The First Reveal of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me
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The First Reveal of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me
» Buy my book in paperback or Kindle format on Amazon!
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Here begins another in an unofficial series in which I re-post some of my absolute favorite pieces from the recent past. Yes, this another way of fobbing you off, just involving as little work as I can manage without actually going so far as to not wake up. It’s a fine line and the future doesn’t always mimic the past, so instead of complaining, how about some appreciation? That’s more like it! This post from May, 2019, relates a true story, and one that still freaks me out on account of its ridiculously specific outcome and its sheer mind-blowing perfect randomness. Yes, I’m gullible and credulous, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the mysterious patterns of life. Look, even the apple slices in that pie have arranged themselves in a Fibonacci sequence! Well, well, well! — DR
SATURDAY: AN EX-ROOMMATE DROPS BY with a friend who’s in town to see the Raptors play. (I’m not sure, but I think the Raptors are some kind of sports team.) My ex-roommate installs the handsome Raptors fan in my armchair, offers me a doggie-bagged hamburger, then flits about, wreaking delightful sketchy havoc.
He scrummages through another friend’s personal effects (some of which he appropriates—he’s a bit of a kleptomaniac), tidies the kitchen, messes up the bathroom, and gives me news of someone, let’s call him “Ben,” whom I haven’t seen in nearly two years.
Ben and I are estranged because of my big mouth and my snippy tactlessness and my sour, flippant remarks about his abusive passive-aggressive female partner, whom he endlessly complained about but couldn’t seem to break free of. Ben took offense at my unasked-for advice, which admittedly was a little brusque, and stormed off in a straight-guy huff.
This is because straight guys pretend they’re manly and strong, but in fact, compared to gay men, they are as fruit flies to our turkey vultures, so spindly and ephemeral is their sense of self-worth. Straight men are used to being coddled and kow-towed to, and receiving the world’s deference and the security blanket scented with Febreze, so they are soft and frail.
Gay men, by contrast, eat rock-hard shit for breakfast and halt juggernauts of bigotry with our bare hands, all while dancing backwards in Louboutin cocktail booties, lashes mascara’d so thickly our eyelids glue shut, and wearing a print dress from the Sally Ann that someone’s grandmother died in, so we’re ready to take whatever you care to throw at us.
Like, “Hey, faggot!” for example.
Then we laugh our silvery, ironic laugh, shove a butt-plug up our hole and head to the office.
You know. Tough.
Straight men are all about the masculinity and the deference, but their masculinity is butterfly-fragile, so that if you so much as brush its powdery wing they are irrevocably maimed. And trust me when I tell you that they will exhibit their stigmata with a stoic, martyred acceptance that is worse than any accusation, like those portrayals of saints holding out their lopped-off body parts on a tray or having their entrails slowly wound up on a wheel.
They will pull on the sweat-stained track suit of their straight-guy pride, they will draw themselves up to their full height and they will take their elevated chin, their grim have a nice life, dude, expression and their affronted, bruised ego out the door, pulling their ruined masculinity behind them like a stuffed toy rabbit on a string.
Still. Ben was handsome and slim-muscular, refined and smart and soft-spoken, with a hint of Barbadian accent, and he let down the straight-guy façade every so often and we’d mud-wrestle, winner take all, quite effectively. So I feel wistful about Ben, wishing we could be friends once more, although I’m not so wistful as to think my comments were unjustified. Just badly timed, and with a little too much emphasis, perhaps, on the words “co-dependent” and “dysfunctional”.
You know, and can I just say, seriously. I mean, someone’s gotta cut me a great, big bleeding side of slack, and it might as well be me.
And, in case you’re wondering: When we mud-wrestled? I always made sure I lost.
MONDAY: I ARRANGE A HOOK-UP with a guy in North York. For an elite downtowner, as our bloated odious demagogue premier, Dug-Up Ford, would call me, this might as well be the moons of Jupiter. As I rarely travel north of Bloor Street, and start bleeding from the ears somewhere around St. Clair, I pack with a vengeance, remembering that it is food and its availability that determines the outer boundaries of possible interplanetary travel.
Book for the subway ride ( Resident Alien: The New York Diaries, by Quentin Crisp, who I am trying to become), shoulder bag with cigarettes poached from the Mohawk nation, lighter, butane. An apple, culled from my roommate’s sock drawer and slightly mummified, in case I get peckish, a sweater in case it’s cold up there, sunglasses for viewing any displays of the aurora borealis.
