Saturday, July 01, 2006

The 'Oodles of Prestige' Award for Today Goes To...

Stephen Harper. No, this isn't a cheap political shot. Ok, maybe the picture is. But he did, in good conscience, dress like that. So don't blame me.

In fact, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, let's not even give the award to Harper himself. Let's say it's for his people.

It's obvious that Steve is a bit touchy about the recent 'did the Conservatives fudge their 2005 convention fees?' issue. I'm still reading up on the details, so let's assume that everything has been the result of a slip of the pen, rather than a skirting (or near-skirting) of the rules. I'm more interested in the fact that Harper has decreed that he doesn't want the press around. Cramps his style. So he likes to be unavailable. To wit:

"Harper's staff had initially attempted to bar reporters from asking the prime minister questions, saying the area where his car was parked behind a convenience store was private property."

The above quote was from today's Toronto Star. Of course, perhaps this isn't Harper wanting to avoid the press. Perhaps its just his staff's great respect for the private property of the convenience store that he was hiding ... sorry ... parked behind.

The exchange with the press must have been priceless:

Setting: The parking lot of an average Milk'N'Bread franchise, with a harassed Harper Lackey trying to keep the press away from the great man, who is parked in an inconspicious black stretch limo behind the store (almost as long as the store itself).
Harper Lackey: The Prime Minister is unavailable for comment.

Tall Reporter: He's over there! The dude in the limo! C'mon guys...

Lackey: That's private property, and I don't recommend that you approach him.

Short Reporter: Whose private property, exactly?

Lackey: It belongs to the fine, Canadian owned Milk'N'Bread corporation.

Tall Reporter: Does the Prime Minister own Milk'N'Bread?

Short Reporter: Is he a majority shareholder?

Tall Reporter: Has he declared all income? Does he get preferential treatment or any kind, such as an extra large coffee for the price of a small?

Bald Reporter: Are you an acting agent or signing authority for Milk'N'Bread in this regard?

Nude Reporter: Who stole my clothes?

Lackey: Er...what I meant was...the staff of Milk'N'Bread are not obligated to allow any member of the public onto their property...

Tall Reporter: It's a parking lot. It's their parking lot. There's a guy parked beside the Prime Minister muching a Chili and Cheese Torpedo Dog and wondering why you're standing here with your arms outstretched trying to hold us back.

Nude Reporter: I hate to sound self involved, but I really would like to know who stole my clothes. My wife gave me that blazer, and those are the boxers I've had since Mulroney was in power...

Aha! Only paying customers are allowed to take advantage of the free parking...

Bald Reporter: Guys? Let's all get a coffee and head around back to admire the Prime Minister's Wax Job. And while we're there, let's ask about campaign contributions.

Short Reporter: Oh! And let's grab some breakfast bars!

Nude Reporter: And maybe a t-shirt or something...they do sell t-shirts, don't they?

Lackey: I really don't think that...

Bald Reporter: (holding a cell phone) I've got the Milk'n'Bread head office on the line, they don't seem to remember you. And they'd like to know why you're denying access to customers who are more than willing to buy some of their special dark roast coffee and why you're hiding a government official in their publically accessible parking lot.

Lackey: I...I can't speak to him right now...

Bald Reporter: Oh, he'll wait. He's got your name and number. And we all have our coffee?

All Reporters: Yes we do!

Nude Reporter: I've furnished a crude sort of kimono together with napkins and masking tape, so I think the Prime Minister will think I'm some sort of foreign reporter...

Lackey:(sighing, defeated) Gentlemen, the Prime Minister will take a few brief questions as soon as he is finished his second Chili and Cheese Torpedo Dog and Big Guzzle. I would ask the gentlemen's indulgence as the Prime Minister finishes his Grab'Em Extra Hot Bar-B-Q chips, as we do have a schedule to maintain...

...and so on. Kudos, Harper's people. Kudos.

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alice in newyorkland said...

I dunno about admiring the PM's Wax Job. To me, that conjures up...oversharing issues. or something. No?

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