Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First French Settlement in Quebec in 1608

Quebec

Quebec flag – adopted 1950

 

Today marks the anniversary of the first French settlement in Quebec in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain. It might be fun to go there, but there are some things we need to be careful about. Take this list, and maybe you will avoid an international incident or a tear in the time continuum.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First French Settlement in 1608

10 If you are at the settlement, do not think everyone should speak English. If you do, at best no one will talk to you. At worst, you might be called a Britanique and tossed out into the snow. (These French take their language seriously, Issac. Best not mess with them.)

9 If you are at the settlement, do not mess with Tiny the WWF champ’s Molson supply. If you do, at best, you’ll get a hand slap. At worst, you won’t have the use of your right arm for a few weeks. (Don’t be concerned, Ivan. The feeling should return. After all, no bones were broken.)

8 If you are at the settlement, do not ask for an order of Poutine (Cheese curds, French fries, and brown gravy) If you do, at best you’ll get some strange looks. At worst, you’ll describe the dish, and everyone will rush to leave the room. (Any wonder you scared them, Isaiah? Although the plate was developed in Quebec, it did not become popular until the 1950s.)

7 If you are at the settlement, do not ask for pancakes and maple syrup. If you do, at best you’ll get strange looks. At worst, your description of extracting sap and refining it into syrup will get you a few minutes in the dunk tank. (You have to remember, Ignacio. The giant Quebec maple syrup reserves are a modern development.)

6 If you are at the settlement, do not ask for a bag of milk. If you do, at best you’ll be led to a cow. At worse, once you describe your request, you will convince the locals that you need to be given a foot warming on the stake. (You keep getting the modern confused with the ancient, Irving. If you keep it up, you may never get out of there.)

5 If you are at the settlement, do not ask for directions to the nearest Tim Hortons. If you do, at best, you’ll get a vague finger point meaning, “Out there, Eh?” At worst, when you describe Tim Hortons, you will have the entire settlement up in arms for a donut. (They are looking to you to deliver, Ira. Best get cracking on a donut and coffee delivery. That one guy looks particularly anxious. Yeah, the one with the musket.)

4 If you are at the settlement, do not wish out loud for a box of KD. If you do, at best no one will hear you. At worst, a few will overhear your mutterings and want some too. (Now you have gone and done it, Isiah. You have created a demand for Kraft Dinner long before the product is available. Well, hopefully, they will all forget about it by the time it is introduced in 1937.)

3 If you are at the settlement, do not correct the spelling of certain words. If you do, at best they will be changed back. At worst, the speller will become angry with your attempts. (Even though you may think it is okay to correct the spelling to American usage, Ingmar. I would fetch your own coffee if I were you.)

2 If you are at the settlement, do not attempt to describe Justin Bieber. If you do at best, people will think you are joking. At worst, the elders will pass a resolution to hunt down anyone named Bieber. (You have made a time continuum mistake, Immanuel. Lucky the elders also agree to deport any Biebers to America where they will flourish for some unknown reason.)

1 If you are at the settlement, do refer to a monetary coin as a loonie. If you do, at best, you’ll get a laugh. At worst, the population will wonder where you came from and as a result will need to have an inquisition. (The fact that the Canadian one dollar “loonie’ was introduced in 1987 is not going to help you, Ida. I think you’re going to enjoy your time in the stocks. Better pray your butt holds out.)

60 comments

  1. I still can’t wrap my head around poutine. Sounds gross to me, but I’ve never liked the food word ‘curd’ to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curd does sound like something that should be tossed for sure. Think of the Muffet example.

      Like

      1. It attracts spiders. That’s a strike against it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It is delicious. Trust me…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. haha, on number 2, they just might pick up on the Salem witch trials when they think you’re seeing things!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. News travels fast. Thanks, GP.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. John,
    That’s a lot of non-eats … so what do I order if I’m hungry?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To sum things up…just zip, if you’re at the settlement!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that is good advice for most situations. Thank you, Jill. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  5. John,

    I’m not against the idea of hunting Biebers. And when you get to Justin . . lemme know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pelts make good door mats.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Buahahaha! I’m not a hunter, but I might make an exception in this instance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Could use a trap.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. No Tim Hortons?? Then I’m not going. I guess it would be best not to mention that General James Wolfe defeated the Marquis de Montcalm during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. It is still a touchy subject 260 years later! Thanks, eh, for including some Canadiana here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure. My mom was born in Victoria falls so I have some hoser blood. Thanks, Darlene.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Not sure I could refrain from #3 – don’t think I possess that level of willpower.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. See if your coffee tastes right then.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Never been to that part of Canada. In fact, I haven’t been to Canada since a passport has been required.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not either.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There are some surprising things about Canada–to me. One is that, as you note here, a lot of what we associate with the culture is of recent invention. Another is that they think they are an independent country. Then why is the Queen of England on their money?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is a touchy subject – especially in Quebec… She is still an honorary leader 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL! I can imagine!

