Will the persecution never end? The other morning, while innocently driving my daughter to school, I was forced, as always, to abandon Morning Report - well, Holmes if I'm being honest - for her favourite radio station.
The breakfast-show crew were conducting a ring-in to establish the world's three most hideous holiday destinations. And there was Canada, place of my birth, second only to Iraq.
At least some of my compatriots weren't taking this lying down. "Um, I don't think I could fit a maple tree there," quavered one of the crew, responding to a faxed, anatomically problematic suggestion from an enraged expat.
I've long since got used to the fact that my native land is a running joke, and not just on South Park. Blame Canada? Why not? Everyone else does.
Still, after curling made it into the Winter Olympics, even I began to see the funny side. This is the nation that gave the world Pamela Anderson and depressive folk singers from Leonard Cohen to Joni Mitchell. Further sapping the will to live are such punishing Canadians as Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette. One of our most famous sons, Jim Carrey, achieved stardom by talking out of his bum.
But, after so long being the Ken Barlow of nations and against spectacular odds, Canada is having the last laugh. The country is boring no more, thanks to some changes that are, depending on your point of view, liberal and enlightened or sending the nation to hell in a handcart.
Nandor will be beside himself to hear that while marijuana won't be legal in Canada, the Government proposes decriminalising. Possession of small amounts would be punishable by the equivalent of a parking ticket but with increased penalties for growers and dealers. The federal health department is already supplying Government-grown green to patients who have medical authorisation.
Then there's the same sex-marriage thing. Courts in Ontario and British Columbia ruled against a ban on gay marriages earlier this year. Cue front-page pictures of the happy groom and ... groom. The Government has expressed a willingness to enact new legislation to legalise gay marriage across the country, though that's still a way off.
Then there was the war. Like New Zealand, Canada declined to become part of the Coalition of the Willing.
The US, though some states have quite liberal laws of their own, is officially appalled by most of the above, which is all part of the fun. George Bush has some new laws of his own in mind. "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or another," he said in July.
And despite the lack of much perceptible progress in the Americans' hardline war on drugs, US drug enforcement officials are predicting dire outcomes from any liberalisation of Canadian laws.
The Canadians remain unperturbed in their new-found independence and maturity, though they're still occasionally struggling with the maturity part. As one columnist pointed out loftily: "You're not the boss of us, George."
The interest in all of this for us is obvious. The Labour Government is proceeding cautiously down a similar track when it comes to social issues. Here's a chance to learn from the Canadian experience. There have always been strong similarities between our situations.
We, too, have suffered from a reputation for being friendly, mild-mannered and just a little dull. We, too, know the pain of trying to establish an identity in the shadow of a more confident, brasher big brother who keeps beating us at everything. If we get mistaken for Aussies overseas, Canadians have had to put up with being seen as Americans in parkas.
Yet similarities can be deceptive. Canadian pollster and social scientist Michael Adams, in his book Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values, describes two countries that are, in many important ways, becoming less and less alike.
Adams sees Canada as an initially conservative country that has ended up producing "an autonomous, inner-directed, flexible, tolerant, socially liberal, and spiritually eclectic" people whereas the initially liberal US has produced a people who are "materialistic, outward-directed, intolerant, socially conservative, and deferential to traditional authority".
Generalisations, certainly, but when you think about how New Zealand and Australia have been responding lately to big-ticket issues such as the war in Iraq and immigration, the parallels are striking. Bags we be the Canadians. That would make Australians "materialistic", "intolerant" and so on. Works for me.
As both Canadians and New Zealanders have been reminded lately, going your own way isn't easy. The Canadian jokes haven't dried up. Even the Canadians are making them, branding their homeland "Hippie Nation" and "Woodstock North", but with a certain pride, not to mention surprise, at their own audacity.
American right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan has taken to calling his country's northern neighbour "Soviet Canuckistan", after which "Helengrad" sounds almost affectionate. But at least he's paying attention.
No doubt Canada will get more stick from the US as it continues to grow up and assert itself. Just as we will from Australia. Even the Waltzing Matilda debate is another chance for them to have a go. "The Kiwis are probably just puzzled as to why you'd put a jumbuck in your tucker bag when, with a raised eyebrow and some sweet talk, you could coax it into your sleeping bag," wrote one wag in the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Ha bloody ha.
Never mind, if we can develop some of Canada's new-found confidence in itself (winning the World Cup wouldn't hurt) we may yet get the last laugh.