YO, THIS presidential jawn got you thinking of moving to Canada, eh?
Join the club.
"How to Move to Canada" was the most-searched phrase after Donald Trump's victory on Super Tuesday, March 1.
I've never been one to run away from ignorant loudmouths, but I happened to be in Canada when America lost its collective mind, and maybe it was the thin air of the Canadian Rockies, but I started trying "Canuck Helen" on for size.
I had been in Alberta for just a few days, and bonded with an adorable sled dog named Apache and a Dudley-Do-Right-looking Canadian Mountie.
Maple syrup was fast becoming my condiment of choice. Poutine, my go-to snack.
Time to consider my options:
Disgusting presidential wannabe Donald Trump or jaunty Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?
Trudeau wearing a pink "Kindness" T-shirt as a stand against bullying, or Trump talking about the size of his body parts?
Trudeau, vowing to reconcile with abused aboriginal residential school victims. Or Trump, screaming about building a wall to keep Mexicans out.
Trudeau, in a traditional headdress, being blessed with the aboriginal name "Gumistiyi," which means "the One Who Keeps Trying." Or Trump, the one who keeps trying to scare the hell out of people by resurrecting horrific memories of Nazi Germany while asking supporters to raise their right hands in loyalty to him.
Trudeau, who even those who aren't head-over-heels in love with him consider promising. Or Trump, whose rise prompted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to exclaim that his party had gone "bats--- crazy."
"It's a painful political story you just can't look away from," said one Canadian newscaster.
In case you've missed it, we're embarrassing. Trump's making America great all right. One great, big punch line.
, I thought, staring at the sun setting over the Canadian Rockies, I could do this.
They are a nice bunch, the Canadians. So nice that even while closely watching our country implode, Canadians don't want to hurt our feelings. Take my masseur, Mike, who even while urging me to enjoy the aromatherapy allowed me to bully him into talking politics.
"We're building a wall to keep you out," he joked.
Feeling bad about his harmless political joke, he quickly added, "All are welcome."
Cape Breton Island, a part of Nova Scotia, has made a pitch to accept American refugees fleeing a Trump presidency. Masseur Mike said the Lake Louise and Banff areas I was visiting were also an option. They offer plenty of jobs, he said - mostly in customer service, which means I'd have to suddenly become a people person. But hey, Masseur Mike traded in his engineering job for his new gig, and although it doesn't pay as much, he said the quality of life is priceless.
He kindly offered to let me crash on his couch. As backup, I reached out to reporter Emma Yardley on Twitter. She recently wrote a piece for the Toronto Star suggesting that Philadelphia might be cooler than New York.
I suggested a reporter-exchange program.
"I'm not so sure many Canadians would want to head south, but you're always welcome here," she said.
So friendly that even after Masseur Mike declared the state of American politics a "bloody mess," he said Trump could surprise us all and use his powers for good by ending corporate greed.
Oh, that Canadian optimism knows no bounds.
I wasn't seeing a downside. The living in Canada just seemed easier, especially with free health care and fewer guns.
And I wouldn't even have to miss the comforts of home, a.k.a. cheesesteaks. At I Went to Philly, a joint that advertises "American Style Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwiches," manager Sam Rafh said they traveled to to Philly to learn the craft of the cheesesteak. He swore theirs are as good - "or better!"
I just let him have that.
But just when I was about to renounce my American citizenship, a fellow American, who had been surveying the locals just as enthusiastically, asked me something:
"Wouldn't you miss the fight?"
And, just like that, I could feel the hot springs go cold and the Molson Canadian go warm.
He was right.
Americans don't run. We stay and fight. We dig in, no matter the odds.
That is the American way. That is what makes America great.
Plus, if we all run away, then the terrorist - er, I mean Trump, wins.