The modern housecat, as all cat owners know, compulsively buries their scat in the litter box, which we helpfully accesorize with sand-like kitty litter. Why do they do it? Because thousands of years ago, in the wild, their forebears buried their scat so that predators wouldn't be able to find them.
Are there predators in the modern North American household? No. But cats do this, because this is what they do. It's hard-wired, as they say.
The modern Canadian, as all Canadians know, compulsively watches Stanley Cup playoff hockey, which is helpfully served up to us on both basic and enhanced cable. Why do we do it? Because for a hundred years, we've been raised and nurtured on The National Game.
Does the NHL make sense any more? Does the average Canadian know what the hell the Columbus Blue Jackets are? No. Or the - god help me - Carolina Hurricanes? No. But Canadians do this, because this is what we do. It's hard-wired, as they say.
We're especially vulnerable if there is one nominally-Canadian team left in the playoffs. A team based in a Canadian city. Carrying the flag, as it were.
Which is why we stayed up insanely late last night watching the Vancouver Canucks lose to the Chicago Black Hawks. (Being in Van, the game didn't even start until 11:30 pm local time.)
The best-of-seven series now stands at 3 wins for the hated Black Hawks (in the 1970s, when I was a real fan, they were despised rivals of my beloved Habs) and 2 for the Canucks. And tomorrow's game - when Chicago can wrap the series up - will be played in the Windy City.
To be a fan, it has been said, is to have your heart broken. My Habitants (the nickname for the Montréal Canadiens) - a team which turns 100 years old this year - didn't even make the playoffs. So, belatedly, I shift my allegiance to the Vancouver Canucks.
I'll prolly still get my heart broken. But what can I do? It's a primordial urge.