Former prime minister Jean Chrétien, speaking in Toronto today at a conference to honour one of his predecessors, Lester Pearson, gave a vivid illustration of how the present can intrude on the past. He was just warming up with some anecdotes of his time with Pearson in the 1960s, when suddenly a phone rang.
"Hey," Chrétien cried, realizing the ring was coming from his own pocket. He pulled out the device, squinted at it and said: "Looks like Bob Rae." Rae, in the audience, just laughed.
Chrétien couldn't manage to turn the phone off, however, and had to hand it off to someone back stage.