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A TALE OF THE CANADIAN WILDERNESS MUSIC: ORCHESTRAL RECORDING OF OH CANADA, WITH PATRIOTIC WEEPING OF CROWD AND KAZOO ACCOMPANIMENT. ANNOUNCER (V.O) Ah-hem. Ladies and gentlemen, The Royal Canadian assembly for the further growth of Canadian society presents the RCMP in: A Tale of the Canadian Wilderness. MUSIC: IS CUT SHORT BY SOUND OF REWINDING TAPE MACHINE. ANNOUNCER Alright, thats enough of that. Our story begins in the wild forests of Torontonian Qubec. We follow a day not quite as adventurous as the time I lost my favourite hat, but probably much more adventurous than the time I found it again on the dead body in a crime scene in a haunted graveyard. The hero of our story is one Pete Mansbridge (of no significant relation to the indefatigable news anchor). His memoir begins thus: PETE It was a cold and snowy morning in the midst of a surprisingly warm July when my partner Steve "Mooseye" McDougle and I were in our joint office, relaxing between jobs by playing a heated game of ice hockey. SOUND: HOCKEY GAME (SKATES, STICK/PUCK COLLISIONS, CHEERS) PETE (CONT) We had just reached overtime and I was about to deliver a Crosby-esque saving goal when our boss, Chief Inspector Sergeant Major Francis "Galloping" Bond-Head, interrupted our game to give us a job. SOUND: DOOR SLAMMING OPEN, HOCKEY GAME STOPS BOND-HEAD (IN A STRONG BRITISH ACCENT) Howdy yall! Ive got a job for all yall two. Rumour has it that round these parts theres a lumberjack settlement thats gone a bit real horrible and out of control, if you know what I mean. Yalls assignment is to bust that thang, lickety split. PETE Sergeant Major Bond-Head was, of course, a typical Canadian: British in his roots, but American in his mannerisms.


BOND-HEAD Yeens better go before all yall are late, yhear? PETE Quickly removing our hockey gear, Steve and I grabbed a snack-pack box of salmon-flavoured timbits, our portable radios, two two fours and four tutus. We then went to the stables for our trusty steeds. STEVE Here, Princess Baby-Angel Cuddly-kins snuggawugg-poo! Here, Bert! SOUND: BEARS GROWL, HORSESHOES APPROACH PETE You wouldnt believe how hard it is to fit horseshoes on angry polar bears. SOUND: HORSESHOES TROTTING PETE (CONT) As we rode through the woods, we listened to an intriguing Cross-Country Checkup debate on the role and importance of the senate. Just as Margaret Atwood was concluding a particularly fine argument on how the senate is now obsolete, a beaver leapt out at us from behind a tree. SOUND: RUSTLE OF BUSHES, BEAVER LANDS, BEARS GROWL STEVE Blistering bacon-beer! A wild Castor canadensis canadensis, eh? PETE We dismounted our bears, SOUND: DISMOUNT PETE (CONT) to give the furry little thing a friendly Canadian hug. As we approached, arms open, the beaver opened its mouth, as if to speak. STEVE Awww, how adorable, eh? SOUND: WILD GROWLING NOISE (LIKE AN ANGRY CAT, BUT WORSE)


PETE (SIMULTANEOUS TO STEVE) AHHHHH! STEVE (SIMULTANEOUS TO PETE) AAHHHH, EH! BEAVER (THUNDERING, DISTORTED) YOU SHALL NOT PASS THIS POINT. SOUND: BEARS LEAVING (HORSESHOES, GROWLING, BUSHES RUSTLING) STEVE Oh, by Laurier, Pearson and Trudeau, eh! PETE Dont say their names in vain! STEVE But our bears! Theyve ran away! Now well miss the ending of Cross-Country Checkup, eh! BEAVER Oh, sorry about that. Please forgive me, but, sorry, you really cant continue. Im sorry. Sorry. STEVE (GRUMBLING) Youre polite when you arent angry, arent you. BEAVER Well, Im sorry about that. PETE Oh, no, were sorry. BEAVER Well, sorry for that. PETE No, no, no, sorry. BEAVER Sorry. PETE Sorry. BEAVER Sorry.


