Presenting: The Ford 2014 Dream Team
Talk about synergy. Whether out of horrifying obliviousness, or as part of a calculated effort to indulge in self-parody as a political tactic, mayor Rob Ford has welcomed two new members to his campaign team: disgraced Canadian Olympian Ben Johnson (the sprinter caught using steroids following his 1988 gold-medal win in Seoul) and actor Sam Tarasco (best known for playing Sam “The Caveman” Losco on Trailer Park Boys). It’s unclear what role either man will have in Ford’s reelection bid, beyond further discrediting it.
With Ford assembling his crack team, Avengers-style, we thought it’d be fun—and maybe useful—to imagine how his new allies will fit in. We’ve even picked out a few more potential crossover team-ups.
So, we present: Rob Ford’s Washed-Up Avengers.
Ben Johnson: Johnson’s Olympic troubles made him a newsmaker of the year in 1988, so he knows a thing or two about weathering a scandal. Sort of. Johnson made headlines again a decade later, when he was revealed to have taken work training the son of horrible Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He was also robbed once, apparently by Romani gang members—and, in a twist of poetic justice worthy of the one-time Fastest Man In The World: he couldn’t even catch them. Maybe the depths of Johnson’s national disgrace offer Ford an angle on his own shame. It’s like how everyone hangs around with a guy whose life will always be more pathetic than their own. It’s about perspective.
Sam Tarasco: We don’t know much about Sam Tarasco: The Man. But on Trailer Park Boys, he plays Sam Losco: a washed-up schlub who is frequently made fun of for looking like a caveman. Tarasco’s TPB cachet may lend Ford some credibility with liquor-swilling, six-paper-joint-smoking young people who feel totally alienated from politics, but also only alienated enough that all it takes to convince them to vote for someone is some loose association with Trailer Park Boys. This could also just be a big publicity stunt tied to the release of the new Trailer Park Boys movie and Netflix-only seasons.
David “Zanta” Zancai: Ah, Zanta: Toronto’s most-notorious, most-schizophrenic Santa-based busker. Zanta has been inactive since about 2008, by which point he’d been banned from large swaths of downtown, but we figure he’s got the energy, the dance moves and the musculature to lift the Ford 2014 campaign to the next level. Zancai and Ford also share a common enemy: Trinity-Spadina councilor Adam Vaughan, who has called Zancai “a public nuisance.”
Snow: Remember Toronto reggae star Snow? You know: “In-fooooorm-er! You know say dackity-snooby go-daddy-bwaaaaam-bickity-boom-booom-bam”? Well you’d be forgiven for forgetting. Though his 1992 single hit the top spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, he’s managed to evade success (or even sustained public interest) for the past two decades. Still, Ford and Snow (real name: Darrin Kenneth O’Brien) share a keen interest in Toronto’s Caribbean diaspora. We’d love to hear them collaborate on a campaign-trail jingle that’s also a followup to Rob Ford’s Steak Queen rant. Maybe something like: “Rob Foooooooord-er! You know he gotta plenty to eat at home, save a billion, yeah!”
BlackBerry (corporate sponsor): Who better to back Rob Ford’s reelection bid than Ontario’s favourite doomed telecommunications giant? The pitch for Rob Ford is pretty much just like the one you always hear for BlackBerry: “Look. You already have the thing. Just keep the thing. You don’t need a new thing. C’maaaaaaaan.”