But then confusion ought to be the default state in Canada - consider:
- It's about the same size as the US, but has the population of Morocco, meaning that there are three and a half people per square kilometre - compared to the two hundred and fifty in the UK. So, it can get a bit lonely.
- Half the populace speaks nearly English, while the other practices a disdainful French dialect which would shame a Parisian. (Not often a problem, given the population density you're lucky if you have someone to talk to anyway)
- It's situated on the North American Continent, yet it's not a part of the United States and its inhabitants will bristle if you refer to them as Americans (can't say I blame them; I come out in hives if someone calls me a European).
- It worked very hard to gain independence from Britain, yet retains the Monarch as its head of state.
- Many Canadians put a great deal of effort into pretending to come from somewhere else. For example, James Doohan, famed as "Scotty" in Star Trek, was, in fact, Canadian despite the tartan accent.
So, given the background level of WTF, how have this couple achieved their not inconsiderable feat? Simple. They are refusing to disclose the gender of their latest child - who they have named "Storm". Their objective in fostering this ambiguity is to allow Storm to be whatever it (I'm sorry, but I don't see that I have a choice there, under the circumstances) wants to be, unfettered by the social norms associated with males and females.
Storm's two older brothers are only slightly less unconventional, being given complete freedom over how they dress and behave. Apparently, both have wardrobes which would have induced huge pangs of jealousy in the young Eddie Izzard and, with their braided hair, are almost always assumed to be girls. Of course, this cross dressing won't be too out of place in Canada since a recent survey conducted exclusively for and by the Grumbler has revealed that 72.3% of Canadians are lumberjacks. Those of us who have been enlightened by Monty Python will immediately recall the propensity of said tree-fellers towards flower pressing, dressing in womens' clothing and hanging around in bars. So. transvesticism is a national sport in Canada (the home country achieved all three podium finishes in the drag queen event at the Montreal olympics) and these kids have a head start - doubly so for Storm if it turns out to be a girl.
Storms dad maintains that "If you really want to get to know someone, you don't ask what's between their legs." Bollocks! (And that was an exclamation, not an answer.) Several people asked me last month, and the answer was "It's a Triumph Tiger mate". Of course, this assertion falls down where Mrs Grumbler is concerned. If you were brave enough to ask the good lady that particular question, half the time she'd give you a funny look and say "Its called a horse, you fuckwit."
So, all things considered, it's clear that most Canadians must exist in a permanent state of puzzlement. Which actually explains one thing that's perplexed me for ages - which is why Canadians seem to end every sentence with a question.
I mean, if you lived there, you would, eh?