Hey, Cortana: What’s his particular corner of North York called?
You can’t be serious, girl.
Phone charger. I will definitely need the phone charger cause my phone’s at twenty-eight percent, but I figure I’ll plug it in at the hook-up’s place before plugging the hook-up into me. Yowza!
And I have five dollars and some change. A subway ride is three dollars twenty-five cents, but because I’m providing a little government-sanctioned legal cannabis sativa, I figure I’ll touch him for a subway token to get me home, if I’m still able to walk to the subway, that is.
I am placing a heavy burden and high hopes on this hook-up. And I haven’t even met his boyfriend yet!
I’VE BEEN ON THE NORTHBOUND TRAIN for twenty minutes. As the subway leaves York Mills station, my hook-up texts me: “When you arrive at Sheppard, go upstairs to the mall, find the Shopper’s Drug Mart and wait for me there.”
At Sheppard Station, I head up the escalator and look for any random exit because it is all the same to me, and it is not immediately apparent what the mall means, because that is what North York is.
One big mall.
I have no idea where I am in relation to the mall, the exits were designed by Max Escher and a sign says “take this stairway down to the first level” while displaying an arrow that points to the ceiling. The sign is in front of another escalator.
I take this escalator back down to where I started and follow a TTC worker, who leads me into a cul-de-sac where she disappears through a door marked “Employees Only.” I backtrack. I take another escalator up and this time I exit to the street, where the people, who are all teenagers, look different and full of cares and have diametrically opposed interests to me, and I look across Yonge Street and I see the words “Harcross Centre” on the front of what looks like a mall.
It looks like a mall because everything looks like a mall. This particular mall does not have a Shopper’s Drug Mart, but it has a fine-looking Rexall.
I’m glad I brought the sweater because it is freezing cold on the street corner. I text the hook-up: “Hi! I’ve arrived and taken the wrong exit, is it OK if we meet in front of the Rexall Drug Store instead of Shopper’s?! LOL!”
I’m unsure which way is north and which way is south. Perhaps this does not matter in North York, where you can just say the mall to indicate directions. I cross the street to the Harcross Centre, sit outside on a granite bench and vape.
I wait and vape, vape and wait. I wonder if the teenagers in North York are property speculating and driving up housing prices, and how they manage generally without adult supervision. I’m convinced the teenagers are looking at me with stern disapproval, the way the people looked at me in Flatbush, New York, when I was running around looking for a pay phone wearing a semi-transparent Indian hippy shirt, tight, white hot pants from Joe Fresh and sandals, which would not be a positive thing. Or perhaps they haven’t seen an adult in a while. The vape produces impressive clouds of pipe-tobacco-y sweet smoke, but it makes me cough like I’m going to hack up a lung.
I text, “Hi, I’m wearing blue shorts, sandals, a jean jacket and I’m reading!”
I text, “Hi, I’m still waiting for you in front of the Harcross Centre! Sure hope you’re getting these!”
I text, “I’d feel a lot better if you were responding!”
I text, “I’m waiting fifteen more minutes! LOL!”
My phone has just shut itself off with a little Bronx cheer, like, “I’m on strike for better working conditions, loser. You might at least charge me.” I turn it on again. The screen is on power-saver mode, like, “I’m working to rule, buddy. And you call me dim!”
I call the hook-up. A voice says, “The wireless customer you are trying to reach is not available at this time.” I have two dollars and fifty cents, in dimes, and I’m realizing that the hook-up has come out without his phone, or the hook-up doesn’t have a phone plan but is using an app—or the hook-up is a wanker who has pulled one over on me.
I wander along the byways and alleys of North York, in the process walking directly into a plate glass window in a wistful attempt to re-enter the Yonge-Sheppard Centre, the mall that is the wrong mall (because for reasons of late-blooming vanity I stopped wearing my glasses about a year ago. This helps me look better except when walking into plate glass windows, when I look as dumb as I did when wearing glasses).
In the mall that is the wrong mall I effortlessly find, now that there is no reason to find, the Shopper’s Drug Mart, where I wait for the historical thrill of knowing my hook-up had waited there, hopefully feeling guilty as a Christian, and for the practical matter of charging my phone via a socket located on a nearby pillar—which turns out to be just a decorative gew-gaw socket installed merely for its visual flair and architectural irony and which does not charge my phone.
