Saturday, July 4, 2009


The Globe and Mail [Toronto]
4 July 2009, p. A16


For all I know, Pierre Berton had it right when he declared that a Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe (How I Became A Real Canadian - June 27). Where I come from - Newfoundland - the best-known personal watercraft isn't the canoe, but the dory, a practical fore-and-aft wooden rowboat that was the mainstay of the inshore cod-fishery - now, sadly, more memory than reality.

Not to be outdone by our Canadian compatriots, we Newfoundlanders have a water-borne sex story of our own. Years ago, when the late Don Jamieson was still a radio journalist - he would later be a member of several of Pierre Trudeau's cabinets in various capacities - he made regular Christmas-season visits to retirement homes in Newfoundland, to speak with residents.

His chat with one feisty lady has long since passed into the realm of legend. Noting the lady's apparent good health at a very advanced age, Mr. Jamieson asked if she had ever been bed-ridden.

Her response was immediate, and garlanded with pride. "Yes, my son," she declared. "T'ousands of times. And twice in a dory."

Thomas Rendell Curran, Ottawa

["Twice in a dory" seems to be a popular punch line to this joke in Canada's Atlantic provinces. According to Google, some other places the woman has enjoyed a romp in are a canoe, a buggy, a sulky, a sled, a hayloft, and a haystack. Sometimes she responds that she hasn't been bedridden in, say, twenty years, since her husband died.]