You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2012.

Q: Which month has 29 days?

A: All of them!

That’s an old, stupid joke, meant to prey upon misrepresentation of facts and the eagerness of people to think they’re clever. I mean really, when someone asks you a question like that, you know it has to be a joke or a trick of some kind, but most of us still answer February, because we think that’s the smart answer, even though if we were smarter we’d know we were being set up for a punchline.

You’ll often hear about someone born on February 29th celebrating their “fourth” birthday when they’re really 16, as if a year only passes when it hits a certain calendar date. Perhaps we should just induce birth so that no one is born on the 29th. That would settle that debate real good. On the other hand, if I had a child, I’d love for it to be born on February 29th, so that I’d only have to buy it presents once every four years. That’s the reason I got married on the 29th.

Today I was thinking about the old saying about March coming in and leaving like either a lamb or a lion… but if it’s a leap year, and February 29th is like a lion, and March 1st is like a lamb, I think we’ve been cheated.

Every leap year, a donkey and an elephant poke their heads out of their dens and say, “Shit, this is the guy we have to vote for as President this year?”

The future of transit for Toronto?

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is taking his campaign to keep transit off surface routes to a new extreme, as he’s started to talk about replacing and upgrading the ferries that service the Toronto Islands. Concerned about an ongoing “war on the boat,” the Mayor has vowed that any new transportation to the Islands must be below the surface.

“I’m doing what the taxpayers want. They want submarines, that’s it. They don’t want ferries. I was out on Ward’s Island over the weekend, people came up to me and said, they want submarines. That’s it.

“It’s the taxpayers. The taxpayers want… I was elected on subways, they want submarines, they both start with ‘sub’… I was out on Saturday, people want submarines. That’s it.

“It’s all submarines. It’s all about submarines.”

Asked to clarify his belief that the Islands would be better served by underwater transit, despite the enormous cost, not to mention the environmental risk involved, with nuclear submarines being the preferred option, Mayor Ford continued:

“All about submarines. So, it’s the taxpayers that elected me to get the submarines in and that’s what we’re going to do.

“It’s like winning an election. So if they voted me in, that means [stutters a bit] I don’t win an election? It doesn’t make sense.”

The Mayor’s insistence on submarine transit to the popular destination has not won universal approval, even amongst his most ardent supporters. Councillor Doug Ford, the Mayor’s brother and closest advisor, prefers an underwater monorail, while Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti supports the submarine plan, but only if the vessels are armed with pink-coloured torpedoes, a nod to his own plans to set up legalized brothels on Centre Island.

"And in the time remaining, I'd like to talk about... Da Bears."

Everyone in Toronto knows that Etobicoke councillor Doug Ford is a huge football fan, just like Mayor Rob Ford. The brothers have made no secret of their desire to lure an NFL team to Toronto, and Super Bowl Sunday is famously their favourite day of the year. But after last weekend’s exciting game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, Doug is surprising many by launching a campaign to overturn the results of the game, a 21-17 triumph by the Giants.

While insisting that the NFL is supreme, a group of Etobicoke councillors led by Mr. Ford is attempting an end-run around last week’s result, sending a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to allow the Bears to be declared the winner of the game. This is the latest gambit in Ford’s strategy to find respect for the Bears, who play in the US city that he calls his second home. The Bears did not make the playoffs, let alone play in the Super Bowl, which Mr. Ford calls “a real shit-slap in the face to all the hard-working taxpayers of Chicago.” He’s paying for the lobbying effort–which he calls SOB or “Save Our Bears”–out of his own deep, daddy-provided pockets.

“It’s really incredible that he’s trying to make the results of the Super Bowl, the supreme deciding force in football, irrelevant,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc, a left-leaning opponent of the Mayor and his brother, as well as a better judge of football talent, based on his record of defeating the Mayor in the Council football pool this past season. “But I will say one thing, SOB is a great name for this thing–it suits Doug to a T.”

For his part, Mr. Ford counters that “The recent decision by the NFL to move ahead with awarding the Vince Lombardi trophy to the Giants poses a number of concerns.”

The letter to Goodell added that heroics by Giants quarterback Eli Manning at last Sunday’s Super Bowl “reversed the direction” of a March, 2011, memorandum of understanding between the NFC, AFC, Commissioner’s office, and football fans that “the Giants are a bunch of East Coast, latte-sipping elitists.”

Reached for comment, Commissioner Goodell said that the memorandum of understanding was “non-binding” and required the Bears to actually make the playoffs. Mr. Goodell indicated last week that the winner of the Super Bowl has to be one of the teams playing in the game.

During Tuesday’s press conference announcing his challenge, Mr. Ford’s allies briefly debated the question of whether their gambit was consistent with football tradition. “I respect the game of football,” said Mr. Ford. “But football has to start respecting the fact that the Bears rule.”

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