First, the summary of the life and times of London's "beloved" mayor. The quote marks are maybe a bit harsh, since she has been elected three times and I guess has by and large done a good job, but still, she is less a sterling civic leader than she is a living version of South Park's Mayor McDaniels. Or, possibly Mayor McCheese, though she rarely wears a top hat.
As you may expect, the paths of London's three-term mayor and London's most famous resident (me) have crossed paths several times over the years.
1. Back in high school, I was selected (punished?) to participate in a "mock city hall" comprised of various members of London high school student councils. Over two days, we sat in on various meetings of city officials and finally conducted our own 'council meeting' ourselves debating the city's issues. It was mind-numbing. It instantly killed any desire I've ever had to get involved with politics, which is unfortunate since otherwise I'm pretty sure I would be the prime minister right now. Sorry, Canada. And I would've been a great PM, too. By the end of my term, the people would've voted to have a giant statue of me built to overlook Ottawa like the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio. Such a blazing political spirit crushed by the tedium of a London city council meeting. The boredom was only broken up when one ward councillor or another would suddenly get really fired up about some inane topic, thus bringing any progress achieved by the rest of the group to a halt. Pretty much the only person who didn't go off on a tangent at one point was the quiet then-deputy mayor who just seemed to sit in a corner of the table taking notes on everything. That deputy mayor was, you guessed it, Frank Stal....er, Anne Marie. In a way, it was admirable that she was staying out of the chaos, but I was too busy trying to ram my fists into my ears to really appreciate it. Also, it's possible she was just drawing page after page of cock drawings like Jonah Hill in Superbad. I would happily vote her for a fourth term if this was ever discovered to be the case.
2. Robinson Hall, a downtown London bar that has become one of the city's "classier" watering holes. It's still a pub, but one of those pubs where people feel it's necessary to dress up to visit. I, of course, don't go along with the trends and stick to my usual Locke-esque costume of cargo pants and t-shirts, which might be a reason why I'm on a 28-year streak of never picking up at a bar. Anyway, some friends and I visited Robinson Hall back in 2005 and who should we notice in the midst of a bachelorette party than Heroner herself. It was only a few months into her whirlwind engagement to "businessman" Tim Best (more, much more, on him later) and the mayor was clearly living it up with her gal pals. I'm not actually sure if it was her own bachelorette party, but whatever, it was still the mayor trashed on appletinis in a bar. I remember offering my buddy Trev $20 to go over there and try to pick up one of the cougars, with another $20 bonus if he could make out with the mayor herself, but he wouldn't take the bait. Goddammit, Trevor. Why couldn't you have made this blog post more interesting? Why didn't you take that into consideration four-and-a-half years ago?
3. A Western Mustangs game, fall of 2006. I was attending my first Mustangs game since before, ironically, I was actually a UWO student. That's right, in four years of attending school and two years of working on campus, I didn't get out to even one football game. I was supposed to have attended the 2005 Homecoming game, but that was the weekend when I discovered 'Lost' and ended up watching the whole first season in a 48-hour span. It was glorious.
Anyway, I was waiting in line for tickets outside of Western's awful, awful TD Waterhouse stadium mentally preparing to spend three hours sitting one of the stadium's awful, awful uncomfortable metal benches when who should appear in front of the stadium gates but the mayor herself. She was either picking up or dropping off her husband, I don't really remember which, but the bottom line was she and Timm-ay had a big liplock before parting ways. It was quite a kiss. Some of the folks in line who recognized the mayor started a high-pitched 'OOOOO!' sound. I may have shouted something along the lines of getting a room, but it was all in good fun. The mayor blushed and went on her way. It was quite a cute and endearing moment that became even funnier years later given the fact that the mayor had to drive her husband around like he was an infant....
4. ....the reasons for which became quite apparent after his drunken rampage on Super Bowl weekend last year. My pal Scott dropped by my Super Bowl party after work, and since Scott works in the news business, I perfunctorily asked what was up in our fair city. Boy, did he ever have an answer. The night prior, a drunken Tim Best was driving out on the 401 and managed to hit not one, but two other cars and then led police on a slow-speed chase through Dorchester, whereupon he got out of his truck and tried to escape by running across a field. It was something out of a Coen Brothers movie. Oh, Tim Best. Your sketchy business dealings and liquored-up exploits never fail to entertain. (Since he didn't kill anyone, it's funny, you see.) This anecdote may not involve my encountering the mayor directly, but really, I felt a spiritual kinship given that I once also led police on a car chase and tried to escape on foot. Of course, this was in Grand Theft Auto, but still, solidarity.
5. I'm at an afternoon matinee at Silver City a few days ago, when I notice Anne Marie (in a coat so bright red that even L.R. Riding Hood would've been aghast) waiting in the lobby, busily typing away on her Blackberry. Again with the taking notes! I was kind of wondering what the hell the mayor was doing at a theatre on a Monday afternoon when she should ostensibly be running the city, but hey, who hasn't played hooky once in a while? Everyone mayor needs a sideline hobby --- Joe Quimby had his loose women, Richard Wilkins had his turning into a giant snake demon and Sean Casey had playing professional baseball. Anne Marie has her movies. The fun part was guessing what she had come to see. It had to be a show in the 4-4:30 range, and it wasn't "Youth In Revolt" (that was the one I was there to see and she wasn't in the audience). So that left three options....Up In The Air, Daybreakers or the Alvin & The Chipmunks sequel. You could make a good case for any of the three. Her shockingly bright red coat could be seen as a tribute to Alvin's bright red shirt, or to the human blood that the Daybreakers vampires crave so dearly. She could sympathize with Dave's efforts to keep Alvin under control, since I'm sure Anne Marie has screamed "TIMOTHYYYYY" a few times over the last few years. And maybe 'Up In The Air' is a reminder of the infamous million-dollar half-assed "rock garden" of a Welcome To London sign out by the airport. The possibilities are endless.
You might notice that, despite the title of the post, I've never actually officially 'met' the mayor. Just consider it to be a broken promise. See? I WOULD make an ideal prime minister.