I take my uncharged phone and myself up the escalator with the sign that points down to the street. Twilight has faded into night in North York, probably because of the higher latitude, and I have that rising panic I feel in dreams where I suddenly realize there will be a terrible gut-wrenching eternal calamity if I don’t get on the train that will take me to that clandestine meeting in Wembley Arena with Justin and Chrystia Freeland and my high school Phys Ed teacher, and I must persist despite the annoying inconveniences that I’m wearing only my underpants and pushing a Steinway concert grand in front of me on a luggage trolley.
That kind of rising panic.
Crazily, because I don’t know his address, only the street and that it is “directly across from the station,” I decide to try and find the hook-up’s apartment building. I wander along the back alley behind another mall onto a residential street. Here I spot a young Asian dad and his son, the only pedestrians I’ve seen so far who are not teenagers, and I slink up behind them silently like a ghost cat approaching its prey, so that they shriek and jump in the air when I say excuse me. After they’ve calmed down, they point me to Yonge Street, which means I’ve asked, for example, someone in Times Square if they could point me to 42nd Street.
Then it hits me: I only know my hook-up by his screen name, and I did not envision myself, in the movie of the week that will be my lasting contribution to Canadian culture, asking random residents of the building, as they exited or entered, “Excuse me, do you happen to know in which apartment Big-Hung-Bubble-Butt-4U might be found?”
I did not see myself doing that with anything like nonchalance.
I decide to give up and head back to civilization, or, in a pinch, just absolutely anywhere that’s not North York. I don’t have enough to make the subway fare, which is not usually a problem at this hour, when the TTC ticket booth guys abandon the booth to go for haircuts or play Parcheesi behind the doors marked “Employees Only.”
However, this is North York. The normal laws of physics do not apply. When I reach Sheppard Station I find that in this wacky topsy-turvy mall desert of furrow-browed teenagers the ticket booth guy is clearly visible, looking work-ethical and fierce, bristling with multiculturalism and wiry, fiery red hair.
I consider just dumping the inadequate handful of dimes into the fare box and striding away, but that’s like fare-dodging and I could be arrested, though this rarely happens.
I am the adult in the room and I am nothing if not compliant. My fare-dodging strategy will be to age myself to “golden oldie” status, a little white lie which requires the addition of three years.
This is a concession which I would not, before today, have considered psychologically safe, but I have been beaten on the anvil of desire and tempered in the purifying crucible of rejection and I no longer care. I will pretend I am disoriented and in the throes of early-onset senile dementia, which I now view less as a tragedy and more like a coping mechanism.
I approach the booth.
“Excuse me, do you have a seniors’ fare?” I make my voice querulous and raspy, as though I have just torn out my feeding tube and fled the Sunset Lodge. I only wish I had a kerchief and shawl.
“Ten — Seniors’ teeckets? Vhat? Vhat?”
“I think I’m — a little — short…”
Ticket Booth Guy looks at me like he just recently spotted something similar crawling out from under a rock.
“Jus’ go troo!”
Life, they tell me, can reasonably often gift us with random moments of bliss that sneak up unexpectedly and just as quickly pass, leaving gratitude and nostalgia in their wake.
I’m not convinced about the bliss thing, but I can confidently say that humiliation this made-to-order is rarely experienced without participation in a spelling bee, awakening in a urine-soaked bed or attaching pornographic selfies to the email of recommendation you are sending to your friend’s probation officer. My tender dialogue with Mister Go-Troo is humiliation perfection.
I AM ON THE SOUTHBOUND SHEPPARD-YONGE subway train. I am so freezing cold and so demoralized that I am alternately crashing asleep like a marionette with its strings cut, then waking up with an audible high-pitched yelp as the train pulls out of each station.
I left home at six-fifteen. It is ten-thirty as the subway train approaches Wellesley station. Normally I get off at College, one stop further, but I am suddenly blindsided by whimsy, and I decide to get off here and walk the rest of the way.
The streets are fairly quiet on a Monday night, but it’s still the gay village, or what’s left of it that drugs, rising rents and quasi-equality haven’t ravaged, so there are still flickers of that tawdry, hot-dogs-for-dinner, dirty-bingo, drag-queen, drunken-sex circus I sometimes guiltily, secretly miss.
Nothing disappoints quite as much as getting exactly what you asked for, and now that the larger-than-life, extravagant outlaws have been homogenized, suburbanized, deflated and dispersed, mediocrity and misery have filled the void. Goodbye, desperados and Doc Martens; hello, homelessness and heroin.
