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Mike's Adventure to Poland - 2002

Part 16: O Canada

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On Thanksgiving, we heard that the Sheraton in Warsaw was going to be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complete with turkey, potatoes, and gravy.  They were also going to be airing a football game there, although being that Poland is 7 hours ahead of Minnesota, the games wouldn't start until late in the evening.

We had to work all day, since Thanksgiving wasn't a holiday in Poland.  But after work, we went right over to the Sheraton for happy hour - two for one drinks.  The best part about Thanksgiving in Poland?  Two for one wheat beers!

Well, two liters of beer later, I am trashed.  A Canadian band is getting ready to take the stage and play for a crowded house, and Scott tells me, "Dude, I dare you to yell 'Canada rules!'"

I don't know what I was thinking, but something possessed me to do the unthinkable.  Instead of simply shouting "Canada rules," I decided to go for a moment out of Casablanca.  I decided to sing "O Canada."

And not just a few bars.  I sang the whole freaking song.  Off-key.  At the top of my lungs.  To the horror of the (mostly Polish) crowd.

And the band?  "Hey, someone is singing our country's song!" the guitarist said to the crowd.  But that was it; no joining in, no patriotic pride as they joined me in singing their national anthem.

After that, Scott and Robin ushered me out of the restaurant.  We had seen the big rugby-playing Polish bouncer toss an inebriated businessman out earlier, and it wasn't pretty.  We sensed that he was on the prowl for me at that moment.

After we got outside, Scott admonishes me: "Dude, you have redefined 'ugly-American'!"

But, as I was singing the Canadian national anthem, won't the Poles think I was an "ugly-Canadian"?  Is there even such a thing as an "ugly-Canadian"?

As I posted in the Forums, "Just some friendly advice - drinking LOTS of beer after eating a huge turkey meal and singing O Canada at the top of your lungs at a crowded bar is NEVER a good idea... Especially when people are trying to watch football..."

And, as my friend Eagle pointed out in the Forums, "Exactly WHEN is it a GOOD idea to sing O Canada other than during a hockey game?"

Continue on to Part 17: Park Lazienkowski