by Nic Olson

And the Fleur-de-Lis tattoos come out in full force, bulging out from under large boots and wifebeaters, and the blue and white flags ripple in the soft patriotic wind. Quebec Nationalism is in full force on today, St Jean Baptiste Day, when Anglophones are openly persecuted and burned in the streets, and French Canadians walk around the streets like it were their own gay pride parade, maybe with less naked men. Maybe.

So I get the day off. Probably so I can stay home and avoid public humiliation events designed for Anglophones. Like trips to the pizza place and they won’t speak English to you, and everyone is there watching and laughing. And avoid other general Anglophone torture. Just when the language is starting to exhaust and overwhelm me, they have a French Festival in the city, the French holiday the same week, and I start French classes next week. If I don’t make it out alive tell my mom, ‘Je t’aime.’

There was an earthquake yesterday in Quebec. I was watching tennis quietly on the couch, seeing Federer barely scrape by and Isner barely stand up. And I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t know it happened until my brother emailed me and told me. The French part of the earth was rumbling with anticipation for Quebec’s birthday 400+ years in the making, trying to scare away the English immigrants out of their hip bars and back to the west.

And I celebrate the fact that I didn’t get paid as much as I thought I would yesterday, the fact that I don’t work one or two jobs today, and that I won’t actually be martyred for my monolingualism, only quietly mocked. Thank god.

Let the persecution begin.