Saturday, May 11, 2013
Thanks, I Guess
- The Globe & Mail - April 27, 2013
The White House
Washington, D. C.
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Just a belated note to say thanks for the two presents you sent me in 2011. Both Michelle and I appreciate the gesture but you really shouldn’t have. Seriously, you didn’t need to send me the basketball and the map. They say it’s the thought that counts so I’m going to assume you thought that I’d want these two items and, on that basis alone, I appreciate the gesture.
The basketball was a thoughtful gift. I assume you know that I play a little roundball myself and that I’m a big fan of the Chicago Bulls. It’s not like I needed an extra ball but it didn’t hurt to have a spare for my pickup games at The White House. The only problem was there were a bunch of signatures on the ball that I didn’t recognize and it took one of my staff members almost an entire day to wipe them all off. Next time, a new, unmarked ball would be better.
Still, it is the thought that counts and I hope you’ll appreciate that sentiment when you receive my next gift to you. I understand you’re a big hockey fan so that’s why I plan to send you a hockey stick autographed by the 2012-13 Columbus Blue Jackets. Someone suggested one signed by the Maple Leafs but I figured that couldn’t be right since it should be the Maple Leaves, right?
I was initially confused as to why you would send me a 200-year-old map of North America. I assume you know that I have a GPS app on my iPhone and hundreds of bureaucrats who can give me up-to-date positioning for anywhere in the world I want to visit or send a drone strike.
But then I took a closer look at the gift map and noticed that you’d written a few things on it with a marker pen. I see that you drew a dotted line down the middle of the U. S. and labeled it Keystone pipeline. Message received. I understand the importance of this project to you so it wasn’t necessary to also draw a line from Alberta to the Pacific Ocean and write “CHINA?” in big red letters next to it.
On further inspection, I noticed that you also inked in some battle sites from the War of 1812. My staff tells me that you’re a big history buff. Still, I think it was a bit childish to draw flames around Washington, D. C. and write “We Won!” next to it.
Nevertheless, thanks for the presents. I thought about re-gifting them but since they’re both used, I figured that wouldn’t be right. Instead, I’m going to put both items in my next White House garage sale. Rest assured; any proceeds will go to help fight this year’s trillion-dollar deficit.
If you’re thinking of sending me any more gifts, might I make a few suggestions? First, don’t send me an F-35 fighter jet. I’m not sure I’m going to buy the ones I’ve already ordered and, even if I get one for free, I don’t think we can afford the lifetime maintenance costs.
I’d prefer you just keep it simple and send me something traditional like a tie, a pen or a trillion-dollar gift card. Or if you’d really like to help, give me 30 or 40 more Democratic seats in the House of Representatives or maybe a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.