Toronto Sun

March 25, 2001

Deceptions for Dummies

By GARY DUNFORD -- Toronto Sun


10. Crosses are being burned on lawns in Prince George, even as we speak.

9. The dog ate my homework

8. Svend and I used to date.

7. I put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp. I put the ram in the rama lama ding dong. I put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop. Boogity boogity shoo!

6. It was good for me too.

5. Wolf! Wolf!

4. In rural B.C, crosses are burned outside Kamloops.

3. It wasn't me. It was Shaggy.

2. My tarot cards never lie! Call me now for your free readin'!

And the No. 1 Hedy Fry nose-stretcher ... I see dead people.

Hey, it could happen to anybody. I blame reality TV! No wonder Canada's secretary of state for multiculturalism is confused. Did Billy cheat on Mandy? Is Jerri the daughter of Satan? Are All My Children and General Hospital real? Is Popstars? The XFL? Figure skating?

The mayor of Prince George might have begged Hedy Fry for her help. Crosses exist. There certainly are lawns. There even might have been that imaginary letter Ms. Fry was so excited about, the one that prompted her to sound racism alarms in the Commons. But as it turns out, there were none of these. The cabinet minister was just having a Survivor low-blood-sugar moment. Whoopsie-daisy. Hit erase. We'll tape over it.

Damn you, Temptation Island!

And when you follow a leader who thinks the truth is pretty much anything he says it is, well -- at the best of times, the waters are murky. Hedy just lost her bearings. Mis-spoke. Were her burning crosses a dream?How can we tell, my little sleepyheads?

Can stocks that scraped the stratosphere a year ago plummet, like Mir, to a fiery end? Do we actually pay half of all we make to some black hole called taxes? Did you feel anything but relief when yesterday's high-fat Toronto Star went missing? Pinch me. This is all a bad dream.

But even among federal Liberals -- where Pinocchio is worshipped as a god -- might there be fallout? Especially after Ms. Fry's slapdash "apology" in the House, a minimalist confection that offered no blood for the hounds. In fact, Ms. Fry merely said Prince George is a nice place and she can't imagine why anybody would think different. Get over it.

What Hedy needs is an expert liar to assist her, someone whose cheery embroideries are not so easily proved false. You don't want somebody who'll cave at the first sniff of trouble. Hello Rahim Jaffer! Or worse yet somebody who says "No, No, No" for months, only to confess: "Okay, yes. I made some calls." Or stubbornly claim "I don't owe anybody anything," then mortgage his house for a guilt payment. Pikers.

I can help. Accept this complimentary Burning Crosses crib sheet. Memorize it, Ms. Fry. Do not blink when you fling these answers at your interrogators. Let's begin.

Q. Do you even know the name of the mayor of Prince George?

A. Colin Kinsley. Charming chap.

Q. Where is the letter you say he wrote you about the crosses?

A. The dog ate it.

Q. If there is no letter, why did you tell reporters you'd give them copies?

A. I try to be as helpful as possible. They didn't let me explain that I accidentally deleted the letter.

Q. So this was an e-mail letter?

A. Maybe. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Q. The mayor says he never wrote such a letter.

A. You'd take the word of a mayor over a minister of the Crown?

Q. Prince George police say it's a friendly, burn-free zone.

A. Hah! Didn't you see The National the night they darkly reported Prince George is mostly white? Can anything be more suspect?

Q. Are you on medication?

A. I really must be going. Got a plane to catch. Anyone for Nunavut? There's nothing more appealing, you'll feel your blood congealing ... it's March in Nunavut. Your toes will freeze together, your skin will feel like leather ... it's March in Nunavut.

Q. Sufferin' succotash. See if you can sneak her out the side door ...

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.