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Murray and Downey Turned Upside Down for Columns on Canada

October 24, 1992

As a Canadian, I feel it's my duty to write this letter. Jim Murray's column of Oct. 21 contains several jokes directed at my homeland, and because we Canadians are just a bunch of backwoods, ice-fishing, maple syrup-sucking cretins, I thought I'd explain some of Mr. Murray's witticisms to my fellow Canadians so that we can all enjoy a good laugh. (An American friend explained them to me.)

Let's start with his remarks regarding the Canadian flag incident. "It's just a picture of a weed," Murray states. "How in the world would anyone know which side is up?" My American friend tells me that there's actually nothing funny about that line, it's more of an attitude joke. He told me I should watch Arsenio Hall to understand attitude jokes.

Next is Murray's portrayal of the Canadian people. "Why does everybody here talk funny, eh?" and "I thought you all spoke French up here." Apparently that first line contains irony, whatever that is, and the second line is another attitude joke. I'm making a note to watch Arsenio tonight.

Mr. Murray saves his best joke for last. He wonders what Canadians "do with the moose at rush hour." Oh, I get it! The abundance of moose in Canada would certainly create a traffic problem if they were to wander downtown. I could use that. I'm sure my Canadians friends have never heard a moose joke before.

My American friend tells me I should cancel my subscription. He says that this kind of writing is sophomoric, highly offensive and irresponsible. But I think Mr. Murray is great. He uses lots of small words and never relies on confusing facts or statistics. Keep up the good work.

MIKE ARMSTRONG, Beverly Hills

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