Best Cynical Bobbism (not published): My cynical friend, who wishes to remain anonymous (Bob), asks, have you ever noticed that self-proclaimed White Supremacists never look or sound that supreme when you see them on TV?
Best “Deputy Mayor” Janis line: After a massive wind storm had bent the steeple cross on historic St. Andrew’s Church by City Hall (personally believe it was God smiting the home of the Presbyterian Pigeons for smiting “Air Mustang” on a regular basis) Janis said, “My question is after they file their insurance claim, will the insurer respond saying it was an ‘Act of God’ ”?
Best Canadian political joke (Canadian Senate has life time exemption):
A woman applying for a summer job picking lemons seems far too qualified. She had a Liberal Arts degree and had worked as a school teacher. The Supervisor frowned and said “I have to ask you have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?” She replied “Well, as a matter of fact, I do. I have been divorced three times, owned a Yugo and a Pinto, voted for the Provincial Liberals and I cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Best Christmas card: From a retiree in the City family taking a not-so-subtle shot at the push to reduce retiree benefits. The card pictures a family sitting around a dining room table looking at a platter with a bird on it and above them the caption reads SEASONAL CUTBACKS. One of the family members says “we thought we’d try something a bit different this year” and another responds “is that a seagull?”
Best Cat Christmas Card (the only one): From the last of the Canatara Cats, Charlie, with a picture of him wearing a Christmas outfit–a red stocking with a note saying: “To Dad Mike: Hope you will think of me each morning when you wake up, yo! Charlie.” With the card were Christmas treats and an alarm clock, presuming to wake me up to come over and feed him. Not that Charlie needs help waking up as there is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.
Best political quote: About Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz. For background, when asked why people take such a dislike to Cruz instantly, a Senate colleague remarked “Because it just saves time.” His College roommate at Princeton, Craig Mazin, delivered this devastating line about Cruz: ”We should be afraid that someone like that has power. I would rather have anybody else be President of the United States. Anyone. I would rather pick someone out of the phone book.”
Best anecdote: From CBC Sportscaster and all round nice guy Ron MacLean when in Sarnia for Rogers Hometown Hockey. He referenced this typist being born in Australia and shared a story about covering the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He went to a store to buy a Crocodile Dundee hat. The lady fitted him for the hat and then said it was the “rat’s ass.” Startled, Ron figured it was one of those quaint Australian phrases like Fair Dinkum (translation: true/genuine. Example: it’s true mate, fair dinkum). He told an Australian friend what the sales lady had said to him. To which the friend replied that she was speaking Australian and what she said was it was the “right size.”
Best Letter to the Editor: From a writer to The Globe and Mail regarding the charging of two former staffers in Premier McGuinty’s office for the alleged deletion of e-mails related to the gas plants’ scandal, “It’s kind of like charging the monkeys while the organ grinder goes free.”
Best letters that demonstrate I have too much time on my hands.
Google BuzzFeed Canada June 2015: “This Canadian Mayor wrote the best letter to a reporter who threw shade at his city ….or Google Buzzfeed Canada December “A Canadian Mayor wrote the Ontario Attorney General to complain about Springsteen ticket prices (Mayor Mike was Born to Bitch).”
Best quote on the eliminating of online comments on newspaper stories: The winner unquestionably was Rosie DiManno of The Toronto Star who wrote after that paper ended commentating on stories: “Breathe in that lovely scent. The aroma of pristine nothingness. As if someone has just sprayed “Fresh Linen” Lysol disinfectant over the Star. Gone is the clammy, the fetid, the noxious. What had been a steaming hill of dung. Coming from down there, just below.
The online comments section, where trolls slither and slink, foaming at the mouth. Bring us no more your bile, your bilge, your festering pustules of malice and choler.
A river of vomit ran through it.”
Best Political Flip Flop: Ontario Transportation Minister Steve Del Duca who repeatedly declined to meet with Lambton County Council on serious concerns about safety on Highway 402. A mischievous County Councillor (who shall remain anonymous) suggested County Council stage a “camp out” in front of the Minister’s office to get the meeting. Warwick Mayor Todd Case said “So if you are willing to camp out, I‘ll go for a drive, put $20 in for a tank of gas and go to Queen’s Park.” The story went out on the wire service and even made the Telly vision news in London. Later that night, the media was informed by the Minister’s public relations thingy that it was just a misunderstanding and there would be a meeting. Had to unpack the “camping gear” purchased for the trip which included an e-mail deletion kit, a debit card with no limit on it and a tent version of the old Sarnia General Hospital to camp in.
Best political kiss-off letter: (Never, ever, shall we meet…not till the 12th of Never). From a Cabinet Minister who shall remain anonymous (Just between us: Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry) whose staff wrote in response to an urgent meeting on a major economic development issue… “Minister Mauro appreciates your request for a meeting. Unfortunately, his schedule is heavily committed and he is unable to meet.”
Dick Kirkland was a good man. He served the people of Point Edward for many years in many different ways, the best known as Mayor. He cared deeply about the Village and lived to make The Point a better place. We did many joint appearances together, welcoming conventions and meetings to the hotels in Point Edward. Our act became polished enough to take it on the road (at least to Oil Springs). Protocol meant I always spoke first and would good-naturedly kid Dick about Point Edward being like the Vatican City. The only differences being The Point having a casino and 22 licensed establishments and two churches for a population of 2,200. He would laugh about the references to the Village being Ward 5 or the residents being called “The Village People.” In 2005, after a skin cancer operation, the best card received was from Dick. On the outside of the card was a man saying “Hope you feel better, and don’t worry about work. Your temporary replacement has everything under control.” Inside the card was a picture of a monkey answering a telephone. He would always get the last word at our appearances. In his folksy style Dick would note that he couldn’t support an amalgamation between Sarnia and the Village because he didn’t want to lower the IQ level of the Village. Touché. And then close with his trademark expression “the sun always shines in the Village.” Over the years he would add, if the weather was inclement, “unless Mike is here.” It was fitting at Dick’s funeral held at Smith’s Funeral Home in Sarnia that Minister George Bell declared the Village had annexed the land just for the service so he could refer to “here” as being the Village when he spoke. After the service celebrants were asked to line up along Michigan Avenue in the Village by the Fire Hall to say goodbye as Dick made his last trip through his beloved Village. A large crowd, including Mayor McKenzie and Council along with Village Firefighters and OPP Officers standing in salute, stood on both sides of the street as the funeral cortege drove by in a pelting rain storm. Dick, for one last time, had the final word that “the sun always shines in the Village (unless Mike is here).” Thoughts that day turned to an Irish blessing as a final goodbye to Dick, my friend– “May the light of heaven shine on your grave.”
If you have any ideas or comments please call me at 519-332-0330 Ext. 3312 or 519-336-8092 or [email protected]