The concept of a ‘Canadian Diner’ had completely eluded me until a few years ago when “The Stuffed Beaver” waddled onto Bondi Road’s ever expanding stretch of hipster joints. Of course my inner Canadian was intrigued and our family of three went to check it out. My wife decided fairly quickly that it wasn’t really her thing – though she does concede that they do make a mean margarita (that great Canadian cocktail). But my son and I enjoyed it, so it became a place the two of us went to on those occasions when I surrendered to his persistent pestering. The menu tends to cover pretty much the whole of the North American continent – starting with tacos, moving north towards pulled pork, hamburgers, hot dogs and the nominally Canadian dish of Fries Poutine (an artery blocking combo of chips, bacon, gravy and melted cheese). Much of the ‘Canadianess’ comes from the naming of the dishes: “The Celine Dion Dog”, “The John Candy Burger” and something involving Bryan Adams (an instant stomach turner for myself). It has been quite some time since we last visited Beaverland, following a series of mediocre meals. But I have finally succumbed to He Who Pesters and He and I once again find ourselves entering the Beaver’s busy bar area. We are immediately spotted by an exotic yet familiar face. “Oh my God – look how big you’ve got!” And it’s true – my son is now the same height, if not slightly taller, than the petite waitress. I have always been curious about her heritage. She has an Asiatic face but the locale suggests the possibility of her being native Canadian – maybe even Inuit. Her neutral accent provides no clues. “I remember when I first saw this one” and I know immediately the story she is about to share with those around her. I imagine my son also knows and I look for signs of embarrassment. “It was years ago and he was much smaller. I walked past and suddenly – blaaahhhhh – he spews up! Luckily it all went straight into his wings basket, so I just took it away.” My son smiles a little sheepishly but seems fine. We continue into the booth area and, as luck would have it, sit at the very same booth of the puke story. We take the obligatory snap shot with the beaver menu, order our usuals and start to eat. I am relieved that the quality seems to have improved. “Dad, next time you see her coming over, let me know.” “Why?” “Because I’m going to pretend to throw up.” This puzzles me at first. Then it makes sense. Someone has a bit of a crush. I’ve noticed lately how girls have started to transform from ‘Disgusting’ into ‘Hotties’. “Ok. Get ready – here she comes.” “Blaaahhh!” But it’s an anti-climax. She keeps walking towards the kitchen. Still, my son’s not one to give up. After all, it was persistence that got him back to the Beaver in the first place. “Let me know when she’s coming past again.” So I keep an eye out until I see her approaching. “Alright – go!” “Blaaahhhh!” This time she whirls around with wide-eyed concern. When she sees who it is, she knows she’s been had. “Ahhhhh you….” She rubs my grinning son’s hair, proceeds to have a chat and tells us her story. I watch the scene and smile. Well played, son. Well played.