Canadian Coffee Break: Populate The Hills
The Canadian Coffee Break brings together some of the finest Canadian minds in Southern California every week for a topical, lively round-tablesque discussion over very dark coffee. Won’t you join us.
EPISODE XVI: BRING THE MASSES TO THE HILLS
The year is 1923. You have been dispatched by William Lyon Mackenzie King to a movie-and-oil mecca in southern California known as Los Angeles. You are to establish and sell out a planned community on a hill, firmly planting a Canadian mecca within the borders of the United States and thusly strengthening the bond between the two countries. A local developer wishes to call the area ’Hollywoodland.’ You find this preposterous. What will you call the area, and how will you advertise it?
First of all, Mackenzie King is my favorite Prime Minister ever. Did he really think his dog was the reincarnation of his dead mother or was I mistaking political humor for truth (a la the Mr. Show episode where Keith Minders, skydiver, wears custard pants).
The area will be called “Upper Upper Canada” (fun fact for you Americans out there–Upper Canada is actually south of Lower Canada, therefore the title makes perfect sense).
I will advertise it by using pure white passenger pigeons (remember the year is 1923) carrying songbirds, also white but wearing little red coats. They will drop the songbirds into a person’s hand and then the birds will whistle a jaunty tune, the theme of Yet Upper Canada, which plays from
loudspeakers gramophones mounted on each street lamp candelabra.
Further details on the Canadian settlement:
- Mailboxes will be red and square
- All women will be forced to dress like Anne of Green Gables
- All men will be forced to dress like Sam Steele
- If you want a pet it has to be a really big dog or a beaver
- No swearing
I get the feeling that I am supposed to put myself in 1923 for this one, but a rather tumultuous day in L.A. has forced me to go topical. After a survey of the land, I’d quick snap write a missive to W.L.Mack-King declaring my intentions. It’d go like this:
I write you in haste for I have peered into the prophecies of my gypsy neighbour’s crystal ball. In it, i saw enough fires to justify the telling title of “Incendiary Goddamn” for this future haven pour the Canadians. Though the moniker is not for the feint of heart, I maintain that the eternal California sun will keep any Canadian content. I myself would gladly trade my barren, gelid Winters for the flammable potential of this foreign land. Our advertising slogan? Hows about, “Down with snow, man! Incendiary Goddamn!”
With bated breath, I await your reply,
Seriously though, I was evacuated from my house today and the 661 is surrounded by fire. Only in…. Incendiary Goddamn.
Jamieville!! Created by Jamie Scheel for the sole purpose of pushing the world towards bigger and better things.
After a slight altercation with a local developer, which was followed by an intense Best-Of-19 game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, the name Hollywoodland was dropped in favor of Jamieville. “There’s nothing like a personal touch to make people like things. I mean, aside from my Grade Nine French teacher Mademoiselle Morisson and some girl named Shelley I’m pretty sure that most people like me and will want to see my beautiful city,” said Mayor Jamie Scheel.
“And I am opening the city up to you!! You wanna be in the pictures?? Come on and get in them!! You don’t believe that it’s a fantastic place to live?? Invite me over and I will personally tell you how amazing it is. I will look you in the eye, and although I have no mind powers or eye-hypnotism abilities, my honesty will compel you to believe me. My blue eyes will fill you with joy.”
In other news, a new form of advertising has been created in Jamieville. It’s called Eye To Eye Word Of Mouth, and might just prove to be the best thing since the treaty of Versailles was signed.