Utah In The Canadian Imagination

On our last day in Canada my family and I made the usual shopping trip to buy souvenirs. And, of course, we stocked up on large quantities of prescription drugs we needed while we had the chance to get them at less-inflated prices. Happily for us, many of the safer prescription drugs don’t even require a prescription in Canada; their prescription-only status in the U.S.A. is just another Congressional pork project for big pharma.

I wanted to get a nice present for the neighbor who looked after our pets and mail. Since Penticton is Canada’s wine country and my neighbor seems to enjoy nice wine, I went to the state store. Strangely, in Canada the state stores are privately owned and operated. This has not served to make them inexpensive.

I picked out a bottle that had been recommended to me at a delicious little farmhouse restaurant I had mountain biked past a few days before and bought it. I talked to the proprietor for a minute and she asked me where I was from. When I told her I was from Utah, she asked me if I was a Mormon. They never ask you that at the state stores in Utah. (Nor the logical follow up, “and just who is your bishop?”) The nice Canadian lady helpfully informed me that well over 90% of Utahns are Mormons.

I was going to tell her about all the happy gentiles in Utah, but I thought that might send the wrong message.

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