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Drugs

A Man Named Al Gore Is Running for Mayor of Toronto

No, not that Al Gore. But anyway, it's an election year in Toronto and Rob Ford is running for mayor again, which means the campaign promises to be like a Rob Ford fart—long, loud, messy, and fueled at least partly by vodka and cheeseburgers.

by Patrick McGuire
Jan 2 2014, 7:45pm


Will Al "Captain Planet" Gore be Rob Ford's newest adversary? Or is it some other guy also named Al Gore?

Rob Ford rumbled into 2014 today by arrogantly filing his papers for re-election while claiming he's the “best mayor” Toronto has “ever had.” The big question now is will our allegedly racist and admittedly crack-smoking mayor win the October election and stick around for another four years? At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if Robbie pulled it off—as sad as that would be, given the litany of recent catastrophes that have marred his deeply troubled political career.

The major factor that will make or break Robbie’s re-election campaign is, of course, his opponents. While the rumored potential competitors include presumably crack-free politicians like Olivia Chow, John Tory, and Denzil Minnan-Wong, they have the disadvantage of never being joked about on American talk shows, nor have they ever bragged about their proverbial pussy buffets that keep them from committing adultery. Compared to Robbie, they seem pretty bland.

In simple terms, Rob Ford has an infamy edge over all of his adversaries—his hideous saga is the “biggest Canadian story in the US this century.” How could any run-of-the-mill municipal Canadian politician (no matter how well-intentioned or capable he or she might be) compete with such a media juggernaut? None of his opponents will have the drug-addled panache that keeps Rob Ford in the headlines. But, as Dr. Ian Malcom famously said in Jurassic Park, “Life will find a way.” So in true pro wrestling fashion, it seems as if a surprise guest has just interfered with the competition.

The Ford story is already straight out of the squared circle, as it already has several literal tie-ins with sports entertainment. The Iron Sheik challenged Rob Ford to an arm wrestling match after Rob Ford arm-wrestled Hulk Hogan, which then led to Brutus the Beefcake being thrown out of City Hall for wanting to be Rob Ford’s "Angel of Mercy.” Now we've got a new challenger in the metaphorical ring of Toronto politics: a man who shares a name with everyone’s favorite inconvenient truther. Al Gore is running for mayor against Rob Ford

It's not that Al Gore, you scoff, but what if it really is Bill Clinton’s former wingman? (He hasn't responded to my request for comment.) Robbie would certainly be attacked on his gas-guzzling SUV and the carbon impact of his presumably awful vodka and cheeseburger–laced farts. Have the 14,385 American news stories about Rob Ford made Mayor of Toronto the hot political job for 2014? Will we see a cavacade of semi-retired American political dynamos parachute into Toronto to take on the Ford dynasty? Herman Cain, the man who quoted Pokemon in the last presidential election, comes to mind. At the very least he would be able to work on expanding his pizza and sexual harrassment empire into the Canadian market.

Clearly, the political landscape in Toronto has surpassed realism (that happened sometime between the release of the video of Rob Ford threatening to murder someone and the Satanic bus tour debacle), so why shouldn’t we also have foreign dignitaries trying to take over Toronto? At the very least, if this Al Gore application is just some out-of-left-field troll aimed at Toronto’s electoral system at large, it marks the start of what will be a very, very weird election year.

Basically, it’s time to get used to the weirdness. Rob Ford may be a master of surprise, but it’s one of the only tools he has at his disposal (another one is handing out Rob Ford fridge magnets to aggravated ice storm victims in public housing). Maybe if we embrace the crack, the pro wrestlers, and the Satanists, everyone can stop freaking out about Robbie and allow someone with a bit more sense and prestige to step in. Even if it's not the famous Al Gore, he'd still get my vote over Robbie.

@patrickmcguire