I cross Jarvis, and now I am walking past the Petro-Canada gas station with its convenience store and twenty-four hour A&W Burger.
And a voice calls out, “David? David!”
I look at the car stopped at the lights one west-bound lane away from the curb, the car in which the driver is leaning over and calling to me.
“It’s Ben!” says Ben.
He drives around the corner, turns into the gas station lot, pulls up next to me. I hop into the car. He’s still so handsome it brings tears to my eyes just to sit next to him.
Everything’s all right. It’s old stuff, what happened, and we’ve moved on. We’re cool.
A random stranger—who to this day I still haven’t met—sets in motion the arrangements whose failure leads to my spontaneous decision to take a route walking home that I never take.
I’m led through the maze, gently nudged here and there, teased and disappointed and red herring’d, so that I can encounter someone whose warm touch I’ve missed, a soul I never meant to hurt, at the one, exquisitely-timed moment when he’s stopped at the red light with me right there on the sidewalk, and be friends with him again.
This is why synchronicity is my atheist substitute for faith, God for the godless.
Listen up, men: Thirty years after the Montréal Massacre we’re still avoiding the truth about misogyny.
ON DECEMBER 6TH, 1989, At about 5 PM, Marc Lépine walked into the École polytechnique in Montréal armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a hunting knife.
Twenty minutes later, fourteen women, most of them engineering students, were dead. Lépine finished his massacre by turning the gun on himself.
In the intervening years, some of the survivors committed suicide, stating in their final notes that they could no longer live with the traumatic memories. Their lives were destroyed as well, just more slowly.
Lépine was clear: He called the women he’d lined up in their classroom “feminists.” He hated feminists, he shouted at his victims.
Newspapers and TV of the day didn’t take the view that this was an act of violence against women, nor did the City of Montréal or the University, with which the school is associated.
Only this year has the memorial in Montréal been updated to reflect our understanding that there is something particularly vicious about an attack singling out one class of persons and to officially acknowledge that this was an act of misogynist violence.
Now, thirty years later, we have barely progressed in our attitudes.
I’ve spoken many times of the meme of Hillary Clinton talking on a cell phone, which had been captioned, “Shut the bitch up,” a disturbing and overtly violent call to action.
Catherine McKenna, Canada’s former Minister of Environment and Climate Change from 2015, endured verbal abuse and ridicule which culminated with the defacing of her constituency office with the word “CUNT” in foot-tall letters.
Here’s some of the hatred she’s endured on Twitter:
@LiberalsSuck321 wrote, “I’m a female and I can’t stand her. My 5yo granddaughter is smarter than her.”
In direct response to the graffiti, @CJSparks9 wrote, “Shoe fits….”
@DavidQuint35 replied, “awww climate Barbie is sad because most of Canada can’t stand her. Get over it lady and go pound rocks.”
And @Ryan61665295 wrote, “F–king c–t Prob put there by sombody who list there house and everything they own and can’t feed there kids because of the changes you’ve made so abruptly to the way people make a living in this country. So ya f–k you you f–king joke of a human. Lie some more.”
Notice something interesting here: The first post (assuming it’s not just a troll or a bot) is by a woman. Compare it to the other posts, by men: They are exponentially more aggressive and “personal” compare to the woman’s “can’t stand her.” They display a level of grievance that is excessive, far too nasty or bitter to be explained by anything McKenna had done or said.
Now recall the vilifying of sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, admirably speaking out globally against climate change. She was vilified and mocked by angry white men who even used her autism as a way of saying that she was “crazy” and with an edge of hysteria that she could not be controlled.
This is the fresh red meat at the centre of the maze. Lépine—and the driver of the van who killed women in North York— didn’t kill women because they were making more money or voting or getting promotions or winning elections. He killed because women’s autonomy meant they were not sexually available to him. He could not control their bodies; therefore he took revenge on their bodies.
Women still pay the price for public visibility and, frankly, for the immaturity, anxieties and sexual frustrations of heterosexual men. Men have to grow up, learn that self-control is the marker of mature manhood, and admit that women are not and never have been the cause of men’s problems and failures.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women doesn’t just commemorate one tragic event. It is a call to reflect on the violence perpetrated on the world’s women on a daily basis. It is a call to take violence against women seriously, and for men to question our assumptions, beliefs and actions. It is a call for men to find out how to be “real men” in a way that does not require the subjugation of women.
