In the wake of your Mayor's most recent public exhibition of delusion, calling the police on and aggressively confronting a Toronto Star reporter near his property, there have been numerous calls to remove Rob Ford from office at the first opportunity.
As someone viewing the situation from afar in Winnipeg, but no doubt speaking for many across this country, I can only say, please don't.
Canada, if not Toronto, needs Rob Ford, and (bonus round!) his brother Doug.
As we bump along through gloomy economic times, the Rob and Doug show is comedy gold. A comic duo truly fit for the 21st century. The new Harpo and Zeppo, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Buzz and Woody, Lady and the Tramp. (Picturing them smiling at each other, while munching down opposite ends of a spaghetti noodle is not beyond the bounds of imagination, although one would want to keep such images from the children.)
And the entertainment is all free, at least for those of us who are not within the boundaries of Toronto or, as Ford calls that area: "my back yard." Really, there has been nothing like it to watch since HBO cancelled "The Sopranos." Ford is kind of like a mixture of Tony Soprano, Raging Bull and Curly Howard all rolled up in a giant, loose cannon ball.
The only difference, of course, is that Tony Soprano probably wouldn't call the police on a middle-aged comedian in front of his house or skinny reporters roaming around on public property behind.
But Ford does talk the talk. After confronting the reporter who was within a dog whistle of his property, Ford was hilarious, although equally disturbing, when he was quoted as saying that "every single person said I should have just cooked the guy."
Well, no wonder the reporter was frightened. Who wouldn't be if they saw Ford thundering at them with that Hannibal Lecter glint in the eye and a notion that he might cook them? You might end up like that Uruguayan Rugby team that crashed in the Andes. Was that a fork in his hand?
Wow, you can't make this stuff up.
Torontonians may feel embarrassed by the mayor's endless magic acts, where he presto change-o transforms himself from bully to whiny victim at the click of a microphone. But, hey, no need to be mortified. The rest of us feel your pain. Well, no, we revel in it actually, but that's just because it makes us feel so much smarter.
Our mayors are just bland. They spend much of their time in their offices (or, in Winnipeg's case, Phoenix), rather than calling the police on reporters.
Anyway, Toronto owes us, especially here in Winnipeg. Ontario stole Glen Murray, our last mayor with any vision. He's now in Dalton McGuinty's cabinet as Minister of Training Colleges and Universities. He, of course, is the one who caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth when, before the municipal election, he identified Ford as part of a trifecta of right-wing ignorance. A visionary, indeed.
So, Toronto, you bought the Ford (although this is one that drives you). Stick with it. From the Hindenburg-like explosions, to the weigh-ins, he brightens the landscape beyond the big tower to the sea. And always remember, we are laughing with you.
Well, OK, that's not true, either.