His Majesty, the Premier of Ontario
If our exalted Premier Dalton McGuinty hadn't imposed his 1.5-metre rule, I would shake his hand today. Like all Ontarians, I'm delighted to have Monday off to celebrate the second anniversary of his "Family Day." But as my colleague Robert Benzie pointed out in his article earlier this week, the premier wants "a bit of breathing space" from the grungy media hordes. We are a tawdry lot. So I guess I'll just have to give him a thumbs-up in absentia.
A contact told me the premier is, as I write, being fitted for a crown and scarlet robe with ermine trim, but it is all very hush-hush so mum's the word. Act surprised when he emerges in his new attire and try not to giggle at the buckled shoes and white hose.
Such edicts are likely only the beginning. Brian Mulroney used to have aides put up red silk ropes to mark his route to Prairie farmhouses. So I guess McGuinty's imagination is the only limit on how far this thing can go. BTW, is Ontario thinking of bestowing knighthoods? Sir Dalton.
On this odds-and-sods Friday before the aforementioned long weekend, I offer three tips:
For serious reading, check out Bruce Campbell's report on free trade, "The Obama Effect." It's written in advance of President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa next Thursday and discusses areas where Canada would be wise, in his view, to renegotiate NAFTA. It won't be released until next week, however Decoder readers get an advance look.
For a TV break, a new season of The Amazing Race begins Sunday. I'm an addict; I used to think I'd ace other competitors (especially working with any of the assistants I've had in foreign bureaus) because foreign correspondents already know all the travel tricks. But as the show has progressed, contestants have caught up to the media pack to some degree, so I'm not so sure. They still don't have sat phones, though. Plus, it's not a weekend show, but I am now a Fringe fan. It's all blood and gore with a sense of humour, chemical agents turning people into freak dog creatures, time travel - that kind of thing. Yummy.
Finally, for an "ahhhhhh, how cute" moment, check out this video. You already know I'm an animal lover sop who is happy to be on the receiving end of Lynne's gems so I can pass them on to you. (Excuse if there's a commercial.) I have fallen in love with Kingsford too.
Kingsford Goes to the Beach - Funny home videos are a click away