It is a call for heterosexual men to examine how women’s power is inherently greater than men’s in the emotional and sexual realms. It is a call for heterosexual men to learn how to support each other and how to redefine manhood so that it doesn’t require exerting power over women.
Men have failed women every time we are entitled, angry, disrespectful or abusive.
We have failed every time we fail to treat women as equals in the workplace and political sphere.
We have failed women by pontificating about birth control and reproductive rights and having the poor judgment to unilaterally impose limitations on women’s physical autonomy and self-realization.
We have failed women by violating them physically and emotionally, by treating them as less than men, by discounting them, by refusing equal pay and equal opportunity, by considering them less capable and less intelligent.
We have failed women in every way. To admit this isn’t “unmanly.” Real men admit their mistakes and make amends. To make amends will mean men coming to terms with giving up power.
At 5:10 PM, on December 6th, it’s good to observe a minute of silence for the women murdered by Mark Lépine. Then go out in the world and do three things:
Listen to women. Listen to what they say about their experiences. Believe them especially when they say they have experienced abuse or sexual assault.
Notice how women are treated. Read about the initiatives by women worldwide to ensure girls and young women have access to education and protection.
Speak out against misogyny wherever and whenever you encounter it. Don’t let a single incident pass.
Honor women and they will save the world.
+PLUS+ Alberta seeks alternative to “elite, east-rising sun that doesn’t represent our values.”
IN A SURPRISE MOVE THAT HAS LED many disillusioned Canadians to reassess their negative opinions of Justin Trudeau, the re-elected prime minister has finally implemented promised electoral reform by taking every opportunity to emphasize how much better the outcome would have been in a proportional representation (PR) model.
The change of heart was prompted by the knowledge that the Conservative Party had received approximately 250,000 more actual votes than the Liberals; however, in Canada’s dreaded, disenfranchising, first-past-the-post system, it’s constituency seats, not votes, that constitute the final tally.
Chrystia Freeland, newly-minted Deputy PM, and managing a specially-created portfolio as Minister of Intergovernmental Relations Which Would Already Be Fine if it Weren’t for Alberta, announced the long-awaited restructuring at a press conference just a couple of weeks after the Liberals formed a minority government.
“The Liberals officially won the most seats and a clear mandate to once again give Canadians that comfortable familiarity they crave: A Person Named Trudeau forging ahead doing the opposite of whatever he promised, or just dropping everything like a hot potato and getting mired in obscure bureaucratic or procedural scandals that no one can figure out and that, frankly, aren’t even remotely exciting,” Freeland explained.
“Today I’m also very pleased to point out that, in a proportional representation model, the Conservatives would have formed the government. Yes, that’s according to the actual popular vote, and boy, are we ever happy for them!”
She continued, “I know that I speak for Justin Trudeau and all the other members of Cabinet when I extend our sincere congratulations to Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives for their thrilling victory had the circumstances been fair and democratic. Way to go, Andy!
“As for the official Elections Canada win that wasn’t really a win, well—what can I say! Phew! Close one! It is what it is!”
The New Democratic Party Leader, Jagmeet Singh also weighed in on the results.
“I’m absolutely over the moon that, under a system that would actually have made people believe it was worth getting out of bed to participate, we would have doubled our seats to fifty-four instead of losing some of the seats we already had!” he said to roars of delight from his supporters.
“Obviously my strategy of seeing what the other dudes’ policies were and then Tweeting that we darn well hoped they were actually going to put those policies into practice—or not put them into practice, depending—or else, worked. Or sometimes the alternative strategy of just re-Tweeting what they said with a “yes siree!” or a “no way!”, which is my preference for the days when I’m just too stressed out to handle this political shit.
“I’m sooooo happy for us if the system were an accurate reflection of the wishes of Canadian citizens and not just a frustrating waste of valuable time that you could have spent on Facebook complaining! Awesome work, team!!”
Former Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who resigned after the Greens’ dismal showing at the polls added, “I’m in shock! Though it didn’t actually happen because of our outdated, irrelevant voting model, the thought that we could have had twenty-two seats instead of three is just… Well, I’m humbled”.
Choking back tears of joy, she added, “These imaginary alternative results have vindicated my firm belief that, even if the candidate were a one-legged armadillo, somebody, somewhere will vote for it, as long as you use the word “green”.
“In this fantasy I also don’t resign as party leader, instead I’m simply added to the “endangered species” Red List. Then I travel back in time to be crowned Prom Queen, my parents can afford dental appointments, and all of Canada is vegan and off drugs ‘cold turkey,’ no pun intended.
