Kenk for mayor?
What to do with Igor Kenk?
Toronto's charismatic bicycle-thief king, after a judge-imposed hiatus from the public eye, is back and bigger than ever, just in time for the summer cycling season.
The Star's Jennifer Yang reported that Kenk, whose ramshackle bike repair/sales shop festered on Queen St. W. until a chance arrest put truth to the rumour that many of the bikes were stolen, will next month be the subject of a major graphic novel, with 304 pages of words, photos and video stills.
As if doing advance publicity work, the burly 50-year-old -- handsome as a catalogue model when clean-shaven, attractive in a scary-bearded-messiah way when not -- showed up Monday at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre on Monday where nearly 2,000 bikes seized from his property in 2008 were being donated to inner-city youth.
In a baby-blue tracksuit, no less, he told staff he wanted to buy some of the bikes, left a card with his number and the name "Igor", and later told Yang: “Of course they’re my bikes. Think of them as my puppies ...”
No wonder Torontonians are fascinated by him. But where does Kenk go from here?
If one had the cash, it would be tempting to try to co-opt him into Kenk's Recycled Bikes, graphic up the place with skulls, daggers and prison doors, and let him work on his "puppies" behind a glass window. Give him no purchasing power. Maybe add a coffee bar.
The other obvious place for Kenk is the mayoral race. George Smitherman and Rob Ford are fine, but we need a character. Bike lanes are under attack; imagine the firepower Kenk would bring to a war on the car.
So what does the man himself see in his future?
One of Kenk's quotes that didn't make it into Yang's story, after she tried to break the ice with a comment on the beautiful spring weather, was: "I don't give a s---- for weather, I don't give a s---. I may just retire or I may do whatever I will. I'm not in any position to be looking for stinky job doing something I don't believe in."
Yikes. Where's the campaign sign in that?