Bob Rae is gone! Who am I going to pick on? Many readers have asked me what I am going to write about now that my nemesis Bob Rae has been banished to a far away spot in the legislature and consigned to a part-time job with the University of Toronto.
Readers may remember that I wanted Bob out of the country wallowing in a sea of windbags called the UN or, failing that, a job as a croupier at a craps table at the Bob Rae Windsor Gambling Casino.
Where did that leave me? Premier Harris’ Common Sense Revolution hasn’t run into any large shoals yet that I’ve noted. (Although I am keeping an eye on Transport Minister Al Palladini. This jolly and outspoken car dealer may yet absentmindedly rear-end an oil truck on the way to work).
I decided to look for another job. Now where can a bumbling newspaper hack like myself with a decidedly pro-life bias look for challenging yet remunerative work?
Could one look to the Proprietors of the Commons Sense Revolution for a job? It all boiled down to the question: What did I have on them that would make them want to give me a good political job in order to shut me up?
To many faithful readers this may smack of extortion but in the world of politics – it just demonstrates good common sense. It does not require revealing facts about what you know but usually just strong hints are enough. The Proprietors suspected that I knew “where the bodies were buried.” That was all I needed.
In a surprise press release to the media I was named Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. (Poor Hal Jackman was given the post of heading up Ontario House in London, England). The media at Queen’s Park was shocked and demanded to know why the bleep-bleep (this is a family newspaper) like myself was given such a high government post.
I informed them candidly that I would like to tell them how I obtained such an exalted office but as a personal representative of the Queen I was above mundane politics and had sworn an oath of secrecy.
It was shortly after this that Premier Mike Harris dropped in. I knew it wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience when he put a chair up against the door to block it from opening.
“How did you get this post?” he demanded. “I looked over your resumé and its ridiculous!”
“Mike don’t get all steamed up. I looked over what was required for the job and all that was really needed was a guy who could wield a heavy fork. I fit that to a tee. And I can handle my liquor. I admit I can’t stand Hal’s cigars – great monstrous things. I had them thrown out. Did you know that Hal used to smoke these big stogies here at Queen’s Park? Do you know that it was against fire regulations?”
“I can tell jokes with the best of them. I use Father Ted Colleton’s old jokes and they’re a lot funnier than any I ever heard Hal tell. And as for the opening new university wings and supermarkets – all I need is a bit of practise with some scissors.”
“I can’t get over it! You think all there is to being the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario is eating – holding your liquor and telling old jokes and opening new university wings and supermarkets?” asked the Premier.
“That’s about it, Mike. It doesn’t require any great academic brilliance – just a determination to succeed in a trivial pursuit. Oh I know I have to witness a new government being sworn in once in a while and give out a gold plate to the winner of the Queen’s Plate every year – but I think I can handle that.”
Premier Harris was dumbfounded. He finally opened his mouth and screamed: “And who ordered that big banner to be strung all across Queen’s park?!”
“Oh you mean that big one that says: ‘We mourn 26 years of legalized abortion in Ontario’?”
“That’s the ONE!”
“Don’t knock it, Mike. Princess Diana and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, have agreed to come over and cut the ribbon holding the banner up.”
“You’re fired!!” roared Mike.
“Mike, I warn you. Before you make that decision – call this phone number. If you do, I’ll go gracefully. No fuss – I’m gone.”
I handed Mike the red phone that was in my desk and he begrudgingly called the number. He was silent when he hung up. He stood to leave and then turned.
“Make sure that Princess Diana and Her Majesty when they visit Ontario come with you up to our house in North Bay for dinner with the family.”
I promised I would.