“The Greens: Your Life Will Become Unmanageable,” “Just Say No to Global Partying” and “Oh, Yeah, Climate Change, Whatever” were obviously great slogans that totally resonated with voters—in a system that wouldn’t make you feel like your vote was just flushed down the toilet, except that’s not the system we have.”
However, there was one new non-existent result that should give regular Canadian centrist voters pause. Maxime Bernier’s right-wing People’s Party of Canada (PPC), which based its nationalist platform on anti-immigrant sentiment, would have made gains in the new, “this is just to rub your nose in it, not-in-our-lifetimes” PR system, from zero seats to six.
Moderates vastly preferred the actual current result, where the PPC and its leader don’t exist.
When asked for comment, Bernier replied,
« Ploof! That crazy Thunberg girl is responsible. Socialists! Anti-business climate alarmists! Too much government! Over-spending! Immigrant quotas! Just look at her burqa! Enough is enough! Ça c’est fucké, heins ? »
Then Mr Bernier and all his supporters climbed into a Volkswagen van and drove away.
There is disillusionment In alberta post election, as well as the feeling, common to privileged teenagers, that no one cares or understands and that life is meaningless.
Here’s why: Alberta for decades has relied heavily on limitless, highly-priced oil and gas sales to fund their provincial programs.
Most recently, Trudeau sucked up to the petulant province by agreeing to move forward with the Keystone XXL Pipeline, even though this seemed to undercut his own federally-mandated carbon tax, his commitment to the Paris Accord, his returning all his empties to The Beer Store, and any other green initiatives he might think up on the spur of the moment while setting the trash cans outside Rideau Cottage.
But those ornery Albertans were having none of it.
“Trudeau thinks he can soften us up by giving us just one measly environmentally disastrous and insensitive-to-indigenous-culture oil pipeline so we can continue to prop up the world-wide petroleum vector of waste, greed, global warming and corruption, but we see right through his insincere kow-towing!” said Ginger Spill, Head of Communications for the Oil & Gas ♥ You So Much! Club, an industry-sympathetic think tank.
“Trudeau knows very well that he simply can’t continue to fob us off with his Ottawa condescension and half-way measures. We want nothing less than total capitulation to our demand that Canada officially renounce carbon reduction efforts, based as they are on the random opinions of a few thousand gas-hating fake scientists. Our soon-to-be-obsolete jobs are at stake, here!”
In fact, Alberta has become so angry at perceived slights from Ottawa that separatist sentiment is at an all-time high, with the province threatening to “repatriate” social services and even migrate its Canada Pension Plan to be administered locally.
Ms. Spill continued, “We don’t need the rest of Canada! We have oil and gas, which will keep us living high on the hog well into the next couple of years! We’re thinking oil and gas burgers, oil and gas high schools, oil and gas country & western radio stations, oil and gas internet, and oil and gas traditional marriages!
“You know what else? We’re sick of you guys shining that bright light on us every morning! We don’t need some elite eastern sunrise, making our eyes hurt and mocking our values, telling us when you think it’s OK to get up, when it’s appropriate to have a shot of corn mash whiskey, or encouraging the gays to sing “You are the Sunshine of My Life” at their gay weddings!
“Screw your leftie, socialist propaganda about taking our hard-earned money and giving it all way to other people and your green-this and green-that boondoggle! We’re gonna stick it to Turdeau and his band of bureaucratic, job-killing Libs.
“From now on, every morning, per our schedule, Jason Kenney will stand at the top of the Calgary Tower, pull down his waders, bend over and spread his butt cheeks. He can do it ass-east, ass-west, ass-north or ass-south ’cause we’re sick of being Mister Nice Guy Co-operative! Whatever comes outta his ass and from wherever is all the sunshine we’ll ever need!
“Now we just gotta work out how to manage the moon at night.”
+PLUS+ No Treatment On the Horizon for “CRUD” (Canadian Refusing to Undermine Democracy)
Justin Trudeau, fresh from his “win” of the Canadian Federal Election, has capitalized on Canadians’ surprisingly laid-back response to his infamous blackface pics by instituting “Blackface Fridays,” the new Parliamentary equivalent of corporate casual days.
“Canadians used their common sense,” he explained, “and perfectly understood that I was in no way acting out like an entitled child of privilege or being utterly tone deaf by smearing on the boot polish and shoving a fake Arabian Nights turban on my head while posing with a bevy of well-stacked babes. They realized it was just a party, dudes! Also that white people called Trudeau can do any old thing they want!”