        Liked by 2 people

  10. But I love milk John. LOL . Good one.
    Happy Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Happy Monday to you, Drew.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Good Monday laugh, John:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I thought for sure Tiny would be willing to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He never learned to play well with others.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think I’d better stay close to home this week. Too many pitfalls in the time continuum — gee, have things really changed that much in 400 years?!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they have. Thanks, Debbie.

      Like

  14. Lol, I’m not sure whose brilliant idea it was to come up with coinage instead of bills (never mind calling them a loonie and a toonie!) but those suckers get heavy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t fall into the river with a pocket full of loonies and toonies. Thanks, Jackquie

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I could not help but smile broader with each number!
    We do have some wacky things here, don’t we?
    Still… very much worth a visit, I say 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t even get into the katchup potato chips.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s coz we have so many delicacies!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am glad you enjoyed the post. You need a laugh. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m always willing to laugh!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. So hard, dear John! And no Mac Donalds! Only fried Quebec frog legs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmmm. Need to pass on that. Thanks, Maria.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 You are welcome, dear friend! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. More great history from you. Thanks.

    Here’s one for ya:

    In 1535, two Aboriginal youths told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to kanata; they were actually referring to the village of Stadacona, the site of the present-day City of Québec. For lack of another name, Cartier used the word “Canada” to describe not only the village, but the entire area controlled by its chief, Donnacona.

    The name was soon applied to a much larger area; maps in 1547 designated everything north of the St. Lawrence River as Canada. Cartier also called the St. Lawrence River the “rivière du Canada,” a name used until the early 1600s. By 1616, although the entire region was known as New France, the area along the great river of Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence was still called Canada.

    Soon explorers and fur traders opened up territory to the west and to the south, and the area known as Canada grew. In the early 1700s, the name referred to all French lands in what is now the American Midwest and as far south as present-day Louisiana.

    The first use of Canada as an official name came in 1791, when the Province of Quebec was divided into the colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. In 1841, the two colonies were united under one name, the Province of Canada.

    Here’s another one for ya:

    In 1989, on a Saturday morning, I woke up wondering where the name Canada came from. So I got in my car and drove to the main library downtown and went to the research department on the sixth floor. Three hours later, I had finally found the book that told me what I wanted to know. Tonight, when I wanted to relate the story of where the word Canada came from, it took me less than ten seconds to find it online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved your comparison of old research with new. I enjoy the idea of beginning a story and then stopping for a few minutes to fill in the detail. My current WIP has my protagonists running into folks like Wyatt Earp. A simple point of “what Wyatt had on his hip” needs research. So I could not imagine getting into my car and heading to the library just to find out what kind of pistol he was toting. Thanks for the history of Canada.

      Like

      1. I’m the same way. I’m in mid-sentence and have to stop to make sure I got it right. An hour later, I come back and finish the sentence. I get lost in the history of whatever I’m writing about. That’s why it takes me two years to write a book.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mahoney is packed with research and it shows.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    Another great read, John. #3 is pertinent today with the Queen’s English and American English. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gwen.

      Like

  19. “…where they will flourish for some unknown reason.” I laughed my head off. Great Top Ten, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Even today I wouldn’t go to Quebec and expect everyone to speak English. They probably know English but will refuse to speak it just because you asked them to. They love their language with passion. I had a customer call in at a center where I worked and he started to correct my French pronunciation of a piece of dinnerware he wanted. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In France they don’t correct they just pretend they don’t understand. A bigger insult.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I may be a true Canadian but I am NOT a fan of French-Canadians.
    At all.
    Still, this was exceptionally-well done, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hook, eh?

      Like

  22. I once had a customer who named his sailboat “Beauty, Eh!” I knew where he was from immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And bragging on his boat. Definite​ Jonah candidate.

      Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: