Alms For The Minister Without Portfolio
Monday goes down as a day of discovery for me. I was not the only one in attendance at ScotiaBank Place to see the abject 5-0 capitulation of the Sens to the Leafs (side note to all Leafs fans who have been so diligent in emailing me reminders of the score: It must be wonderful to not have any games that matter). Sadly, it was not only the Senators that came to the rink looking poor. This night became a lesson in fiscal responsibility.
The game was filled with reunions of sorts. At the first intermission, one of the points where the Sens still had a chance, I was able to hook up with high school chum Andreas who appeared to be doing quite well for himself. I mean he was wearing pants, had a Sens shirt on, he could afford seats to the game. He was doing okay. Second intermission, different story. My phone rang with a message to come down to meet up with MP from my home riding and fellow GanBoy, Gord Brown. I’ve known Gord from my Gan days and we’ve met at some of the events in the Brockville and surrounding area. It would be great to catch up. We were to make our way down to the box he was in and meet with him there. Instantly the mind raced. Corporate boxes. Members of Parliament. Never-ending trays of food. A bar as open as Amy Winehouse’s wedding.
Warning bells should have rung when I cleared Security, that being turning the doorknob and walking in. Important-looking men from all over the country and the US wearing well-tailored suits choked the room. I politely asked for the Honourable Gord Brown. A slight sneer and a nod in the general direction of the front of the box told only some of the story. Standing among the Versace, Moore’s, and Tip Top (let’s face it, some of these guys are truly civil servants) stood Gord. His denim from Mark’s Work Warehouse and hoody that made him look like he should be dry walling the suite instead of hobnobbing there had him standing out like thumb freshly whacked with a #3 New Holland ball peen hammer.
I knew from his Facebook status that he was gearing up for the pending budget, since part of my daily routine is to stalk prominent public figures on the internet (and you’re next, John Baird) but had absolutely no idea that he would take such drastic measures of fiscal responsibility. While gloating over the Leafs win and stuffing a lawn bag with nacho crumbs, half-eaten spring rolls, and by now limp garnish, he intimated that the 2008 budget would be lean but not necessarily mean. No further details came but from his appearance, it spoke volumes. Here was a man preparing for the times ahead, while others in their suited finery merely avoided the obvious and continued to move the deck chairs into a more favourable position on the Titanic’s poop deck. I thanked Gord for his hard work and did what you always do when you see someone from your hometown in need. I gave him the only piece of cloth I could to keep him warm. A Sens flag to a Leafs fan, I know…but he seemed grateful, able to be a wee bit warmer in the coming cold days ahead. Fight the good fight, Gord. You are truly a hardworking ant in a city of grasshoppers.