Winnipeg is the best place to be from

which is something you don't hear often
not even from people from winnipeg
but it's true.

we're a big city still trying to be a small town
stuck being a small town with big-city problems
with shitty weather half the year
and a seething inferiority complex
in the middle of nowhere
and we spend more time slamming
our sketchy mayor
our shitty transit system
and our winters
than saying good things about anything.

but our little frozen hovel
stuck out in the prairie
like a defiant 'fuck you' to common sense
amazing artists, writers, and most of all musicians
and a complex, intricate love/hate relationship
with the place we call 'home'.

this town makes you nicer
you smile and say 'hello' and make small talk in line at tim horton's
help out your neighbours or that guy
whose car got snowed in up the block
not because you want someone to reward you for doing it
but because it's the nice thing to do, dammit.

being stuck in the middle of the country
makes us much more appreciative
of what other cities have
oh you have efficient mass transit?
oh your skyline has buildings in it?
and up until a few weeks ago
oh you have an IKEA?

its size makes us all connected
everyone's had too much to drink at the king's head
gone to osborne village on canada day
seen a show at the west end
had a greasy burger at blondie's
been harassed the twoonie lady downtown
and we've all suffered from
missing a bus that came thirty seconds too early
or getting stuck outside waiting for a bus that came twenty minutes late
trying to strike a balance between two options
which are never in your favour.

living here makes you hard
we're sarcastic and cynical and critical
of everything
especially ourselves
and especially our hometown
which is why when someone else makes fun of it
they can fuck off
because that's our job
and unless you've spent your life
shovelling snow and dealing with overnight parking bans
hanging out at the toad people-watching on the weekends
driving to grand beach during the summer
complaining about all the things you could do if only
you were somewhere else
you haven't earned the right to bash winnipeg.

because you don't love it like we do
especially not as as much as when we say

"I fucking hate this town".