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I Met Rob Ford... and Wanted to Make Sweet Love to Him

The crack-smoking mayor of Toronto is one of the most charismatic men I've ever met.

Illustration by Kyle Norris

Rain in Los Angeles means more than impending mudslides. People tend to view even minor showers either as biblical disasters or as an excuse to stay in, get high and Instagram the storm viewed from a bedroom window. So it tends to only be tourists or crazy people – or both – who you meet out walking, even in the intervals between showers.

I was out walking because I think rain – in a place where there's so little weather of any kind other than sunshine – is exciting. Also, I was out of cigarettes. The closest place for me to get them is a liquor store right down the street from the Sunset Strip. The rain was holding, so I kept walking. The Chateau Marmont is always sort of interesting to see early on a Saturday, when all the valets and security guys and bartenders are getting ready for whatever shitshow is about to develop. I stopped and spoke with the bartender. I asked him if he saw a lot of characters, working the Bar Marmont on weekends. "You have no idea," he said.

Annons

And then I ran into Rob Ford. I'd crossed the street and walked to the Standard, totally lost in my own thoughts – oblivious because I'd done this walk a million times before. Somehow, seeing Rob Ford was like seeing an old friend – this little gumdrop of a man carrying a bag of Chinese food. "Oh my god – hey!" I said, before processing that this was the mayor of Toronto, not an old friend. "Rob Ford!"

"Yeah! Hey!" he said. And without the faintest hint of a politician's pretense, he gave me hug. It felt totally comfortable. What else are you supposed to do when you're a girl meeting Rob Ford? Shake his hand? Keep your distance? It was a nice hug.

I told him that I was from Rosedale, in Toronto.

"No way!" he said. "What are you doing here?"

I told him that I lived down the street and asked him what he was doing here. "Are you doing the Oscars?"

"Yeah," he said.

"You're a big celebrity now!"

"Yeah," he said. "They set me up doing Kimmel. I just did it – I'm coming back now." He held up his Chinese food.

"How was Kimmel?"

"I think it went well," he said, seeming a little drained by the appearance.

He asked if I worked in Hollywood. I told him I did, and he said, "Wow, cool." He wasn't exactly wordy, but in person he's astonishingly charismatic. I was already won over. A small crowd had formed at this point. A mum and her daughter were hovering. A tall, older, well-dressed guy – far too good-looking and sophisticated to seem like he would want to interrupt a girl talking to Rob Ford – kept edging in. "Hey, man," the mayor said to him, "you want a picture?" He was totally in his element – happy. He threw his arm around the guy, who looked like a cooing baby at this point. I took the picture. I handed the camera back to him. He looked at it. "Can you take another one?"

I took it, he left, and the mayor asked me about what I did for work. We talked about that. I asked if he was excited about the Oscars. I'm not exactly sure how it even came about that he was invited. "Yeah!" he said. "I love LA." We chatted about LA.

The mum who'd been watching finally shouldered herself in. She wanted a picture, too. Her daughters were too nervous. They stayed out on the edge of the circle, which had been growing by the minute and, by this point, had become a genuine crowd surrounding the mayor of Toronto, who was standing outside the Standard with his Chinese food, minutes after having done Kimmel, obviously wanting to hang out in his hotel room and rest up for the Oscars. He threw his arm around her. She was enraptured.

It's almost impossible to explain what a delight Rob Ford is in person – he has an incredible confidence in his body. Nothing that you see on the internet really captures what a presence he is. You see these pictures of a fat blowhard, you know he smoked crack and you know that the only reason he's on Kimmel now is that he smoked crack. But he's very appealing. You want to be around him. I took the picture. "Do I look good?" the mum asked. I said that she did. The mum looked sceptical. "You should believe her," the mayor said. "She's a rich girl from Rosedale – they know how to take iPhone pictures."

I gave her phone back and said that bit about Rosedale was unfair. He gave me his card. "Get in touch," he said. I told him I would. We hugged again. I called him an hour later and asked him to dinner. He didn't call back. I think I called his office number. My ex-boyfriend accused me of wanting to have sex with Rob Ford. He's not entirely wrong. You have to see him in person. He's one of the most charismatic men I've ever met. It would be fun. He would laugh. It wouldn't be stressful, and it wouldn't be about getting off. It would be about having a fun, sassy time. I would vote for him.