“Stevie Wonder is a straight-up national treasure” – Chicago Reader, November 17, 2014
“Betty White is a national treasure.” – George Takei, Facebook, October 11, 2011
“Robbie Robertson of The Band described [Gordon] Lightfoot as ‘a national treasure.’” – Wikipedia.com
“11 Reasons Why Mike Myers Is Canada’s Greatest National Treasure” – diply.com
“[Dame Judi Dench] believes the biggest misconception about her is that she’s a ‘!*#%!?!! national treasure’. – metro.co.uk, August 27, 2017
Dear Mr. Murray:
We regret to inform you that, after careful consideration, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Nifty Titles has denied your request to be declared a National Treasure at this time. The deliberating committee came to this decision based on the following considerations:
- National notoriety
It would appear, Mr. Murray, that you are known only in a small corner of Canada, and not very well at that. We consulted the owner of your local (only) grocery store, and he did not know your name. Granted, when we described you, he laughed and said, “Oh. That guy.” So you are indeed not without a certain neighbourhood celebrity but far from nationally known.
Moreover, while we must respect your claim that your “face has been seen from sea to shining sea,” driving across the country with your head sticking out the window does not constitute a foundation upon which to build one’s reputation.
In addition, our committee has investigated your assertion that “people light up when I walk in the room.” It turns out that people light up smokes.
And while we take at face value your statement that “if people across the land did get to know me, they sure as heck would treasure me, like a rare vintage tooth trumpet,” we cannot grant National Treasure status on potential treasuring, only current or past treasuring. Also, we require clarification on this “tooth trumpet” business.
- Contributions to the arts and culture
In addition to being known and beloved by a large cross-section of society, a declared National Treasure should have made significant and lasting contributions to arts and culture or at very least have a smile without, in your case, furtive bits of black olive in it.
Mr. Murray, you make your claim for National Treasure status based primarily on a self-recorded SoundCloud post entitled “I Spy With My Weepy Eye” that has been listened to 27 times. Your declaration that this is “more than twice the number of Jesus’ disciples!!!!!!” [exclamations yours] is not particularly relevant.
In addition, the recording in question is merely you talking wistfully about the many different pens you have stolen from motels over the years. Impressive, truly, but this alone offers little to shout about, celebrity-wise.
Finally, we dismiss out of hand your declaration that you are a “treasure” because you are “hard to find and covered with dirt.” Really, sir, you are better than that.
- The current National Treasure glut
As you can imagine, the Department of Canadian Heritage and Nifty Titles receives countless requests by citizens seeking to become National Treasures. These requests are particularly high following a well-publicized opening; when Leonard Cohen died, our department was positively inundated. In fact, so insistent was he, we had to issue a restraining order on Burton Cummings.
Regardless, Canada is currently experiencing a surplus of National Treasures, reflective of the situation globally. This is due to the relaxation in National Treasure criteria, as stipulated in UN Resolution 3755F, the International Celebrity Accolade Treaty, which resulted in National Treasure status being attributed not only to the likes of Anne Murray and Margaret Atwood but also to that guy in those Canadian Tire commercials.
In short, Canada has currently reached its maximum number of National Treasures.
We invite you to reapply in the future should an individual actively turn down his or her National Treasuredom in a profanity-laced tirade or should a current National Treasure pass away; Mike Myers isn’t looking particularly well, FYI.
We are sorry we cannot offer you better news, and we thank you for your interest in becoming a National Treasure. We hope you will continue your pursuit of becoming beloved for whatever it is exactly you do. Perhaps National Treasuredom will be yours at some future date. In the meantime, we encourage you to examine the possibilities of becoming a regional treasure or perhaps a municipal knickknack.
Asst. Commissioner of Dishing Out