Dear Nigel Wright

From the desk of Scott Feschuk

From the desk of Scott Feschuk

Photo illustration by Stephen Gregory

Dear Nigel Wright:I read with interest of the generosity you displayed while chief of staff to the Prime Minister. You sure know how to solve a problem and create another, bigger problem! I especially admire your intuitive nature—the way you just sensed that $90,172 was the perfect “gift” for the senator who has everything except $90,172.

I hope you’re still feeling charitable because I’m in a tight spot. I require your help and your resources. This is a little awkward but I have nowhere else to turn. Nigel, I need to borrow some adjectives to describe Mike Duffy.

Can you help me out?

Listen, I’d love to describe Duffy all on my own. But I’m lexically impoverished. I’ve run dry of words to chronicle the size of Duffy’s ego, the scope of his arrogance and the magnitude of his audacity.

It’s my own fault. I used them all up too early in Duffy’s political career.

I called him “disingenuous” for claiming he’d had no interest in being appointed to the Senate. (Mike Duffy was not interested in the Senate the way a Kardashian is not interested in that TV camera.) I deployed “shameless” when Duffy instantly became the most partisan Conservative senator in the chamber. “Greedy,” “conniving” and every near-relative of “galling” were put to use when it was revealed he had bilked taxpayers by improperly claiming a housing allowance—and later when he bragged of being a “man of [his] word” for repaying the money, which he didn’t actually do.

I should have better marshalled my resources, Nigel. And now, at this critical point in the story, I’m tapped out of highly critical adjectives. Could you lend me 90,172 new ones? That should get me through the next couple of weeks.

Dear Boston Pizza:I’ve been seeing commercials for your new offering: a cheeseburger wrapped in a pepperoni pizza. Count me among those who are OUTRAGED.

This is 2013, Boston Pizza. There is growing awareness about nutrition and its impact on our health. Do you have any idea how hard we have to work to ignore that information? How dare you market to us a new, unhealthy food product that is the amalgam of only two existing unhealthy food products? At this point, your public demands the mushing together of four foods, minimum, and also a cute name that makes it fun to order.

So take your pizza-wrapped cheeseburger. Place it between two breaded chicken breasts. Wrap the chicken in bacon that is itself wrapped in additional bacon. Then, into the deep fryer! After that, we’ll talk, but only briefly because my mouth will be full.

Dear Sudarshan Gautam:I read of your achievement—the Calgary man who became the first person without arms to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Yours is a remarkable story, harrowing and human, and I find myself moved to write you a personal note to say: I hate you.

Sure, it’s great and everything that you conquered the world’s tallest peak without the use of prosthetics. But did you for a moment pause to consider the emotional impact of your accomplishment on those of us who want to change the channel but can’t because the remote is way over there?

Put yourself in my shoes. There you are in the newspaper with your “I just defied death by ascending 29,000 feet above sea level in treacherous conditions and oh, by the way, without hands” attitude. And here I am, pointing out to my wife that I just finished cleaning the eavestroughs by paying a guy to clean the eavestroughs.

What can you do to make it up to me? The stories I’ve read suggest that, after losing your arms, you refused to be beaten and instead learned to use your feet to shave, to type and even to cook. Idea: Can you henceforth be just a little beaten? Maybe at least stop with the foot cooking? I mean, I have two hands and I just used them to dial takeout because President’s Choice hasn’t yet made a lasagna that microwaves itself. You’re really rubbing my face in it, Sudarshan.

No one’s saying you can’t showcase the indefatigable power of the human spirit. But could you maybe do it in your basement and keep it on the down-low? If you can reach the highest point on Earth without half of your limbs, I’m not sure how I can keep getting away with driving to the mailbox.

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk

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