I’ve crossed some personal boundaries lately.
It’s wrong to seek cheap laughs at the expense of a phlegmatic, morbidly obese, alcoholic. Just as it’s uncomfortable to admit being wrong for denigrating someone’s performance before they’ve had a chance to act.
In both cases commenting on the Mayor and the Premier, respectively, I congratulated myself for mild bravery and honesty.
How precious of me and how wrong.
While I was laughing at my own jokes about Ford’s drinking, he was starring in an instructional video for holders of high office about the perils of crack cocaine. Then, while I was still enjoying the afterglow of praising Wynne’s rectitude, she dropped the hammer on Paul Godfrey and the OLG Board. Ford delivered the casino’s death sentence in the morning. By nightfall, Wynne had put the nails in the coffin. As the planet spun faster beneath my feet, I lurched to the realization that I hadn’t gone far enough in my pronouncements on our leaders.
If you’re still reading this, you must have forgiven me for my lapses. In gratitude, I want to reward you with a riskier guess at a more distant future. Because, let’s be honest, there’s less value in telling things as they are than in telling things as they will be. So, let me gaze into my crystal ball and tell you what will happen next:
First. Mayor Ford is brought down by allegations of crack use. To avoid prosecution for consorting with criminals and consuming illegal drugs, he accepts a plea bargain that obliges him to surrender the mayoralty and enter rehab.
Instead of turning in his belt and shoelaces at the gate of a luxury resort in the Caledon Hills, his handlers sign a two-show deal with MTV to appear in a season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in return for his own reality show (working title, “He Ain’t Heavy). The good people of Etobicoke re-elect the blond wrecking-ball, of course, ensuring that he continues to gargle gravy in municipal government, all the while decrying the very existence of government. His trademark spontaneity results in unforgettable quips rivaling the folksy wisdom of the heat-stroked mumblers in Swamp People or the inbred camo models on Duck Dynasty. Enjoyed by a growing US cable audience, his influence grows as his political prospects shrivel.
Second: Premier Wynne goes the opposite direction. Riding high on demonstrations of accountability and integrity on the gas plant and casino issues, she decides at the last minute to vote down her own budget and trigger an election. This brilliant tactic leaves the opposition NDP isolated as the only supporters of the Liberal budget and leaves the Conservatives flat-footed behind the starting line of a snap election. Wynne’s Liberals lead by a country mile as the other two parties try to find their strides. She polls especially well among women who admire her for cleaning up after the men in her life – McGuinty and Duncan – and for facing up to bullies like Godfrey and Ford. Re-elected with a land-slide majority, she and newly-minted Toronto Mayor, Wong-Tam, lead the 2014 Pride Parade, both in their signature suit jackets, and both eschewing the traditional Supersoakers in solidarity with anti-gun advocates.
Impossible you say? Really? After last week, all bets are off, as far as I’m concerned.