Canadian man says he was shocked to discover, “The past is not like the present”

Article by Missy Blingpunk
EDVILLE—Last week a local farmer, Fred Plower, read a history book. No, I’m serious. Front to back. The whole thing.

No one expected it. The last time this happened, according to the Ottawa-based Canadian Association of Sad Historians (CASH), was in the early 1980s.

“Some lady picked up one of those fat tomes by Pierre Berton at a yard sale and read it over the long August weekend,” recalls CASH president Fergal Button fondly. “After that, the entire idea of Canadian history flickered and died. Most of the historians I know work at the LCBO now. The lucky ones lead tours at old forts. It’s just sad.”

“Quite right,” Toronto book publisher Elwood Binder told the Gazette by phone. “We haven’t published a history book in decades. You couldn’t pay people to read that stuff. Best we keep to cookbooks, fad diets and Bobby Orr biographies.” Asked whether he thought it was a problem that Canadians did not know anything about their own past, Binder averred that it didn’t seem to be doing anyone any real harm. “Everyone’s just making things up as they go now, right? It’s kinda fun!”

Not surprisingly, word that Mr. Plower had read a history book sent shock waves through Canadian media and the corridors of power. TV news crews from every corner of the country were dispatched to his front yard, where they reported breathlessly on his every word. “They treated me like that two-headed pig the Bingles raised up a couple of years back,” Plower told CBC’s As It Happens. “I guess no one imagined that something like this could ever really happen.”

Asked whether he felt he had learned anything worth knowing, Plower was naturally guarded. “Well, now that I’ve read this here book,” he said, holding up an old weather-beaten paperback, “it seems to me a lot of Canadians don’t know much about their own country. You just wouldn’t believe some of the amazing things we’ve done over the years. Will I get in trouble for saying that?”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about Mr. Plower’s feat during his Rideau Tent scrum on Friday. “For all our differences of culture, history, and geography, we are bound together by shared values that define the Canadian identity,” said the PM solemnly. “One of the biggest challenges I faced as a snowboarding instructor was to make my know-it-all teenagers aware of all that they didn’t know about the sport and about the alpine world generally.”

Editor’s Note: An article from The Edville Gazette appears on News Now Network sites once a week. There is also a podcast for your listening delight https://anchor.fm/radiofreeedville.

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