I spotted my old buddy, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony the other day to mark the opening of a new ribbon and scissors factory and rushed right over to shake his hand.
After checking my proffered digits for tobacco stains, Jimbo gingerly grasped my mitt and sighed, awaiting the inevitable blindside sucker punch that is just one of the fundamentals of a relationship that goes back almost 30 years.
Yup, I’ve know His Wash-up for three decades, starting when he wasn’t a Liberal and then wasn’t a Conservative and lots of spurts in between when he wasn’t anything so that he could follow his career path of never having a real job. (I think he lasted only a few days in his alleged chosen field as a sort of journalist hosting a noon-hour talk show on a minor local TV channel.)
“So, Lovelace, I suppose I’m about to suffer through your latest spittle-infused rant about the new smoking ban,” said the nicotine-hating mayor, using a battery-powered fan to protect himself from any third-hand smoke emerging from my clothes and, of course, the expected spittle.
No way, Jim, on behalf of all smokers, I want to congratulate you and city council for protecting us from the fastest-growing form of cancer in Canada.
C’mon, buddy, give yourself a little credit here. By banning us Puffers from patios, parks, beaches and any outside events held on city property, you’re saving us all from the new pandemic of skin cancer, as in melanoma.
“You’re going somewhere with this, aren’t you, Lovelace?” observed Hizzoner as he desperately looked around for an aide who might drag him away to a meeting of the Committee to Distract Voters from a 73 percent Rise in Water Rates through another Campaign against the Puffers.
Well, here’s the deal, Jim. A few years back, when you had ceased to be a Conservative and were serving as Dalton McGuilty’s Ontario minister of tobacco suppression, you announced that you had been diagnosed with melanoma that you admitted was caused by an addiction to self-inflicted tanning, the sunny equivalent of a smoking habit.
Granted, you have since morphed that backstory to suggest your condition was actually caused by door-to-door electioneering in the greater cause of democracy and all Canadians know how sunny it is on covered front porches and inside apartment buildings during the 10 months of winter that correspond with voting season.
So, Jim, all of us Puffers are waiting for the next logical step by you and council.
“And that would be…?”
The banning of EVERYONE from patios, beaches, parks and events held on city property to protect them from the killer sun rays that all experts predict will see melanoma replace lung cancer as the leading cause of death and bankruptcy of Medicare. This has to be done because even the most virulent anti-tobacco advocates years ago had to stop claiming that the treatment of smokers cost more than what they pay in taxes, because it wasn’t true. The self-abusing melanomaniacs, like you, pay no equivalent tax and actually cost the Canadian economy billions annually feeding their habit by going south during the winter to contract cancer. Canada’s tourism deficit is staggering and we Puffers are subsidizing treatment of Tannists who leave all their money in Florida.
“Get real, Gord. Even if your argument is perversely correct, we couldn’t possibly get re-elected banning everyone from being outside. It is much more politically expedient to keep hammering you Puffers because you’re down to only 15 percent of the electorate and too timid to fight back as we force you to smoke only in your unheated garages. If we can’t go after the International Puffer Conspiracy, federal hate laws permit the Great Unwashed to irrationally despise only politicians and we certainly can’t have that.”
C’mon, Jimbo, you’re killing people. You could at least legislate that when they’re outside, people must wear the equivalent of a smoking cessation patch, otherwise known as a full-body anti-solar parka.
“You want people to wear parkas in August?”
Parkas, burkas, hoodies—it’s all good. We’re talking about second-hand solar radiation here, Jim, where we Puffers have to pay for the tragic results of all that solar radiation actively sought by pale Aryan skiers, golfers, joggers and tennis players. And just think about the innocent children, soaking up all those deadly x-rays in Ottawa’s parks, beaches and sandboxes sporting nothing but alleged sun blocks that every study over the last 20 years shows don’t work.
“What’s all this about the children?! We’re protecting them from second-hand smoke when they’re scarfing their junk food on patios, beaches and parks.”
That’s true, Jim, but new studies have found that melanoma and the even more serious scourge of obesity will, for the first time in history, actually reduce the life-span of kids born after my generation, despite the fact we Baby Boomers were all raised in Puffer households filled with smoke.
“I hesitate to ask, but what would you have city council do about this?”
Simple, Jim, if you’re not going to go for the total ban for political and fatal expediency. The path has been cleared by those carnival rides that have height barriers that deny access to anyone who fits underneath them to spill their cookies on the Tilt-a-Wheel. At the entrance to all patios, parks and beaches, you should install gates that are two axe-handles wide to ban anyone whose cellulite-laden hips won’t allow them to fit through. Fast-food places would have to recover their second-hand fat fumes and send them to India to be recycled into new hamburgers.
“And how would this translate into votes?”
Jim, only about 30 percent of taxpayers actually vote in city elections and we Puffers could make up half of that if we can be motivated to emerge from our garages to create new racist targets, like Fattists or Granny Perfumists or Terrorist Gardeners who leave Zucchini bombs on our front porches every fall.
“So we lay off the smokers to ensure re-election so that use everyone’s baser instincts in a campaign of legal bigotry against other non-ethnic visible minorities. I like it! We could go after Saturday morning leaf-blowers and yappy dog-lovers and those snotty bastards who make fun of me because I’m the only Canadian who can’t skate. This is fantastic—get in touch with all your fellow Puffers and we’ll have a big political rally to get this moving!”
Uhhhh, slight problem there, Jim. With the new butt ban, we’re not allowed to freely assemble anymore.
“Oh. Right. Got any ideas?”
I’m afraid you’ll just have to visit us all individually in our unheated garages, buddy. Right at the time when the sun-filled days are getting longer and more lethal.
But look, I think you would look GREAT in a burka….