PETE Sorr-STEVE Oh, holy hockey sticks, Pete! Come on, lets talk about this, eh? SOUND: RUSTLE OF FOOTSTEPS (AWAY FROM BEAVER) STEVE (CONT) (STAGE WHISPER, CLOSE TO MICROPHONE) How are we going to get past? This beavers too polite for us, eh! PETE Youre damn right, Steve. Well just be stuck here, apologizing to each other, forever! Its the third greatest Canadian failure, right after the Toronto Maple Leafs and Stephen Harpers twitter campaign. STEVE Damn our cripplingly good Canadian manners, eh. PETE Disheartened, Steve took a swig of his emergency maple syrup. But, seeing his sugary drink, I suddenly remembered: we had a box salmon timbits with us! (It is, of course, common knowledge that any Canadian beaver cannot resist the lure of sugary salmon treats.) I quickly retrieved the box from my bag. SOUND: RUSTLE OF BAG PETE (TO STEVE) Follow my lead. (TO BEAVER) Excuse me, beaver, sorry to bother you again, but if we give you these salmon timbits, would you let us continue? STEVE (CATCHING ONTO STRATEGY) Itd be really nice of you, eh? You see, theres a rogue lumber camp somewhere in this forest, and we have to find it. BEAVER Oh, well... Are you sure letting you by is really enough for that whole box of timbits...?


PETE Oh, yes. Dont worry about it. More than enough. STEVE (BREAKING IN QUICKLY) Unless, of course, you knew anything about that lumber camp were looking for, eh? BEAVER Oh, I do, actually! Mmm, delicious! (BEGINS EATING LOUDLY) Youll find it that way, around there. Mmm! (CONTINUES CHEWING) You see, Im supposed to be guarding it, but they havent given me any timbits in years! Oh, these are great. Tell you what, I promise Ill help you more if you can get me some more... PETE Thanks for your offer, but I think well be okay from here. STEVE Yeah, thanks, eh! See you! PETE We set off in the direction it had pointed, and soon approached a campsite. SOUND: CAMPSITE (MURMURING, FIRE, PAPER BEING THROWN) PETE (CONT) In it, there was a small campfire with several Qubcois lumberjacks sitting around it, muttering "Vivre le Qubec libre" and stoking their fire with various photos of Stephen Harper. STEVE I think this is it, Pete! Theyre wearing plaid shirts and everything! PETE I think youre right, Steve. Lets try to reach out to them, give them a few hugs, you know what I mean. Nobody can resist a little Canadian friendliness. ...And if that doesnt work, we can always... tell their mothers. STEVE (GASPS) Now Im not sure if well have to do anything that extreme! Just listen to them:


LUMBERJACK MORT AUX ANGLAIS TYRANNIQUES! SOUND: LUMBERJACKS OUIING AGREEMENT, VINDICTIVE CHUCKLES STEVE See, they sound friendly enough, eh? Ill call out to them. PETE Okay. STEVE Mon soeurs! Wantez-vous un peace-treaty discussion? Uh, mer-kee; silver plate. PETE (EARNESTLY) I have always envied Steves command of the French language. SOUND: MURMURING FADES LUMBERJACK Ah? Qui est l? Que voulez-vous? STEVE Uh, oui! Uh, speakez-vous English, eh? LUMBERJACK Ah! Cest langlais! Attaquons! SOUND: STANDING OF LUMBERJACKS PETE Steve, what are they doing? STEVE Im not sure, eh, but... LUMBERJACK ALLONS-Y, MES FRRES! SOUND: STAMPEDE OF LUMBERJACKS (SCREAMING, FOOTSTEPS, ETC) STEVE I dont think this peace thing is working... aaaAAAH RUN, EHHHH! PETE We ran as fast as we could, like two men stuck on the wrong side of a buffalo stampede (although with a less cliffy ending). Seeing that it was impossible for us to (MORE)

