I asked Br’er Whittington where he would live if he didn’t live in Austin. He said,
“If I wasn’t a Texan, I think I’d like to be Canadian. On my first trip to Europe, I noticed my friends with American flags on their back packs got a lot of hassling from other people in hostels and on the street. No one was outright rude, but it did come with a set of assumptions that weren’t all positive. My Canadian friends, on the other hand, could practically walk down the street carrying a Canadian flag, and the general response seemed to be, ‘Well, he seems nice!’ It was then that I decided I had to visit Canada.”
Whittington then told me about his first trip to Canada, where he covered 2,000 miles in 8 days, crossing Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and ending in Vancouver. In January.
He went on.
“Over time, I’ve found many reasons to reinforce that good opinion of our companions to the north, but right now I’ll talk about one in particular:
The Tilley Hat.”
“If you don’t know about Tilley hats, you’ve never truly owned an outdoor hat. I picked mine up in 1999, and I’ve had it since. In fact, I plan on giving it to whichever of my sons ends up with a comparably tiny head.”
“They have a more-than-lifetime guarantee, which means if it wears out when my kid starts wearing it, Tilley will still replace it for free. Now THAT is a company you can get behind. No surprise they’re Canadian.”
“So next week, when I put my Tilley hat back on to help with the summer heat that makes itself known on this marvelous Academy campus, I’ll stop for a moment and look with silent gratefulness in the direction of my northern brothers.”
“I may not be Canadian, but at least I have the hat.”