The List: 10 things curmudgeonly comedian Rick Mercer can’t live without
1 | My grandfather’s pipes
He died in 1982, when I was 12. I can’t picture him not smoking a pipe. You can still smell the tobacco in them—people always think I smoke them, because I keep them on my desk. I don’t, but I like knowing that Granddad did.
2 | My ducks
Newfoundlanders don’t traditionally use decoys much for hunting, so you don’t see them very often. But I think they’re cool. They’re the only things I look to buy when I’m back home. I have about six of them now, and I keep them on windowsills.
3 | My mic flags
I don’t have a lot of paraphernalia from my TV career, so I like to keep these when they get too beaten up to use on air. It’s fun to look back and remember waving them in front of George W.
4 | My smoking girl
Her name is Madeleine the Acadian. She stands at attention by the fire. She’s by the Naughler brothers, who are great Nova Scotian folk artists. They’re the kind of guys who say they live right next door to the art supply store—which is Canadian Tire. I just love that.
5 | My lanyards
I figure when I’m old these will help me map out my life. Some of them actually mean a lot to me, especially the one from the first time I got a temporary membership in the press gallery in Ottawa 19 years ago—I could wander around Parliament as a journalist, even though I’m not one.
6 | My Inuit hockey players
I love the North. Young artists there—people making a name for themselves with traditional subject matter—often carve whale bone hockey players in their spare time, but they don’t like to admit it. I saw pieces like this behind a bar in the Northwest Territories while we were filming the Mercer Report. They took me a long time to chase down.
7 | My tour jacket
If my house were on fire, this would be one of the first things I’d grab. It was a gift from Ron Hynes, the lead singer of the Wonderful Grand Band. They were huge in Newfoundland when I was growing up. They only made tour jackets for band members and their girlfriends, and now I have one.
8 | My coffee shop
When I first moved to Riverdale, the place was a porn shop. Broadview Espresso has improved the quality of my life immeasurably. My only complaint is that the secret is out now, and it can get busy.
9 | My year-round Christmas decorations
I used to go on holiday to Jamaica a lot. I met a lady there who carved angels, and I just loved them. She would sell them as Christmas ornaments. Now they sit on my fireplace all year round.
10 | My one decent painting
All the paintings I do basically look like they were done by a seven-year-old. Most of them are in the basement, but I like this one enough to display it. Probably because I feel I nailed the perspective.