Saturday, April 17, 2004

If I had a mallet...

The Globe and Mail's editor-in-chief Edward Greenspon is a big dork. Exhibit Number 372: His embarrassing Saturday column this week, in which he takes his weekly wankery to new wankerrific heights:
My briefcase goes through the scanner [at the Toronto Island Airport], as do I. A man in a light-blue uniform lies in wait. Can I open your bag? he asks, offering one of life's artificial choices. Help yourself, I reply, grabbing my overcoat.

I glance up to see him holding a rubber-headed mallet. Uh-oh, I grimace. This doesn't look good. I glance around to make sure nobody is lurking from a rival publication.

One might wonder why I'm carrying a rubber mallet on a flight to the nation's capital. It's a reasonable question, although, remarkably, it will never be posed in the next few minutes.

The answer is both complicated and silly. Awhile ago, a package arrived in the Report on Business containing a hollow chocolate cake and a rubber mallet. Inside the cake was a press release.

The mallet hung around for a while. It has the look of a gavel. I took a shine to it. I keep it on my desk. On an average day, there is no call for its use. But not all days are average.

A number of months back, three of the four hubcaps disappeared from my wife's van. It's been on the To Do list. This week, she picked up a new set at Canadian Tire for $35. She asked Judith to have me bring home the mallet. Wednesday evening, after taking out the garbage and recycling boxes, I banged in her new hubcaps and returned the mallet to my briefcase. There it remained as I dashed to the airport.

The screening guy evinces no curiosity about the reasons for the mallet. He wants to know simply what I intend to do with it, given that I cannot take it into the passenger cabin.

He suggests I check it through. I express discomfort with the notion of waiting around the baggage carousel in Ottawa as my lonely mallet travels the gauntlet. Moreover, I remind him, I will have to go through the embarrassment of checking it back through the other way.

Still, I can't simply give up the mallet. Would the Speaker of the Commons, having made a similar mistake, surrender the mace? The Air Canada attendant knows me from travels past. She is watching with amusement. She suggests putting the mallet in the airport safe until I can retrieve it.

The reception at Rideau Hall is tremendous. The journalists speak with enthusiasm of their inspiring work. La Presse wins the Michener. We all retire with Her Excellency and His Excellency for a sumptuous dinner.
The prosecution rests, Your Honours.

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