Columnist Noah Blundo takes Canadians to task for pretty much everything.

Every day I wake up at the crack of whenever I feel like it and thank providence that I am not the premier of Alberta. I had absolutely no idea why I was doing this, and was even starting to consider cutting back on my drinking as a result, until early this week, when a fanatical protester, showing just how unbalanced fringe radicals can be, attempted to assault current Albertan Premier Ed Stalmbach with a pie.


I was shocked by the news that something like this could happen in Canada, where generally the greatest danger you face is that when you order breakfast they’ll serve you ham and try to pass it off as bacon.


Not that I’ve ever been to Canada. In fact, the extent of my international experience was when I spent three hours of a two-week road trip out West with five friends in Nogales, Mexico, where we were propositioned by drug dealers and prostitutes but, as proud graduates of the DARE program, we decided to “Just Say No” because my friend’s aunt was watching us the whole time.


Anyhow, getting back to the main subject of ridicule, which I believe was Canada, on July 9 Premier Stalmbach was serving pancakes to his fellow Canucks (which is French for “we put mayonnaise on everything”) at the annual Calgary Stampede, a rodeo widely regarded as the “greatest outdoor show on earth” – sorry to all the stoners who thought seeing Dave Matthews at Blossom held that distinction.


As Stalmbach was flipping the flapjacks, danger lurked nearby in the form of 29-year-old Lily Phan. According to various media reports, Phan approached Stalmbach wielding a pie – the shock to the Canadians from the attempted attack was so great that initial reports disagreed as to whether it was banana or chocolate cream – and she and another protester began shouting at Stalmbach.


Luckily, by that point Stalmbach's security detail was already wise to the potential danger – as Canadian Press reported, security officials “appeared particularly tense as he walked through the crowd shaking hands.”


Later, Stalmbach’s communications man would say, “They were ready for her, and they were on high alert for pie throwers.”


And with good reason. Stalmbach would have been the second Albertan premier in four years to get a pie in the face at the Calgary rodeo. So the woman, using the stealth and discipline of a trained assassin, made her move to attack without any warning, except to stand up and shout “I’ve got this pie for you, premier,” according to the Calgary Herald.


At this point, of course, his security detail, instantly reverting back to their days at the academy when they sat through Defense Against Pastries class, put themselves between Stalmbach and the pie, and one heroic soul – who at the very least should have his picture put on the Canadian flag – took the pie full on in the face, though some pie shrapnel did spatter on the premier's lapel.


For his part, Stalmbach remained unfazed throughout, maintaining the steely reserve needed for a job that can entail such harsh tasks as, among other things, serving breakfast to genial Canadians at the rodeo. “I had my eyes on the pancakes and kept them there,” he would later tell the press.


On a note that could not possibly be related to the events above – and I swear I am not making this up – Reuters reported July 10 that a U.N. study found Canadians smoke more pot per capita than any other industrial country.


E-mail Noah Blundo at noah.blundo@timesreporter.om