7. PETE (contd) outrun the angry herd of lumberjacks, Steve and I took refuge up a tree. SOUND: SCURRYING UP TREE, BRANCHES RUSTLING LUMBERJACK Ah! Zut Alors! Now we will have to wait! But once you come down, you are doomed! Ha ha ha ha! ...We can wait, you know, you silly English RCMP officers. PETE Was that in French again? STEVE I, uh... think he said that theyre going to wait for us to come down, eh. PETE Tell them theyll get hungry. STEVE (SHOUTING TO SIDE) Vous will tre hungary, eh! LUMBERJACK Ha! Not before you! We have the skills of experienced lumberjacks and we can live off the wild with our epic wilderness skills... Like Jean-Baptiste Louis here. He has, like, a gold badge in extreme flower arranging and makes really good bread. JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUIS Oui, oui. They call me the flower-meister. LUMBERJACK So, we will survive, unlike you two tree-bound thick-wits! Oh, and we have frozen poutine. SOUND: LUMBERJACKS OUIING AGREEMENT, SCATTERED CHUCKLES STEVE But... but you have no microwave to heat it up in, so ha, eh! SOUND: MICROWAVE BEING USED (OPEN, CLOSE, BUTTONS, ON) LUMBERJACK Actually, we do. PETE (IN HALF-TRANCE, WISTFUL) The delicious, cheesy-gravy smell wafted up--as though, around us, dainty little poutine fairies were dancing a (MORE)

8. PETE (contd) luscious gastronomic ballet. I could almost see them; flitting through the air, taunting us, chuckling like Qubcois lumberjacks... SOUND: LOW HOH HOH HOH CHUCKLING OF LUMBERJACKS STEVE The chuckling is from Qubcois lumberjacks! Pull yourself together, Pete! What do we do, eh? PETE I dont know, all I can think of is poutine fairies! LUMBERJACK Ah! Do you want some poutine? PETE Yes, yes I do, actually! Can we come down and have some? LUMBERJACK Ha ha! No! Never! You are not worthy of such delightful cuisine! You are doomed to live out your life stuck on that branch, like a moose! (beat) Stuck in a tree! PETE Oh. (DRAMATICALLY) Then what will become of us? Are we doomed to die up here? MUSIC: HEARTS AND FLOWERS, MOURNFULLY, ON A SINGLE VIOLIN PETE Just us two, our lives cut tragically short? Mournful, starving, and alone, save for this angry mob of lumberjacks and these tantalizing cheese fairies! STEVE The fairies dont exist, Pete. PETE (IGNORING STEVE) Never to see our loved ones again! Oh, Ill never have had said goodbye to my own lovely wife! STEVE I didnt know you had a wife. PETE I dont. (beat) I didnt know you could play the violin.


STEVE I cant. MUSIC: THE VIOLIN SQUEAKS TO A HALT PETE No, you really cant. STEVE Well, I tried, eh? LUMBERJACK Okay. Your preposterous little personal pity-party has made us reconsider the situation! PETE Oh! Are you going to let us down without killing us? LUMBERJACK No, of course not! Not without a challenge, anyways! STEVE What sort of challenge, eh? PETE (MUTTERED/CLOSE TO MICROPHONE) If he says anything about a herring and the mightiest tree in the forest, I swear to god... LUMBERJACK You must... PETE AND STEVE Yes? LUMBERJACK Define... PETE AND STEVE Yes yes yes? LUMBERJACK What it truly is to be Canadian! MUSIC: DRAMATIC (EG. DUN DUN DUN) STEVE AND PETE Oh, no! PETE ...No, Hold on, thats easy! William Shatner, Justin Bieber, and Celine Dijon!


STEVE Dion. PETE Dion! There! Theyre Canadian, arent they? LUMBERJACK Ha! You seem to have misunderstood the question. We asked about Canadian identity, not celebrity. Besides, most people think they are American. STEVE Hes right, you know. PETE Well, uh... what about mistreatment of the First Nations? And the French? Thats pretty Canadian. You know, like the Mtis ("Met-iz"), the Assiniboin ("ass-inne-boing")... the Iroquoi ("I-row-kwoy")? STEVE I think its actually "May-tees" and "Ear-a-quoi"... and "Ass-in-i-boin." PETE Hm, interesting. Anyways, that! Thats Canadian! Really, really Canadian! LUMBERJACK True, That is simply not good enough. You really must try harder, hoh hoh hoh. PETE It seemed utterly hopeless. The lumberjacks rejected everything we tried. Our spare Group of Seven paintings, our beer-flavoured bacon... even our photo of the Queen with a massive question mark scrawled over it! All our hopeful suggestions were tossed aside with a derisive hoh hoh hoh. We were ready to give up. STEVE Cant we just surrender, eh? PETE Hmm. We can try. What rhymes with identity? STEVE Ummm... Sodomy? Vasectomy? Uh... I know! Magnetic flux density! PETE That doesnt help!


