but, on some Darwinian levels, 13-year olds should also have the wherewithal to not put feces in their mouth. These kids are as big of hosers as the principal, teachers, and resource technicians who passively watched the prank unfold.
The Hoser in Uniform Award
Drinking beers in fields and forests is just about as Canadian as cops showing up to bust said kids, drinking beers in fields and forests. But, Constable Dougie over here is no buzzkiller. Instead of spending time in the bush, busting kids for shotgunning tall brewskis, he went out to the woods to jam some very sweet tunes. This guy is living proof of how to crank the hoser dial up to 11 by ripping some face-melting solos and playing drums. I particularly loved when he said that “back in ’87,” he used to listen to “Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and White Snake.” Some cops are brass, but Dougie Sokloski is pure metal.
The Extraordinary Use of a Butt in Police Custody Award
In August, Troy Kenneth Campbell was arrested while dancing in the middle of University Avenue in Charlottetown, P.E.I., while holding a beer in one hand and a cheeseburger in the other. In the drunk tank, he began lewdly imitating the cartoon character Cyril Sneer, bending his bare ass over, tucking his junk between his legs, and hopping around the cell. As officers watched, they noticed a suspicious bit of plastic peaking out of his asshole. Troy was subsequently busted for narcotics possession, which included four hits of Hydromorphone. Classic hoser behaviour.
If the world does indeed come to an end in a week or so, hosers will be the ones coming out on top. After a life of contributing nothing meaningful to society, they can rest easy knowing that their short time on this doomed planet was spent givin’er 110 %, partying with metal cops, sleeping under moving trains, and tricking some prairie kids into eating shit.
And that’s a beauty, eh.
Greg is a hoser and he’s on Twitter - @GGRPike