THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Toronto Sun - Sept. 27, 2009 - By Mike Strobel, Columnists
Parting shot -- er, gift -- for future ex-mayor
But what? What do you buy the lame-duck mayor who has everything?
I thought about an actual lame duck, but the Humane Society said no. And apparently the white-crested booby is extinct.
So let's look elsewhere.
The garden? Hazel McCallion, Mississauga's 165-year-old mayor, has a flower named after her. The pink and white "Hazel McCallion" rose is now her suburban city's official flower.
I once suggested we do the same for Mayor Miller. Something tall that grows aggressively, tilts to the left and has thorns, union roots and Teflon leaves. Something that thrives on fertilizer and direct sunlight.
What a thoughtful gift. An enduring legacy. All over town, "David Miller" tulips. You can admire them, or pee on them, depending on your politics.
OK, how about a prickly pear? Our David used to be a prickly pear before he lost the belly and became just prickly.
I could buy him a registered handgun and membership in a shooting club. But that would be tacky. So would Grecian Formula. Or a bushel of cucumbers for those bags under his eyes.
I'd hire Sue-Ann Levy to tell him bedtime stories every night for a month, but I'm just not that cruel.
Better: A lifetime pass on Porter Airlines. I'll even build him his own footbridge to the island airport.
I know! A chunk of the Gardiner Expressway, wrapped in duct tape, with a postcard depicting the waterfront. Perfect for the mantle. Inexpensive, but meaningful.
For fun, David can tie it to Councillor Rob Ford's ankle and toss him in the harbour.
Naw, too complicated. Something simple. Like custom-made earplugs. For when Councillor Howard Moscoe comes around.
Or a new broom. The one he brandished on election eve in 2003 is a mite battered, as if someone has been hitting himself over the head with it.
On the other hand, I hear there's to be a new city tax on brooms, so maybe a vacuum cleaner is better. Or is a vacuum cleaner a vehicle? There's that Miller tax to worry about, too.
Or this: His very own bike lane. On his driveway. All the bicycloonies in town can convene at his house on Saturdays.
I'd buy him his own streetcar but it would look shabby next to the 204 new ones he's already getting from taxpayers.
Some transit accessories, perhaps? A Miller Express sign? A T-shirt saying: "I survived the wildcat of '08."
Or I'll sponsor a route in his name. The 3:10 to Yuma Get There On Time Or Yuma Not.
I'll grant him his own streetcar lane on St. Clair Ave. He can wave at the dying stores as he rumbles by.
If it was in my power, I'd offer the mayor a new job as a sendoff gift.
There's a vacancy as head of Invest Toronto, for instance. Pays $300,000. I wonder if he'd like that. Oh, wait, he already has one.
Perhaps I'll let him do this column once a week. As long as he doesn't write anything sarcastic or snarky about me.
What else? A copy of Das Kapital signed by Karl Marx? Probably already has it. A personalized garbage bin? A dart board featuring the faces of the Toronto Port Authority? His very own, private panhandler? Lots to choose from.
Here's a good one: A trip to the next Harvard reunion, so he and Michael Ignatieff can sip martinis and grumble about how backward Canadians are, and how unappreciative.
I could go cheap and send a donation to the mayor's famous One-Cent Campaign. But anything nice is going to cost me, big-time.
So where on earth do I find the dough?
Hmmmm. Wait! I know.
I'll demand it from Ottawa.
STROBEL'S COLUMN RUNS WEDNESDAY TO FRIDAY, AND SUNDAY. MIKE.STROBEL@SUNMEDIA.CA OR 416-947-2265
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