I remember years ago when I was in a friend's wedding and we all gathered at his dad's place for a prenuptual whiskey. His dad was a greasy Coast Guard vet, seemingly obsessed with Japanese martial arts. On the walls of his gaudy, suburban home were souvenir store hangings with vague proverbs on revenge. I wondered for a second why my friend's dad couldn't make his first marriage work, or maybe I didn't. But that was Cleveland, a place I'd sooner never see again.

The expatriation bug seems to be in the air of late. Folks going to Canada in droves and how to blame them, really? You can have expanded marriage rights, universal health care, decriminalized marijuana and not feel like the rest of the world hates your home. And hockey. And who cares if their version of football is silly? You can travel to Cuba without your government imprisoning you for it.

I don't know if I could ever permanently expatriate, anyway. I don't know if I could ever just stay in one place as opposed to the other or another. If I moved right now, I would probably just go to New York or New Orleans or Austin. Some might say the shit has finally hit the fan. I think folks have just finally noticed the odor circulating. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pound ... they went to Paris, man. Why did they go there? They were pissed off because the government took away their booze. Sure, Hemingway was wounded in war and may have felt some disillusionment, but if he could have sidled up to a bar stateside, The Sun Also Rises may well have centered around a rodeo in Wyoming. Canada? I mean, most U.S.-ers aren't even going to Quebec ... it's just too easy.

I guess my point is: if you're going to call yourself an expat, then up and go a little farther than Toronto, Jack. There's a big world out there and hopping that northern border is about as subversive as voting for Nader or riding your bike in one of those insignificant Critical Mass events. Or wearing your $85, Marc Jacobs-designed Che Guevara t-shirt to the Whole Foods on Clybourn, where you're always rude to the non-union staff.