All Aboard The Gravy Train!!

Hey it’s been a real long time, but this is worth an update…

So if you don’t live in Toronto, you may not know this but last autumn we elected a mayor who:

– was caught driving intoxicated (drunk and smoking dope)

– was picked up by police for domestic violence against his wife

– says that the only people with HIV are queers and dope fiends

– got hammered at a Leafs game and started harassing other fans

– gave a six year old girl the finger

– eats a lot

Now, the second half od that list, I kinda like. The first half, I don’t.

Rob Ford is a mega schnerg. (OK really schnerg isn’t exactly right, because he KNOWS he’s annoying and he’s not just annoying, he’s harmful and quite damaging to our city. But I’m making an exception and putting a huge beligerant crapface on the schnerglist this one time.)

When he ran his campaing, it was basically on a platform of cutting spending at City Hall, saying that we had been spending too much money and the wasteful days are over. His catchphrase was ‘Stop The Gravy Train’ which of course they did market testing on before using and it clearly paid off, because now we have a homophobic bully for mayor who wants to end all arts programs, kick poor people out of their homes, cripple public transit and bicycle lanes and basically turn downtown Toronto into a suburb.

Sorry for not linking to all the evidence that supports this, but it’s all pretty easy to find online. Anyhow, my good friend Umar Saeed’s blog, usually about financial matters and how they impact society at large, has a “Letters to Rob Ford” section going. And it was my great pleasure to contribute one of the letters to Rob Ford.

You can read it here. Or I’ve taken the liberty of reprinting for you below

Dear Rob,

I hope it’s ok that I call you Rob. “Your Mayorship” seems too formal for a guy that buys his suits off the rack, and you might think I mean your brother.Besides, I figure that since we have a lot in common, you won’t mind. I like sandwiches, and you like sandwiches. I like football, and you like football. I like drinking beer and you like drinking beer (and getting wasted and going to the Leafs game and harassing communists).  And, like you, I enjoy saving money whenever possible.

During the campaign to become the city’s mayor, you were like “Who’s gonna stop the gravy train?” And we were like, “Nooooooooooo Body!” Wait. Wrong catchphrase. Sorry about that, but I’m sure you can understand how us downtown folks get you confused with that other incompetent Mayor from the North.

So yeah, like I was saying, you were all, “No more gravy!” and we were all like, “Yeah!” But then a funny thing happened. You could have found more gravy at PETA’s annual Lettuce Luncheon than KPMG found at City Hall. So instead of trimming the fat, you’re faced with some tough choices. And you’ve come up with some crazy ideas, even for a guy that smokes the wacky tobacky, the green devil-weed, the old school skunk, the icky sticky, the Northern Lights.

Seriously, have any of Stephen Harper’s other fishing buddies suggested cuts to police services? I bet not. That’s what I like about you. You’re not afraid to make suggestions that – quite literally – no other person agrees with. The “Closed Loop” subway line? There’s an idea that city planners, financiers and environmental thinktanks all think it terrible. But that isn’t going to stop you, is it? You’re the Frank the Tank of municipal politics.

But let’s be honest. Just between you and me, you don’t really want to cut police services, do you? You don’t really want to shut down libraries and parks, do you? Problem is, you’ve eaten yourself into a booth, and now you’ve got to eat your way out.


I won’t take credit for this idea, because it was inspired by you. And if I tabled this, as a private citizen, nobody will listen. Your brother sure as heck won’t. I mean, I’m not an elected official and I’m no Giller Prize-Winning author, so why should he? If somebody asks you where you got it, just say the same thing you do when the city auditor asks about your office supplies: It just magically appeared.

You can stop the gravy train with actual gravy. I know you’ve got a lot of it. You host barbeques all the time, and I’m sure you have a king-sized grille up at the family cottage. Rob, where there’s meat, there’s gravy. Harness that wave of gravy power and fuel our city’s budget.

Based on your appetite (I saw you eating pizza this year at 1,000 Tastes of Toronto), the size of your family, the number of fundraising dinners you host, and the enormity of your waistline – I know, I know, it’s not nice to make fun of your size and you probably just look that much more rotund because of your tiny, tiny head – I estimate that your family could produce 750 million gallons of gravy each year. It’s time to put that gravy to use.

