After months of polite disagreement over which country can claim the world’s tallest moose statue, a Canadian beer company has stepped in to offer big bucks for Canada’s big buck.
Not content to let Colbert, an admitted American, compare Mac to a “papier-mâché dog from an abandoned theme park,” Moosehead Breweries (no relation) is donating $25,000 Canadian dollars, or about $19,000, to the cause.
As people across Canada celebrated, the mayor of Moose Jaw, Fraser Tolmie, called out foreign moose haters.
“Despite what Steven Colbert said about Canadians not caring, he was wrong. They do care,” he said.
Take that, Colbert. And also: Norway.
If you are struggling to understand the moose cold war, here is the backstory.
Mac the Moose, a regal 32-footer, stands watch over the city of Moose Jaw, in southern Saskatchewan. He’s endured 30 long, cold Canadian winters, surviving defacement and even a slightly awkward jaw injury.
But his reign as the “world’s tallest moose” ended in 2015 when Norway built a 33-foot statue of its own.
The affront went mostly unnoticed, until Canadian comedians Justin Reves and Greg Moore posted a video on Facebook calling on Canadians to stand with Mac the Moose in the face of “egregious offense” by Norway.
“You are a city famous around the world for the glorious name of Moose Jaw,” Reves said, “and everyone that comes by knows that this should be the world’s tallest moose.”
They called on Canadians to donate money to make Mac taller to, as they put it, “stick it to Oslo.”
Tolmie heeded the call, vowing to restore Mac to his former glory, even holding at news conference at which he channeled the voice of the absolutely massive but sadly inanimate moose.
“I am not ashamed of my size, nor should anyone else be,” Mac said, through Tolmie. “This is not a size issue; this is a pride issue."
The deputy mayor of Stor-Elvdal, the Norwegian municipality that is home to the other, lesser moose, shot back.
“We’re not letting this one go. Not a chance. We’re going to do whatever we can to make sure this is the world’s tallest moose — or biggest moose in the future, as well,” said Linda Otnes Henriksen in what amounted to a moose diss track.
Henriksen has yet to lay out plans for a Big Elk expansion. Moose Jaw, meanwhile, is busy mulling moose-enlargement possibilities.
So far, people have floated the idea of putting Mac on height-enhancing hockey skates, or adding a hat like the Stetsons worn by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Purists are calling for old-fashioned antler extensions.
"We do feel the most immediate and obvious answer is to have him shed his antlers, as moose do, and grow a new set,” said Jacki L’Heureux-Mason, executive director of Tourism Moose Jaw, according to the CBC.
Your move, Oslo.