By Gordon Robinson
I can't believe this is already the fifth year I'm giving out Domino Awards named for the Kooky Khast of Kharacters from my teenage years around the domino table. Those guys were definitely a diverse lot' individual to the core, always ready with a quick-witted quip, carefree yet caring with hearts of gold to spare.
The Dunce, who, as a child, fell from a tree and hit his head, lived in his own happy-go-lucky world, with his mantra, 'if a macca, mek it jook yu', advertising his stress-free existence. The Beast was timid but full of fun and always dependable. Once Gene Autry and I wanted a domino game, The Beast was an automatic third.
This week's Domino Awards are for international achievement. Next week, the highly anticipated local winners will be revealed.
Always remember these awards, like the Tuesday column series, are predominantly intended to be humorous. But, as a close friend constantly reminds me, 'sense' is a prerequisite to a sense of humour. If you suspect you lack either ingredient, you won't enjoy this column. Turn the page NOW or forever hold your piece.
The (International) Dunce Award: This one is eeeeeeezzzzzeeeeeee. Crack-smoking Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, has no competition. On November 1, Fox news reported the Toronto police had a videotape showing Ford smoking crack. The report continued: "Ford maintains he does not smoke crack and said at the time that the video did not exist. He also vilified the Toronto Star, accusing the paper of trying to take him down. The police department's revelations Thursday validated the paper's reporting."
Back in May when the allegations first surfaced, Ford was more emphatic: "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine."
Within days of November 1, he admitted he smoked crack "in one of my drunken stupors" (I kid you not; his excuse for taking hard drugs was that he only did it when high on alcohol). Yet when the council stripped him of his powers and the media hounded him for comment, he called the council "left-wing, tax-and-spend socialists [that] don't like to be held accountable", the media "maggots", and said to Fox News John Roberts he planned to be prime minister one day. ROFL!
Here's a man who has been thrown out of a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game for being drunk and belligerent, who groped a female politician at a fundraiser for a Jewish community group, was arrested in Miami on a DUI charge (then denied the incident until he was faced with proof), and who was asked to stop coaching a high-school football team after having a violent confrontation with one of the players. Definitely prime ministerial material.
joke of the year
Finally, this joke of the year, interviewed by Bill O'Reilly on November 25, wondered aloud if President Obama was "crazy" for introducing the Affordable Health Care Act. Okay, Rob, let's get this straight. A man who smokes crack and binge-drinks is opposed to affordable health care?
Makes as much sense as the Dunce's mantra, 'If a macca, mek it jook yu ... .'
The (International) Dunce-Move of the Year Award: Musician and composer Frank Zappa once famously said, "There's more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
Nobody more embodies this philosophy, to a Palinesque level, than Australian election candidate STEPHANIE BANISTER, a political debutante running for a Queensland seat who made more gaffes in a TV interview about her candidacy than Joe Biden on an Asian road trip. Ms Banister thought 'Islam' was a country, confused the term 'haram' (forbidden) with the Koran, and suggested Jews worshipped Jesus Christ. She lasted all of 48 hours in politics before having to withdraw from the race. Stephanie, 'if a macca, mek it jook yu .... .'
The International Personality of the Year: A healthy environment is essential to the world's future. We must ensure a stable climate, fresh water, healthy oceans and reliable food or we'll surely die. That's why I recognise the continuing work of Conservation International. Its successes are many, but the project winning this award is one that proves governments and environmentalists can work together.
Beginning four years ago, a groundbreaking project in Peru's Alto Mayo Protected Forest gave farmers financial incentives to conserve the land. The result? As of April, carbon emissions from deforestation in Peru were reduced by 2.5 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road for a year.
Peace and love.
Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.