Recalling a Canadian pasttime

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webmaster | 11/14/13
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Far be it from me to complain about how Toronto, Ont., governs itself, but I wonder how the average Torontonian (if that’s what they call themselves) feels about its crazy mayor, Rob Ford. He’s the guy who admits to smoking meth while he was on a drunken binge. What a guy.

Yet, he says he won’t step down. He says he is a role model for ordinary folk, and for him to step down would be a poke in the eye to ordinariness.

Come on. I know some ordinary Canadians, and they are pretty nice people. They don’t go for smoking meth.

They do like to drink, though. A few years ago, I was newspapering in Washington State and went to Vancouver, B.C., on behalf of my boss to tour a big, modern printing plant. I got there about 10 a.m. and was greeted by the owner and his general manager, and the first thing I noticed was that they both smelled like booze.

“Come on in and have a drink,” the owner said, ushering me into his office, which was a big room with big windows that looked out over the city. “This is a drinking shop; we don’t get much work done until we’ve had a few.”

At one end of the office was a bar. The owner went there and poured himself a couple of shots of whiskey in one glass and a glass of ice water in the other. “What’ll you have, Yank?” he asked. I demurred. That time of the morning was too early for me, I said. Too bad, he said, then proceeded to lead a tour of his plant, glass in hand. He left the ice water on the bar.

By the time we got back to his office, it was almost noon.

“Time for lunch,” he said.

We went down the block to a restaurant, where he started with a drink. We all ate big food — steaks, done rare; French fries; big salads. More drinks followed.

By the time we exited the restaurant, I couldn’t believe we were all standing. But we went back to their office and got back to work, hammering out a contract for a printing job my employer was involved in. I had stopped with one drink so I would be able to remember what was going on, but my hosts kept it up.

By the time I left, they were happy as could be. Not once did they offer me meth, marijuana, or even a cigarette. But drink they did.

Maybe that explains a little about Rob Ford’s behavior and why he may get away with it.

 

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