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Explaining Mayor Rob Ford to the Children

wmthomas-slider“Mommy! Mommy! Mr. Ford is on TV again and now he says he may have accidentally murdered somebody and buried the body under his desk at city hall and he’s really, really sorry.”

“Oh, no honey. That’s just a comedian with 14 pillows under his shirt.”

“So the mayor is not a murderer?”

“No honey. But it’s early in the week.”

“So the mayor is still just a drunken crackhead who lies and cheats and calls people nasty names?”

“That’s right, honey. And because we live in Etobicoke, we respect him for that.”

“Ford Nation, right?”

“Ford Nation forever, darling. Remember to tell your friends at school — it’s all a big conspiracy, the cops are out to get him and the chief of police should be investigating Justin Trudeau or Margaret Atwood or Santa Claus. Yeah, Santa. Were you happy with your gifts last year?”

“No, cause everything had Ford Nation printed on it.”

“So?”

“My tattoo is still itchy.”

“Don’t be cheeky.”

“So how did Mr. Ford get to be mayor, Mommy?”

“Well, we voted for him to go to city hall and clean up all the corruption and kickbacks and stuff.”

“Did it work?”

“Well, actually there wasn’t any of that going on, so then he stood up for us in the ‘war against the car’ and …”

“Did it work?”

“Well, actually there was no war and now he’s Mr. Subway, but …”

“Didn’t he do anything as mayor?”

“Yes, of course he did. He ripped up a bicycle lane so that a bunch of downtown, left-wing pinkos would have to walk to work.”

“How’d that go?”

“Well, it cost almost $300,000 to remove the lane and …”

“And what?”

“And only $59,000 to build it.”

“That’s it. That’s all he’s done!”

“No, of course not. He started ‘Cut The Waist’ weight loss program so all of us could eat healthier and lose …”

“And then he quit and got even fatter cause he always eats KFC.”

“And he phones us back personally and he stands up for us and he’s depleting the supply of drugs on the street and most important … he refuses to raise taxes.”

“Oh.”

“That’s what it’s all about. Never, ever raising taxes in the city of Toronto ever, ever, ever again.”

“But my teacher says if we paid a little more taxes we could open the school pool and plaster wouldn’t be falling on our heads all the time.”

“Your teacher probably listens to CBC Radio and reads the Toronto Star. What has Mommy told you about listening to those left-wing pinkos and kooks?”

“But you said Mr. Ford never used drugs and now he says he did! Isn’t that bad?”

“Well, no. It’s not bad because he doesn’t remember doing drugs.”

“Why not?”

“Because he was completely falling down drunk at the time.”

“But isn’t that bad too?”

“Well it’s not as bad as hardcore drug use. Understand?”

“I think so. Like the time Uncle Jerry got caught naked in the back of K-Mart with a mannequin but he said it was okay because he had amnesia?”

“Exactly. These are health issues that require our sympathy.”

“But Mommy, what if Mr. Ford has to go to prison?”

“Well, it won’t be the worst thing in the world. He does have a lot of friends there.”

“But who would Ford Nation replace him with?”

“Oh honey. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise of your Christmas gift but … what do you think about this sweatshirt? It’s pink, your favourite colour.”

“Cherry Nation?!?”

“That’s right, Don Cherry is a nice man, he’d be a good mayor and he won’t raise taxes.”

“But Mommy, that guy’s crazy. All he does is stick up for violence and he says nasty things about people and the way he dresses hurts my eyes.”

“But he won’t raise taxes.”

“Oh.”

“And another thing.”

“What?”

“We need to have that tattoo scraped off your arm and …”

“No. I’m not getting an ‘I Love Don Cherry Tattoo.’ No way, Mom.”

For comments, ideas and copies of The True Story of Wainfleet, go to www.williamthomas.ca.

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