Where would 2013 be without its “Fordisms”?


Without Toronto’s comfortably stout, malapropismatically challenged, temporarily reassigned mayor and chief magistrate, 2013 would have been a dull year, indeed, for professional scribblers like me.

Not a day has passed since May when Rob Ford hasn’t managed to either delight or outrage (oftentimes, both) the chattering classes with his peculiar brand of outburst. (We must now, all of us, seriously consider adding ‘Fordism’ to the lexicon of contemporary English).

As a report from CTV noted earlier this month, “Toronto Mayor Rob Ford responded to a U.S. sports radio show’s question about what he was getting his wife for Christmas by saying: ‘Just money, women love money.’ Ford made the comment Thursday during his regular phone-in chat onSports Junkies, on 106.7 The Fan, based in Washington, D.C.

“Ford is on the show to talk sports and make NFL picks, but when one of the hosts asked Ford about his holiday gift-giving plans for his wife Renata, he replied: ‘Just money. Women love money. Give them a couple of thousand bucks and they’re happy. Get some treats on the side obviously for her,’ he said. ‘At the end of the day, she wants her cash. So I give her a nice cheque and we’re all happy. When asked what he hoped to get from his wife, Ford said: ‘She always surprises me. I have a fantastic wife.’

The comments come a day after Ford apologized for the second time to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale, who had threatened to sue the mayor for comments he made on a television interview earlier this month for former media baron Conrad Black.”

Those comments intimated that Mr. Dale may harbour an unseemly interest in young children, a postulation that prompted a libel notice. And Mr. Ford’s response?

“I wholly retract my statements and apologize to Mr. Dale without reservation for what I said,” his mea culpa declared. “There is absolutely no basis for the statement I made about Daniel Dale taking pictures of children or any insinuations I made.”

The apology was an order of magnitude stronger than his initial ‘oops’ in which he said that he didn’t believe that “Mr. Dale is a pedophile”. Nor did he “intend to suggest that in (his) comments. I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mr. Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offence.”

By now, Mr. Ford’s ‘I’m sorry’ routine is famous. Thanks to an excellent account assembled by the CBC, we know that Mr. Ford apologizes a lot:

“Dec. 17: Reluctantly apologized for suggesting members of council were ‘corrupt.’ He initially said he withdrew his comments, but speaker Frances Nunziata said he needed to apologize. ‘How about, I am so sorry,’ Ford said sarcastically. ‘Is that as good as I apologize? Or, ‘So sorry?’ Which one do you want, Madam Speaker? Like, ‘Super, super, super, super, super, super, super sorry? So sorry?’

“Nov. 18: Apologizes for running into Coun. Pam McConnelland knocking her over during a council meeting to strip the mayor of most of his powers. ‘It was a complete accident,’ Ford said. ‘I do sincerely apologize to you, Coun. McConnell.’

“Nov. 14: Apologizes for crude remarks he made earlier that day in which he denied offering a former female staffer oral sex, saying he had ‘more than enough to eat at home.’ Later that day, Ford said: ‘I want to apologize for my graphic remarks this morning.’

“Nov. 8: Appears ashamed while delivering a statement in response to a video that surfaced of a rambling, enraged Ford in a profanity-laced tirade in which he threatens to kill someone. ‘Obviously, I was extremely, extremely inebriated,’ he said. ‘I’ve made mistakes. I don’t know what to say.’

“Nov. 5: Apologizes after admitting he had indeed smoked crack cocaine, likely in one of his drunken stupors. ‘I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do,’ he said. ‘To the residents of Toronto, I know I have let you down. And I can’t do anything else but apologize, and apologize.’

“May 27: Apologizes to reporters for calling them a ‘bunch of maggots’ during his radio show. “I’m sure you understand this has been a very stressful week for myself and my family, but that doesn’t justify using the terminology I did in describing the media. I sincerely apologize to each and every one of you.’”

Don’t mention it, Mr. Ford.

God bless your outbursts, every one.

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