A bloody good pat on the back

By Garth Paulson

Well Alberta, it’s been a long journey, but you’ve made it. Congratulations old bean, you’re finally 100 years old. It’s really quite an accomplishment, you should be bloody proud of yourself. In fact, you should make a big spectacle of things, getting all sorts of celebrities together, like the British royalty and country music stars. Throw a party with TV cameras, over-priced tickets and all the other extravagant fixings to let everyone know just how swell you really are. You should also try to draw the whole affair out as long as possible, tying all sorts of things like quilt shows and kite fairs into the whole shebang- you only turn 100 every so often after all.

Don’t let any of those pesky critics get you down with their trivial little details, it isn’t important in the long run. Sure, there has been an area in Canada called Alberta since 1882, but no one really needs to know that do they? Of course not, you weren’t officially a province until 1905 anyway, so the whole celebration is still right chipper. Hell, before jolly old Canada got a hold of you, you were nothing but the bastard love child of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It’s a little embarrassing when you think about it, but you shouldn’t let it ruin your big day, or week, or month or however long you can manage to pull this banger off for.

Whatever you do, don’t let anyone tell you the only reason you’re even around to pass the century mark is because your ancestors nicked all the land off some native blokes while they had their backs turned. You gave them those nifty little reservations, didn’t you? By all accounts they seem to be doing just smashing, so why should you let a little detail like this get everyone into a tizzle?

Come on old boy, get up and celebrate. It’s your birthday, and it’s time to remind everyone what makes you so bloody special. The list is long my friend, you’ve really lived quite the life. Who can forget the ringing success of those residential schools you had awhile back? What about those crazy, Christian fundamentalist Social Credit gaffers you had running the place way back when? Those were the days, eh? And everyone knows you’re big enough to just sit back and have a good laugh at how the whole rest of the country thinks you’re a backward, reactionary farm boy and calls you the “Texas of Canada.”

Then there’s more recent history like your barry flirtation with eugenics- you know, that old Nazi science that claims you can judge a person’s capabilities by looking at physical characteristics. You remember sterilizing all those people who scored low on those tests, right? How could you forget? Way to go on that one mate, real sound decision.

As the final shiny candle on that cake, what about the Premier you got running the show right now? It’s not any old place where the head of a government can get away with verbally abusing the poor and downtrodden now is it?

So once again, congratulations old chap, you’re 100 and you’re still living it up like only you know how. You’ve got a lot to be proud of, Alberta, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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