In publishing parlance, the acronym CIP stands for “cataloguing in publication,” and refers to the numbered items printed on a book’s copyright page outlining subject matter and used by librarians for—what else?—cataloguing. As it happens, the CIP data in The Little Book of Rob Ford, a House of Anansi Press title due for release late this month, makes for a handy synopsis of last year’s Toronto mayoralty race and its victor: “1. Ford, Rob, 1969—Humour. 2. Ford, Rob, 1969—Quotations. 3. Toronto (Ont.)—Politics and Government—21st century—Humour.” A little later: “5. Malapropisms.”
The book, which runs to 160 pages (including bibliography), is a compendium of Ford bon mots gathered into categories by an anonymous editor whose nom de plume is The Unknown Torontonian. Under “On City Hall”: “It’s time to stop the gravy train.” Under “Ford on Ford”: “I’m just digesting my food. That’s a lot I ate.” Under “On Drugs and Alcohol”: “They pulled me over. I was with my wife. They found one joint in my back pocket.”
This isn’t the first time Toronto-based Anansi, known for publishing some of the best fiction and poetry produced in Canada in the last 45 years, has ventured into the political. In 1970, it published both a Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada and Law, law, law: A down-to-earth citizen’s manual on the laws you most frequently encounter—driving, apartment living, drinking, drugs (the latter by Clayton Ruby and Paul Copeland). The small-format Little Book will retail for $8.99 and will be available on bookstore counters—”an impulse item,” says Anansi publisher Sarah MacLachlan. A concept surely familiar to Toronto voters.