Neither here nor there

Peter Pickersgill
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Revenge is sweet

The man with the hair that never moves had finally won his coveted majority government.

He sat at his desk in the Langevin Building across Wellington Street from Parliament Hill. He preferred this office to the one in the Centre block of the Parliament Buildings. From here he could see the Peace tower, the East and West blocks and appreciate that they represented all of the Canadian people, some 40 percent of whom had voted for his party in the last election. Because of Canada’s antiquated electoral system forty percent was enough to grant the man whose hair never moved an absolute majority in the House of Commons. Along with a majority in the Senate, this gave him the green light to begin carrying out his hidden personal agenda. He had been obliged to deny this agenda through all the years of minority government but now the opposition numbers were no longer enough to prevent him carrying out whatever he pleased.

The man with the hair that never moves also had a smile that never illuminated his eyes. Well, maybe not never, but rarely. His handlers urged him to look happier. Smile, they said. Your normal face scares the voters. So he had undergone intensive smile training. The first part was fairly easy. If you turn up the corners of your mouth, the handlers explained, you will look less menacing and frighten off fewer voters. But when they played back the video footage of him smiling, they didn’t seem to be satisfied. You don’t look really happy they explained. Your mouth looks happy but your eyes still look as though they are carved from solid granite. Even those glasses you started wearing during the campaign can’t hide that. His handlers wracked their brains. There must be some way to make the boss appear happy, to display that most positive of human emotions that drew others toward those who expressed it.

The breakthrough came when the handlers asked him to look directly at the camera and respond naturally to a list of things they suggested would normally make people happy.

A gourmet meal: nothing.

A vintage wine: nothing.

": He jumped into the air and came down with both feet on top of the tiny helicopter, vaporizing it."

Sex: nothing.

A photo of the wife and kids: nothing.

A picture of the Stanley Cup: big smile.

The words Revenge is Sweet written in capital letters: A grin from ear to ear and eyes that shone with sheer joy.

It was just such a grin that was now pasted on the face of the man whose hair never moves as he sat in the office contemplating what he had in mind to resolve a major issue that needed settling with the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Too bad Danny Williams had left politics and was beyond his reach. Beyond his reach unless Danny came looking for federal money to help his new hockey project. That was unlikely though, the former premier wouldn’t risk the humiliation of being turned down by both the province and the feds. No, the man whose hair never moved would have to punish the government of Kathy Dunderdale instead. The main thing though was to make the people, the voters of Newfoundland and Labrador suffer for their bad judgment in returning only one out of seven seats to his party .

For this they must pay. He grinned from ear to ear at the thought.

When he was through with them, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians would be begging for an early election so they could vote 100 per cent for the man whose hair never moves and whose smile never reached his eyes.

Voters in this province would have been shocked to see just how much this man’s smile was most emphatically reaching his eyes as he got up and walked into the boardroom and sat down at the head of the table.

On top of the gleaming mahogany surface sat three small models: One was a replica of the brand new Marine Atlantic ferry, the Blue Puttees, the one the man whose hair never moves had toured in St. John’s harbour only a few short months ago. Alongside it was a codfish with the letters DFO emblazoned along its side, and the third was a detailed model of a Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopter.

Organizations: House of Commons, Marine Atlantic

Geographic location: Wellington Street, Parliament Hill, Canada Newfoundland and Labrador

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