STEVE Sorry. PETE No, hold on, Ive got it. Hey! Frenchmen! Weve written a poem of surrender! (CLEARS THROAT) We really dont know whats Canadian-y, We know were not British, or U.S., or mean. Thats as close as well get to our identity, So... please will you let us down from this tall tree? LUMBERJACK Hoh hoh hoh hoh! Nice try. But you will never get down at this rate! Serves you right, you English pigs! Its hopeless for you! Ha ha. SOUND: LUMBERJACKS CHUCKLING IN AGREEMENT SOUND: APPROACHING BEARS (GROWLING, HORSESHOES) JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUIS Ah? Quest ce que cest? Les chevals? LUMBERJACK 2 Non, cest... SOUND: BEAR ROAR LUMBERJACK 2(CONT) Cest les ours polars! JEAN-BAPTISTE LOUIS Ahhh! Fuyons, mes amis! SOUND: LUMBERJACKS SCATTERING STEVE Ah! Our trusty steeds, eh! Here, Princess Baby-Angel Cuddly-kins snuggawugg-poo! Here, Bert! Come to daddy! Theres a good carnivorous man-eating beast, awwwwww. PETE Our bears gleefully skipped towards us, gracefully trampling over the lumberjacks leader and leaving him unconscious. LUMBERJACK Ahh! Oofh-SOUND: SQUELCHING

12. LUMBERJACK Whaaao. (SOUND OF PERSON GOING UNCONSCIOUS) STEVE Hey, Pete, whats that riding on Princess Baby-Angels back, eh? PETE Lets go down and look. SOUND: OFFICERS JUMP DOWN PETE (CONT) I think its... the beaver! Hey! Guess that promise was fulfilled after all. BEAVER Hey guys! Do you have any more of those timbits? You know, as thanks for bringing back your bears? PETE Not right now, but we can get you some later! BEAVER Okay, cool! SOUND: SQUELCHING LUMBERJACK Not... so... fast! Mon dieu, so much mud! PETE Ha! Not so fast yourself! Im afraid youre under arrest, my friend. I just have to find those darned handcuffs... Uhhh... STEVE Hey, Ive just had a thought, eh -- what if there isnt any Canadian identity? Like, what if were all just a part of a cultural mosaic, of a whole bunch of different things, that are all just... Canada? Do we even need to define it, really? BEAVER Hmm, deep. And slightly... evasive. STEVE Yeah, sounds like its been stolen right out of a Liberal politicians speech, eh? Ha ha. Funny that. LUMBERJACK Well, I only wanted you to define it so that I could prove that Qubec should be separate, but that just... hmm. Canada, hein?


STEVE Its a strange place. LUMBERJACK Well, I guess Im sorry for trapping you in that tree, then. PETE Oh, good, because I cant find my handcuffs. Under law 358 of the Canadian code, you, and all your lumberjack freerees (frres), are absolved of all crimes, on account of being polite. LUMBERJACK Eh bien! Merci. PETE So what do you say we forget about all this and just go down to the bar? Have a few beers, maybe do some DIY work... you know, Man-bonding stuff. BEAVER Just as long as theres more timbits! STEVE Sounds good, eh. PETE And you, Frenchman? LUMBERJACK My names Pierre, not Frenchman. PETE Haha, interesting. Lets go! MUSIC: ELEVATOR MUSIC? ANNOUNCER That was "A Tale of the Canadian Wilderness", written by Linnea Ritland and starring [actor] as Pete, [actor] as Steve, [actor] as the Beaver and Pierre, and [actors] as [roles roles roles]! To listen again, tune in half an hour later in Newfoundland.