A guy walks into a bar. He’s relatively new to Canada and he likes beer. So, he orders his favourite imported beer. As he finishes his beer, he asks the bartender a question.
“Next time I visit your bar,” says the new Canadian, “I’d like to order a Canadian beer. What is the most popular beer here?”
The bartender smiles knowingly and, with a sweep of his hand, gestures to all of the domestic-brand bottles on the shelf behind him.
“Well, my new Canadian friend,” says the bartender, “we have many fine beers in this land. But, if you ask me, the favourite one in this establishment is one called Molson Export.”
The new Canadian smiles, looking curious.
“Maybe I’ll have one now,” he asks the bartender. “One Molson Export.”
As he finishes his Export, the bartender leans over to him.
“You know, fella, here in Canada, we just call it an ‘Ex.’ As in, ‘I’ll have an Ex.’”
So the following day, the same new Canadian walks into a different bar, this time with his girlfriend. They sit down and wait for the waiter.
“We’ll have two Ex, please, with some fries on the side.” he said.
The new Canadians sit at the table for about 15 minutes — still no beer. He waves to the bartender, and he makes a drinking gesture. He’s slightly impatient
“Don’t worry,” the bartender says, looking puzzled, “they’re on their way now.”
Two minutes later, a young woman comes to the new Canadians’ table with a plate full of… food. But, no beer.
“Where is my beer?” he asks.
“What beer?” asks the waitress, as she sets the plate down in front of him.
“My Ex,” says the new Canadian, visibly upset.
“They’re right here,” says the waitress, pointing at the plate. “Your eggs.”
* This is based on a true story! What’s the confusion? The difference between Ex and Eggs is primarily related to vowel length. We say Ex with a very short E and eggs with a drawn out E.