He continued, “So to help everyone lighten the heck up a bit, I’ve mandated that my entire cabinet go blackface every Friday while Parliament is in session. Anyone who objects will answer to me, get an undeniable pinch on the ass and have to sit in ‘Jody Corner’ for a time out and some well-intended pressure. It’s gonna be awesome!”
The blackface pictures, oddly enough first revealed by TIME Magazine — an American publication with absolutely no connections whatsoever to Rebel Media or any other right-wing influencers like Ezra Levant or anything — came to light by sheer coincidence as the countdown to the Canadian election had begun. This caused several Canadians to shake their heads and react violently by quickly calling up something actually interesting on the internet, like whatever ridiculous flapdoodle Trump tweeted today or the latest episode of “Schitt’s Creek”.
Nonetheless, despite worldwide tut-tutting and general condemnation of the pics, Trudeau won in a landslide loss of the popular vote to the Conservatives, technically termed a “Minority Government.” Even though he clearly lost. Or not. Anyway, he’s Prime Minister, what the heck, eh? Or possibly unofficial Leader of the Opposition, depending entirely on your point of view.
To gauge where Canadians’ heads were at after Trudeau’s historic win-loss, we spoke with random typical voter Franklyn D. Gallagher as he left an Ottawa Tim Hortons with his double double and maple glazed.
“Holy cow, was there an election?” he exclaimed. “Seriously? Damn, cause I woulda voted for that Wilfred Laurier if he was still in the running! Or maybe Lester Pearson! But I nodded off during ‘Don Messer’s Jubilee’ last Boxing Day after Milly forced that extra portion of President’s Choice ‘What the Dickens Figgy Pudding’ on me! I nearly bust a gut!
“Blackface pictures? Well, what are ya gonna do, eh? The rules go, vote for the guy who’s not the Conservative, and/or the Person Called Trudeau, whichever comes first, except in Alberta in which case do the opposite. If Pierre did it there’s gotta be a good reason for it! Sorry, I meant Diefenbaker! He was always one for the youthful shenanigans!”
But Shirley Otowabe, recently expelled from Hull, Québec on pain of death after several whistleblowers called the Laicity Hotline Laicité about her traditional Nigerian costume, had a different take on our partyin’ PM.
“I was scared at first,” she admitted. “How in hell would the Liberals pull off their inevitable win this time? Luckily our first past the post system kicked in to give the Liberals victory, even with a quarter million less votes than the Conservatives! I praise Jesus I live in a country with free and democratic elections as long as Alberta takes it up the ass!
“A quarter million voters!” she repeated, her big golliwog eyes bugging out from her face as she did a traditional ‘jazz hands,’ then regaled us with a chorus of Swanee on her banjo. “Why, Mammy, that’s like all the Maritimes plus the audience at ten Las Vegas Céline Dion concerts! How do they get away with it?” And she sashayed away, trailing her hand along the wrought iron fences and murmuring, “I don’t know nuttin’ about electin’ no Andrew Scheer, uh-huh! It ain’t fittin,’ y’all!” *
*(She didn’t really walk away like that. She walked away normally, just like anyone else. I just said she did the Butterfly McQueen/Gone With the Wind thing because, a) it’s so friggin’ hilarious, right? and b) also I’m white so I knew I could get away with it.)
Only Jody Wilson-Raybaud, former Attorney General, had any negative comments about the newly-declared Parliamentary tradition. Even though she was still crying after her bullying by “the big boys in senior year,” followed by her week of morning detention which was, like, totally unfair, she bravely agreed to overcome her debilitating social anxiety and speak with us.
We caught up with Wilson-Raybaud as she enjoyed an unpaid coffee break from her job stocking shelves at a pharmacy in British Columbia, which she described to us as “desensitization therapy,” before prefacing her comments with a big, mucus-y sniffle.
“No one is paying any attention to me, or even to the plight of indigenous peoples, least of all Trudeau,” she told us between pitiful sobs. “Just tell me, where are the pics of him in full native feathered headdress and buckskin boots, with some big busty squaws in hot pants knocking back the Ice Wine shooters? Hmmm? I rest my case.”
Her mouth was quivering again and she stared into space, no doubt reliving the terrible trauma of doing a grown-up job. “That big old meanie!!” she wailed, in a veiled reference to Justin Trudeau or possibly some other big, scary man in Cabinet, then collapsed screaming while beating her fists and heels on the floor.
