Government of Canada FAQ #1

12 01 2012

As a writing exercise, I decided for fun to try to answer the Government of Canada’s 25 most frequently asked questions. Warning: answers may be content-free and/or humour-free.

How do I start a business?

For Phil, the simple act of walking home from school required the sort of bravery that is normally only found in soldiers who are trapped in trenches that are under heavy mortar fire.

It wasn’t because he was likely to be beaten up. He had learned that bruises heal after a day or two, and that even the most aggressive of the bullies in his Park Shore neighbourhood would stop short of breaking bones or smashing in teeth. After all, that was the sort of thing that wound up on one’s permanent record.

No, Phil feared the emotional and social humiliation of walking home. He was aware that if the students of Park Shore High School were ranked from coolest to nerdiest, he would rank 705th out of 706. Number 706 was Elbert Hummel, who had fallen deeply in love with Mrs. Granderson, his 53-year-old English teacher. But Elbert was so thin, so tiny and so cerebral that he didn’t really count as a teenager – he was an adult in all but size and age. So Phil was considered the school’s unofficial Head Nerd, and those he passed on his way home did not hesitate to repeatedly remind him of that fact. His shame was almost too much to bear.

Some day, I’m going to show them all, thought Phil, as he scrubbed the mud and gobber off of his pants and erased the rude words from the covers of his notebooks. That resolve, and the collection of electronics textbooks he checked out of the school library on term loan, were the beginnings of what would become the 14th largest fortune in North America.

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