M is for funny MONEY: Our two-dollar bills are pink, our five-dollar bills are blue, and our 10-dollar bills purple. We haven't got any dollar bills, just coins we call loonies. This is because they have the image of a loon on the flip side of the portrait of Queen Elizabeth, although these days a lot of us think that it's because anyone who believes the dollar has any real worth is ready for the loony bin. Over the years, Blue Jay players have been known to laugh at our money all the way to the bank.
N is for the NETWORKS. Not that we want to point any fingers. That would be rude, and Canadians are never rude, but we wish some of the television commentators in the U.S. would do their homework and get some basic facts right. Excuse me, CBS, but Toronto is on Lake Ontario, not Lake Erie. And CNN, for your information, Duane Ward and Tom Henke are not a "lefty-righty tandem." They both pitch from the right side. And very well, too. This kind of thing drives us bonkers.
O is for O CANADA, the Canadian national anthem, never before played at a World Series game until now. It's easier to sing than yours.
O is also for OK BLUE JAYS, the irritating song played during our seventh-inning fitness break.
P is for the PRIME MINISTER, Brian Mulroney, who is in almost as much trouble as your President, and also for the PREMIER of Ontario, Bob Rae. He's a socialist (that's allowed up here) and a real baseball fan. The son of a diplomat, he rooted for the Washington Senators when his family was posted there. He was also Richard Nixon's paper boy, and some analysts assume a connection between the size of the tips Mrs. Nixon gave him with his eventual leftward leanings.
Q is for QUEEN ELIZABETH II, who is the Canadian head of state. There has been some confusion about what will happen when the Blue Jays win the World Series. Will President Bush invite them to the White House? Why should he? They're Canada's team. We think they should be invited to Buckingham Palace. ("Will that be milk or lemon with your tea, Mr. Alomar?")
R is for the ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. You'll see their scarlet tunics and flat-brimmed hats during the opening ceremonies, but don't expect to see them directing traffic in those getups. The Nelson Eddy paraphernalia is strictly for the tourists.
S is for SEA GULLS, which you won't see inside SkyDome, for which Toronto slugger Dave Winfield is grateful. When the Blue Jays played in Exhibition Stadium on the lakefront, sea gulls were natural outfield hazards. In 1983 Winfield, who was then playing for the Yankees, astonished everyone, including himself, by killing one when he tossed a warmup ball toward the bullpen. He was arrested by an overzealous member of the local constabulary and charged with cruelty to animals.
Whenever Winfield returned to Toronto, sea gulls with long memories gathered in rightfield and dive-bombed him, anxious for vengeance. This year he's mobbed only by adoring fans.
T is for TORONTO, home of the Blue Jays. You may think you've never seen it before, but you probably have, in the movies, masquerading as New York, Chicago or Boston. When it's imitating New York, however, the moviemakers bring in prop garbage to litter the streets.