Planning a European vacation and don’t want to talk American politics with an inquisitive foreigner? A New Mexico T-shirt company suggests going Canadian.
For $24.95, T-shirtKing.com offers the “Go Canadian” package, full of just the kind of things an American traveler can use to keep a vacation free of U.S. politics.
There’s a Canadian flag T-shirt, a Canadian flag lapel pin and a Canadian patch for luggage or a backpack. There’s also a quick reference guide — “How to Speak Canadian, Eh?” — on answering questions about Canada.
It is the brainchild of employees at the Mountainair, N.M.-based company known for comical T-shirts it sells worldwide on the Internet.
“It’s not meant as a slight against the United States or Canada,” explained T-shirtKing.com President Bill Broadbent. “It was meant as something Republicans could give their Democrat friends to say ’C’est la vie.’ ... But maybe not c’est la vie because that’s a French word.”
Election T-shirts earlier
This isn’t the first time the company has poked fun at politics. They held a political slogan T-shirt contest for the election. Among the favorites: “Might as well vote Republican, because they’ll say you did anyway.”
The “Go Canadian” idea emerged while Broadbent and several co-workers were chatting about a possible product to fill the gap between the end of their political slogan contest and another contest they plan for January.
One of Broadbent’s colleagues had heard of someone harassed about U.S. politics during a recent overseas trip.
Some people might not mind, but others “just want to be on vacation,” Broadbent said. “So we were joking that they could just go as Canadians, and that just kind of evolved.”
The package went up on T-shirtKing.com’s Web site Nov. 12 and the company sold a couple hundred — in New Mexico and elsewhere — in the first two weeks or so.
Tool for peaceful protest
When lifelong Democrat Dani Delaney saw the package, she was immediately sold. After the general election, she said, “if I could move to Canada, I would.”
“I admire their liberal, progressive stand on things,” said the 57-year-old writing instructor at the University of New Mexico. “And I thought, ’Well, that’s a good way to peacefully protest.”’
Sylvia Dawson’s boyfriend has been joking with the Ontario native that she needs to find him a Canadian flag for an upcoming trip to Spain. That’s after his daughter, who is studying there, warned that he might be questioned about politics.
So the 45-year-old Bernalillo resident bought a package.
“I said, ’What are you going to do if someone asks you about the prime minister of Canada?’ And he said, ’I’ll study up,”’ Dawson said.