About seven years ago, I went to Ireland for a summer, where I travelled the rolling green hills masquerading as a Canadian tourist. The assumed identity was necessary because George Bush was still president. Upon hearing my American accent, locals would accost me and demand answers regarding Dubya’s foreign policies and general incompetence.
For a while, I tried to defend myself and my country against their tirades, but then I discovered the Canada solution. Everybody likes Canada — good old genial, non-threatening Canada. It’s like the Ellen Degeneres of nations.
I’ve never actually been to Canada, so I didn’t know anything about my declared country of origin, which wasn’t a problem because nobody else knows anything about Canada either.