For the moment, at least, regardless of individual preferences in television shows, families can share one TV program. Thanks to news media, the daily shenanigans at Toronto city hall offer something for everyone, especially anyone keen on reality shows. Almost daily the mayor runs face first into a news camera, is caught in a new lie revealed by the cops’ undercover surveillance of his former part-time driver, or is forced to utter another meaningless apology.
Like movies on Channel 54, each newscast should be preceded by the warning, “Program may contain coarse language. Viewer discretion is advised.”
But even that disclaimer would not have adequately warned viewers about Rob Ford’s vulgar remarks involving a hooker and his wife, nor would it have prepared viewers they were about to witness the mayor peeing behind a shrub along a public street like a teenage drunk after a prom. Regular viewers of Jerry Springer must feel right at home.
But if football or hockey is your thing, replay Mayor Rob Ford tackling and bowling over 60-year-old fellow councillor Pat McConnell in his mad dash to throttle a gallery heckler. He left her with a bruised cheek, a fat lip, and a sore knee. For extra realism, before settling that bowl of popcorn on your lap, don a safety helmet, shoulder pads and mouth guard.
The Ford brothers’ behaviour in council even displays shades of WWE Wrestling with an emphasis on tag teams. Doug, the chihuahua on steroids, ducks and weaves back and forth on the council chamber apron like a wrestler’s backup clutching a bungee cord distracting or tripping the opponent any time he comes within reach.
Impromptu comedy performances tickle your funny bone? Chuckle along with council observers as Toronto council chairperson Nunziata sought to orient Doug Ford to the motion under discussion. “It’s the motion on the pink paper”, she said, waggling her pink copy in the air.
Feel you might be missing an addiction intervention led by Dr. Drew? Not to worry. More than one addiction counsellor has answered reporters’ questions and offered guidelines to identifying an addict. Rob Ford and his family have pooh-poohed them all, deciding all his problems and misbehaviour derive from his 320 pound weight. Those keen on sumo wrestling are waiting for Ford to take part in a sumo wrestling match as soon as a manager comes forward with an opponent of sufficient size to make it a fair fight.
While you’re glued to City Hall, you’re not missing CSI or any other crime program. Just a different cast of characters with similar shortcomings and devious methods but more plot twists than any sober crime writer ever thought up.
Late night U.S. comedians are calling Ford the gift that keeps on giving. Now they’re suggesting names for the Ford brothers’ new TV show. Although now cancelled, some suggestions were The Big Bong Theory, The Biggest User, and Parks and Recreational Drug Use.
Now that Ford has been stripped of many of his mayoral powers and duties, he could write verses for Hallmark apology cards. Few people have had Mayor Ford’s practice uttering the words “I apologize.” He might even write the lyrics for a new Justin Bieber hit to supercede Baby, Baby, Baby.
Currently TV lineups include Undercover Boss; Bar Saviour; a Type A genius who coaches failing hotels back to life; and the newest, Bakery Boss. I’m expecting a public relations guru to launch an advice show geared to the Ford brothers.
Until then, he could help himself by avoiding the public eye (not likely, given his hefty ego) parking only where it’s legal to do so, treating his wife and co-workers respectfully, and moving under the radar.