“Canadians are peaceable, friendly, unassuming, and adorable. They’re also secretly in control of nearly every aspect of life in the southernmost Canadian territory known as the United States.” So at least we’re told by the back cover of The U.S. of Eh? (Chronicle), which is clearly a very silly book, intended for a chuckle and — certainly — meant to be given as a gift, if only because it’s difficult to imagine anyone actually buying this book for themselves. “Once we began to realize that Canada is in control of everything,” write the authors, “we wondered how this could be.”
The premise is that Canadians have gotten their overly polite (and no doubt well groomed) mitts on everything. The U.S. of Eh? includes lists of many Canadian things — hotties, music, actors, inventions — as well as lots of general silliness about the “maple leaf conspiracy.” And I can’t imagine the reader who will not learn at least some small (and perhaps interesting) thing here. For instance, did you know that chocolate bars, garbage bags, light bulbs, pabulum, paint rollers and zippers were all Canadian inventions? Less surprising: car heaters, snow mobiles, snow plows and snow blowers all started out in the cold blue north. And what else? Much more. You’ll have to give it — or get it — to find out for yourself.