We, the people of the past, are wondering about this election


American Underpants | by Anna Minard

Good day, Canada! THE ELECTION IS FINALLY OVER! Due to print deadlines, I am writing you from before the actual election, but you are reading this after the election, which means you know more than I do about what the hell just happened.

This also means there is at least a 35 per cent chance you’re not in the mood to read a humor column about the American election, which I completely understand. I have some other ideas for you, if things have gotten really ugly down here:

  • Fold this page into a paper airplane (do you make paper airplanes? Or do you fold loons or caribou or geese? The Canadian version will do, as long as it flies). Write a heartfelt message on it and toss it down here. Something real sweet, like “It’s okay if you sneak up here for gay marriages again!” Or “Not to say ‘we told you so,’ but…”
  • Make this page into an old-fashioned newspaper hat, and then post a video on social media of you wearing it and saying, “Saskatchewan loves you, America!” It’ll be funny because (A) you’ll be wearing a newspaper hat and (B) Americans won’t know who “Saskatchewan” is.
  • If things have gone truly off the rails in two days, and you’re only noticing this column because you’re burning the newspaper for warmth after a global catastrophe, let me say: there were a lot of people down here who spent the last year working extremely hard to not let The Bad Thing happen, and they’re not about to stop now. This very moment someone is probably building a time machine and preparing to go back to 2007 to give Donald Trump an Emmy for his reality show and some hand-enlargement surgery so he won’t have to overcompensate in such a grandiose way. Have hope!

Because I’m writing from the past, there are a few different ways this thing could have gone, so let’s just play Choose Your Own Adventure, shall we?

If Hillary Clinton Has Won

Hoooooooooooooooooo boy, that was a close one, wasn’t it? We almost — yes, that was real, wasn’t it? We just about — ah, let us catch our breaths. Boy, we really know how to keep you on your toes, don’t we? The whole continent must sound like one long exhale. I hope you are celebrating in a reserved, Canadian way. We’re not about to let that happen again, at least for a while, I assure you. But don’t put away your nausea medication just yet; you should probably start bracing yourself for four years of the most horrifyingly unbridled misogyny on national display down here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

If Donald Trump Has Won

I wasn’t kidding about that time machine.

If We Don’t Know Yet Because It Was a Close Election and/or Donald Trump Plus a Large Faction of Armed Americans Refuse to Accept the Results

You are probably exhausted and possibly scared, which is fair. But those of us down here are even more so, so open your hearts. If your American friends want to come up for the weekend to get away from it all, and witness a national culture defined by politeness and restraint, please let us. Serve us some tea, school us on when to add the letter “u” to words in case we never want to leave. Teach us how to fight polar bears and still not be late to morning meetings.

No matter what’s happened, here’s an important thing you can do: It’s the perfect time to start whispering to your American friends a reminder of how short Canadian election seasons are, and exactly how to achieve that political feat. We simply cannot survive another one of these.

Anna Minard is Schrödinger’s voter. Follow her on Twitter: @minardanna.