Friday, November 6, 2009

A Kernel Of An Idea

I can't tell you where my blog ideas come from, except that a lot of thin air is involved. Most of the time I'm blind-sided by them. They're under rocks. In my underwear. In your underwear.

I never would have guessed you were a thong wearer!

In strange places. I rarely go looking for them...they seem to find me. Like flies to sh....aving cream.

Yesterday I was in the office of a family friend. We were having what could be considered a normal conversation, when all of a sudden she blindsided me:

"Elsie Wayne insists on being called Colonel."

I said "pardon.'

"Yup, she insists on being called Colonel." With pursed lips and a nod of her head, she confirmed that I had just heard something truly outrageous, so I put my folding Motomaster ear wax shovel back into my pocket. I considered jumping out of her second story office window, but there was a roof just three feet below. Thwarted. I thought about Canada's mighty military, led to the front by a charging Colonel Wayne. Oh, how I suffered during that fantasy.

Elsie Wayne, for those of you who don't know, is the former mayor of Saint John, New Brunswick. She was the city's first female mayor, we think. She left the mayor's couch in 1993 to become an MP in a very conservatively represented political party called the Regressive Conservatives. At the time she was one of only two Conservative MPs elected in the entire country, which led to jokes that her husband was sleeping with half the caucus.

Elsie Wayne is a character, in much the same manner that Don Cherry is. I'm still trying to ascertain if they're identical twins or not. I say they are...and it's not just their respective wardrobes that have me thinking this way. It has more to do with their 'open mouth and fire' linguistic license. Like Mr.Cherry and army boots, she's one tough piece of weathered leather.

After the initial shock of my friend's comment, I drifted back to lucidity. Elsie Wayne is not a colonel (!), I thought to myself. At least, she was no more a colonel than Harland Sanders; he of KFC notoriety. Colonel Sanders was about as much a real colonel as I am a respected employee. In fact, Harland was given the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel by the state of Kentucky. You should read about Colonel's a great story. Did you know that he lived in Mississauga, Ontario? I thought not.

Like Harland, Elsie Wayne spent some time in Ontario. She set up shop in Ottawa while serving her sentence as an MP. She even did a stint as interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, hosting lavish parties for the entire caucus.

Waiter, I'll have a table for two please.

Ha! Those were dark times for the PC party, still scraping moss off their shoulders after living in the shadow of Mulroney's chin, and ego. Dark times indeed, but Elsie toiled for her constituents, at least the straight ones, and did some great work. She did a lot for Canadian veterans and for that work she was recently honoured. She was named the first female Lt. Colonel of the 722 Communication Squadron of New Brunswick.

I still don't think that gives her the right to expect to be called Colonel. If she was a real one, then they probably would have placed her higher up in one of the other 721 Communication Squadrons in New Brunswick. Nevertheless, a high honour for a deserving spokesperson for many Canadian veterans.

For that, I salute Colonel Wayne.

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