Every patriotic Canadian remembers the War of 1812.
I'll tell you the tale as I remember it from Grade 7 social studies. No peeking at Wikipedia, that would be cheating.
Let's see, it was a great clash of nations, of a young America versus an even younger Canada. Canada was so young, it was -55 years old.
The frost giants had just retreated to the north, and the glaciers had melted, freeing the moose and beavers and fur trappers from their thousand-year slumber. Across Upper Canada and Lower Canada (Lower Canada was above Upper Canada, as a means of confusing our enemies) people were returning to the maple mines, to harvest the ore that could be turned into golden syrup.
Meanwhile, the Americans were restless. President James Madison was supposedly angry about Americans being kidnapped to serve in the British Navy, but secretly he wanted to hold the world's biggest pancake breakfast at the White House (then called the Taupe House). He needed a vast supply of syrup.
Unfortunately, Canadian supplies were being used in the war against Napoleon.
Pure Quebec maple syrup makes excellent flamethrower fuel. (Kids, if you decide to make your own maple syrup flamethrower at home, don't tell your parents. They won't let you!)
So the Americans decided to invade. How tough could the Canadians be? There were literally just 17 people living here, and three of them were planning to go on vacation soon.
The British decided to send in their secret weapon to keep their vital maple mines safe. They unlocked the lead-lined vault that contained General Isaac Brock. Brock was 27 feet tall, weighed as much as three full-grown bison, and had two left eyes. That last part kind of freaked people out.
Brock stormed into the United States and seized Fort Detroit, crushing Edsels and Pontiacs under his steel stompin' boots. He fought the Americans at the Battle of Four Small Ponds, and again at the Battle of A Very Remote Cold Lake With No Name. Finally, at the Battle of That Field Where the Brown and White Cow Lives, the Americans discovered Brock's weakness: being shot to death.
For a while after Brock's death, the Americans gained the upper hand. They invaded and burned the city of York, which was so embarrassed, it changed its name to Toronto. Their huge army of cyborgs and mutants began pushing north, but fortunately, Laura Secord heard of their plans. Thanks to the superspeed powers she had gained when lightning struck her chemistry lab, she was able to reach the British and warn them, after which she travelled to a parallel dimension and met a version of herself who just made chocolate and didn't have superpowers and was pretty boring, really.
Fortunately, the British had finally defeated Napoleon, thanks to their flamethrower brigades, and they sent more troops to aid Canada. They invaded Washington, D.C., and torched the place. They burned the Taupe House, which was later repainted puce, then lavender, then plaid, and finally white.
Dolley Madison, the president's wife, used the magic spell written on the back of the Constitution to turn herself into snack cakes to escape detection.
The war petered out, and a peace treaty was signed. Unfortunately, the British then attacked New Orleans, having missed the peace news thanks to bad cellphone reception.
But mostly peace reigned, and has ever since, except for that time in 1866, and that thing over a pig on the Gulf Islands.
So let's raise a glass of syrup to our glorious past!
Matthew Claxton is a reporter for the Langley Advance.