Did Wilson-Raybaud see anything at all postive in Justin’s kinda-sorta-almost victory?
“Well,” she replied, interrupting her tantrum and biting her lower lip as silent tears coursed down her cheeks. “Sales of cleansing and rejuvenating charcoal masks and white lip salve are off the charts. Could someone pass me the Kleenex?”
ARE YOU CANADIAN? DID YOU cast a vote in the recent Federal Election? And did you vote for the party whose leader you actually thought would make the best PM? Did you vote, in other words, according to your conscience, or did you vote strategically?
Though you pelt me with soapstone carvings until I scream for mercy, I must confess that I did the unthinkable.
I voted for the New Democrats. I know, I know. What kind of sick individual would put the nation in jeopardy for such a narcissistic, self-serving whim?
If you’re non-Canadian, I hasten to explain that Canada wasn’t in great peril because my choice was a poor one, or because the New Democratic Party was unfit to govern.
Jagmeet Singh was the party leader with the most progressive platform and who showed the most transparency, intelligence and sensitivity while also being unfraid to stand up for Canadian values. He spoke up whenever Canadians accidentally showed subtle signs of being racist, for example, while campaigning in New Brunswick, when that guy said,
“Where do them wogs get off, running for PM with some goddamned turban on their head? Don’t they know they’re putting themselves in danger if someone throws a bomb at ’em and they’re not wearing a safety helmet? Besides, there’s little bugs runnin’ around under those things! If one a them nig-nogs came canvassin’ at my door, I’d dive under the sofa till they was gone, then spray the whole front porch with RAID!
“Who am I gonna vote for? Is this Alberta? OK, then you know the drill. It’s whoever ain’t the Conservatives and/or the person called Trudeau, whichever comes first! Whoever that is!”
Singh responded with the righteous fire of an Old Testament prophet or, you know, whatever Sikhs have as an equivalent.
“Sometimes when people say hasty, unkind things they don’t really mean,” he retorted in a tentative, barely-audible voice, “my friends get, you know, like, upset. I wouldn’t want to mention any names, and maybe I’m right or maybe I’m wrong, but I’m talking about things said by people that are similar to what someone has said who is maybe standing, or maybe not, pretty close to me. Not to point any fingers or anything. Who am I to judge!”
Watching the results trickle in on polling day, I realized what a close call the election had been. My vote mattered!
Except it didn’t matter for electing the party whose leader I thought was the best, only for not electing the party whose leader I hoped like hell wouldn’t win, but only if I voted for the party whose leader I hated only a little bit less, instead of the one I thought was the best.
Life returned to normal for a time, though I felt strangely ill at ease. Then, about a week after Trudeau’s win-loss, I awoke in the middle of the night drenched with sweat and with my heart pounding. I was wracked with guilt, and worse, I was haunted by dreams in which the Conservative Party had won and Andrew Scheer was mandating school prayer, criminalizing abortion and ordering the womenfolk to attend fittings for the official sensible shoes and calico dresses.
I’d no one to blame but myself. Because of my recklessly voting as though our electoral system worked, I’d contracted a severe case of CRUD: Canadian Refusing to Undermine Democracy.
I realized that by voting my conscience I’d not only put my country in grave jeopardy, I’d cancelled out the votes of my parents, my grandparents, my entire extended family throughout its entire history, Laura Secord, Wayne Gretsky, my friends starting from my first day at kindergarten, plus the original barons who signed the Magna Carta, and every other loyal Canadian who couldn’t hack the thought of Andrew Scheer as PM, and did the right, unselfish thing: Strategically voting for the Liberals.
When I think what might have happened if everyone had voted their conscience, honestly appraising the merits of the various leaders and disregarding our dysfunctional electoral system, I die with shame.
But before I die with shame, I have that sinking feeling you get when you reach the sixty-second floor of your condo building, the elevator doors open, then the cable snaps and the emergency brakes fail, leaving you plunging to your death at the bottom of the shaft, while you realize with horror that your entire life has been totally in vain.
A big gin and tonic helps.
I also have attacks of CRUD when I wake up in the night needing to pee, or just basically at any time when I forget about my disability and stop moving.
But I’ve learned my lesson. I promise: I’ll never, ever, vote according to my conscience again.
Because cynicism — about politicians, about elections, about voting, about democracy in general, about getting involved, about even the value of striving for equality, fairness and justice for all citizens — is as Canadian as beaver tails.