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The last bus to the airport is at 5:20pm, but the connecting bus will take you most of the way there, and call a cab to pick you up at Tim Horton’s! The drivers are quite chatty and will note points of interest along the route.

Two bartenders asked my name and offered theirs, along with a handshake. Very friendly, and seemingly quite genuine.

The concierge at my hotel was Chinese-Canadian perhaps, but still had the Newfoundland lilt… I love that not just white people have the accent, that it’s a part of our multicultural nation, and I’m reminded of Shaun Majumder.

The most Newfie-sounding guy I met was a waiter at the Duke of Duckworth, who remembered what I’d ordered the day before.

I was only there for two and a half days, but I think about it a lot, and can’t wait to go back.

This ought to be a TV commercial.

I was sitting at the bar of the Celtic Hearth on Water Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland watching the game when a retired couple came in and sat beside me. The gentleman asked for a Guinness and was shocked to hear they didn’t have it, but rather Kilkenny.

Surprising that they didn’t, but moreso that they usually do but were somehow out, and most surprising that this wasn’t the first bar on the strip he’d asked after a Guinness, only to be denied. He turned to me and asked could I believe it? His people had settled the damn place and they didn’t have Guinness?

Where are you from? I asked. Originally Ireland but lately Sudbury. We talked a bit about the footie and then he left, off on his appallingly quixotic search for Guinness in a city more Irish than Ireland.

come-from-awayWhat if 9/11 was planned by the people of Gander, Newfoundland in an a scheme to reroute airplanes and then make the entire world believe that they’re the kindest, most unselfish folks in the whole world? And then—and here’s the real endgame—capitalize on a smash Broadway musical? Horrifying if true! Bad enough to kill over three thousand people and destroy billions of dollars of property for favourable press coverage, good will, and Broadway box office receipts, but they surely couldn’t have known that 9/11 would also lead to invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, and years of death and political turmoil? Surely all of the tragedy of the last fifteen years wasn’t part of the plan? All I can say is, Newfoundlanders are very social people, and tickets start at $47, so you do the math!

– Subways to Newfoundland!

– Hanging out with Vladimir Putin drinking vodka!

– Knocking over Angela Merkel at the G7!

– Calling for a lynch mob rather than agreeing to keeping Veterans Affairs offices open!

– Apologizing to all the k*kes, w*ps, d*gos, and n**gers for past treatment! Or not!

– Personally welcoming Jamaican ambassador to Canada using “authentic” patois!


Look, I know this is two Rob Ford posts in a row, and that they’re not even my best work on the subject. I try not to let this blog be dominated by Rob Ford; I try to write about other things, and hopefully make people laugh. But with Rob coming back in three days from Fake Rehab, and with the idea that maybe, in these two months that he’s been away, people have forgotten how awful he is, I thought I’d remind everyone of some of the horrible things he’s done and said. Don’t be fooled by the stories he’ll weave when he comes back to Toronto, how he’s changed, he’s learned some hard truths about himself, and that it’s time to move on from the past. He’ll try to tell us that actions speak louder than words, that no one can match his record, and that he’s the only candidate who really understands the voters and will stick up for them. I wish him all the best in recovering from his addictions, substance abuse, ties with criminals, and otherwise appalling lack of good judgement. But until he actually, sincerely, apologizes for any of the things he’s done–and this is something he’s never done–he doesn’t deserve our attention, respect, or forgiveness.

Please don’t get caught up in the narrative that makes Toronto and this very important upcoming election all about Rob Ford. That’s what he and his brother want. They’re counting on sympathy and alienation to win this election. Don’t give it to them. Judge him on his actual record–as a racist, homophobe, bully, and spanner in the works of the kind of good government this city deserves–not on the fictitious and self-serving record he wants you to believe.

On June 30th, let’s all turn our backs on Rob Ford.

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