I saw this article/podcast in the Globe and Mail this morning and it really got me thinking about a few incidents in my life where describing myself as a Newfoundander did not exactly put me at an advantage. I often wondered about how the situation would have played out had I kept my place of origin out of the picture. The best example I can think of is a decorating show my husband and I appeared on. That story will have to wait for another day, because it is one that requires booze to tell. Lots of it.
The writer of the globe story, Trevor Janes, appeared on Jeopardy awhile back. He has lived and worked in Ottawa for the past 20 years but is originally from the Rock. However, while filling out the contestant information sheet for the show he wrote down that he was from Ottawa. He explains: "Besides being a mild-mannered software developer, I'm also a giant, gushing Jeopardy! fanboy, and I knew that Alex Trebek had once lived in Ottawa. Hoping to share a brief connection with a famous person I admired, I wrote Ottawa as my place of origin. I figured that back in Newfoundland, my parents and relatives wouldn't mind, and nobody else who was watching would even know. We taped the show and I began the two-month wait for the broadcast."
Not surprisingly, months later as people from home watched the show, expecting to see the home boy represent, some were surprised and perhaps hurt to learn he did not say he was from the Rock. Mr. Janes takes great pains in his story to apologize for that error in judgement, and I have to admire him for that. It is an interesting read, and some of the reader comments are quite telling. They range from the usual "Just another Dumb Newf" rants from some knuckle dragging dingbats, to the reassuring "Don't sweat it" comments. I thought about weighing in and then decided to do that here instead.
I wonder, has being from Newfoundland ever held you back in anyway? Affected people's perceptions of you?