Monday, October 23, 2006

Dear Trapped on a Boat

When I launched this blog I really had no idea that it would become a forum for giving advice. It’s a pleasant diversion from my normal week and it fits with my giving nature.

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your letter. Yes you are correct, the media are exaggerating and referring to a woman as a dog is accepted in many cultures. Unfortunately nobody has heard of these cultures.

While I certainly sympathize with your situation I think it’s important we deal with the underlying issue here – your obsession with the dog as a metaphor. It’s just not working for you. Remember, you are a senior cabinet minister now; when referring to women it’s okay to venture into two syllable territory.

I know that you are feeling very vulnerable and I don’t blame you. It must be terrible knowing that as soon as you return to work everyone is going to make jokes when they see you. What makes it worse is that even the dimmest bulb in the House of Commons can muster up a dog joke. I’m sure by now you have heard them all. “Hey Peter, you’re barking up the wrong tree” (zing), “yo Peter, let sleeping dogs lie” (good one) or “would the honorable member from Central Nova stop licking himself” (a classic).

In an effort to stop this from happening again however I have come up with what I believe is a simple solution. I would suggest that you keep a large safety pin in your pocket and if anyone mentions a dog, if you see a dog, if you even think about mentioning a dog, practice a simple act of behavior modification. Reach into you pocket, open the safety pin and slam the pointy end into the fleshy part of your hand between your forefinger and thumb. Yes this will hurt but it won’t cause any more irreparable damage to your career. Believe me, in the long run you will thank me.

Oh, before I forget – the next time you say something really stupid and you are being chased by a pack of reporters, don’t get on a boat. There is nowhere to hide on a boat except the bathroom. I think it’s important that you write this down somewhere so it doesn’t happen again.

So cheer up Peter, I’m sure the dog jokes will dissipate over the years, and I am convinced that the situation is not all grim.

Your ability to manage this crisis has been impressive. In particular I think your decision to deny you made the dog crack when you can be heard saying it on a tape was a masterstroke. This way you take the focus off the fact that you said something silly in the heat of the moment and put the focus on whether or not you are lying.

Smooth move Kasparov. As you know, saying something dumb and fessing up to it can be fatal for a cabinet minister whereas lying never hurt a career ever.

Keep up the good work!


Dear Belinda,

Yes, by all means, launch a perfume.


Dear Garth,

Funny you ask but yes I think launching a perfume is a great idea.


Dear Iggy,

I checked and for 105,000 Aeroplan points you can fly from Toronto to Israel. You have to stay over on a Monday, I think, so you might have to devote three days to solving the Middle East crisis versus a standard weekend. I think asking Canadians to donate their unwanted points to you is an excellent idea. Lots of good causes solicit points from the public. I know Ronald McDonald House takes points, and as I mentioned in my earlier email concerning your future, McDonald’s accepts resumes.

Keep up the good work.


P.S. – no I don’t think this is a good time to launch a perfume.