Are you with me? Let me explain.

Downtown Toronto, we have a bunch of community pools. The water, the pool chemicals, the cleaning, all that stuff costs money. But why are we using water? Let’s get the leftover gravy from Ford family dinners, and fill our pools with that. Imagine, floating in the sublime tranquility of a gravy train three metres deep. The city could sell Yorkshire Pudding Pool Noodles to float and snack on for additional revenue. (Not to mention the money you’d save on cleaning. In much the same way your incompetent cronies at City Hall are able to fly under the radar in your shadow, nobody sees a dookie in the gravy pool!)

Have you heard of cars that run on veggie oil? I’m serious, it’s a real thing, even though to you I bet it sounds like it’s from Star Trek, Star Wars, or Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Anyhow, alternative energy is serious business. Instead of cutting our police staff by ten percent, let’s just convert those cruisers to gravy powered protectors of the suburbs and let the savings pile up!

Here’s a Two-for-One Gravy Special: soup kitchens and trash collection. Why should my taxes pay for Kraft Dinner that a single feeds her kids, while even more of my taxes go into the pockets of unionized garbage men who take the empty KD boxes to the landfill? Instead, hook up the taps of Toronto Community Housing properties directly to the gravy supply and let them suckle from  your gravy teat. It’s calorie-dense and delicious! And the best part is that there’s no packaging for garbage men to collect after!

Think I’m done? No way! There are so many opportunities to use Ford Family Gravy it’s hard to remember them all. Scrap Transit City and build a Lazy Gravy River! We can all just float to work. A new sports arena along the waterfront? Just freeze some gravy, we can skate on that. And I’m willing to bet that if you add enough cornstarch, we can turn gravy into a solid, multi-purpose building material to make that tunnel to the island airport a reality.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you are able to implement some or all of my suggestions. Just remember to wear a bib, because when you do, it could get a little messy around here.

Oh wait. It already has..


The Schnerg Remedy – Dancing!!

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Not much to say here other than, great video, great song….. The Love Theme, Boogaloo!

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And the Grammy Goes to. . . A Bunch of Schnergs

This is the text from an article I had published at Stereo Subversion but is pretty fitting for Schnerg too. . .

It’s no secret that record labels are suffering financially these days, big and small alike. Digital piracy costs the industry billions of dollars in lost revenue each year, making it tough to recoup the money invested in new artists. It’s not uncommon for a major label to spend over $1 million breaking a new act in the U.S., and the cost of putting out an album for a superstar like Beyonce or Lady Gaga can be astronomical. Getting that money back is tough when fewer people pay for music, and while independent labels are significantly impacted by piracy, I don’t think that’s what’s killing the majors.

What’s killing them is shit music.

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Inanimate Objects Can Still Be Schnergs

This is a short entry, which is the good news. The better news is that you will gain insight to my psyche. Maybe that’s the bad news.

Today’s schnerg in society is an inanimate object. Sort of.

Stop Bouncing That Ball, Bitches!

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Soccer Celebration In Little Italy!

Not to be outdone by the Brazilian community, Toronto’s Italians go nuts after the big draw vs. New Zealand.

World Cup Fever

There’s lots of schnerginess happening with the World Cup in full sway: plastic trumpets, drunken Englishmen, Robert Green, the entire contingent of German supporters, the entire contingent of Italian supporters, and Shakira with her stolen anthem. All of these we’ll get in to with our FIFA roundup after the games are done. But this is Anti-Schnerg Day!

So I present to you the best reason to watch soccer – celebrating with Brazillian fans after they win. Enjoy.


This is a real ad from Craigslist today in the writing jobs section:

Joke/story writer (Anywhere)
Date: 2010-06-06, 4:57PM EDT
Reply to:

I am very busy guy and need conversation topics for business meetings and group lunches I am on regularly. I need statements like “so question… here’s this scenario. what do you guys think?’ or “hey did you hear about…” etc. they should be funny and light but also intellectual. if you are a comedy writer or a guy who drums up interesting conversations easily let me know. it is not my strong suit. thanks.

* Location: Anywhere
* Compensation: let’s discuss

PostingID: 1778448846