Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

STEPHEN HARPER + THE IRONIC HAIR-DO

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WARNING: The following is satire and does not refer to any specific person or persons, living, dead or otherwise. This entry also contains explicit language so please keep your own counsel.

This could be a book review and maybe it is - of an imaginary book dying to be written, a kind of unconsummated e-book, floating out there in the ether, waiting for the correct set of ones and zeros to form themselves into a sensible binary configuration. Perhaps it’s among the 100 books author Yann Martel sent to this fine nation’s Prime Minister every two weeks until packing it in not long ago when he realized the PM (Pello Mentula) prefers “mysteries.”

Okay, so let’s call this book, Stephen Harper + The Ironic Hair-do, a kind of high-concept mystery, a thinking man or woman’s Gordian knot.

Either way, the idea goes like this: After the national election a couple weeks ago, our newly unshackled Prime Minister Stephen Harper can finally cut loose and truly brandish his party’s parliamentary majority.

Insiders claim he’d been chafing badly under his hamstrung minority regime, intentionally wearing a sadistically over-starched pair of Y-front men's underpants, frantically uncomfortable, and something his personal physician had long frowned upon. However, the Pello Mentula has always insisted on this small concession, a tip ‘o’ the hat to his latent sense of Catholicism, a sober nod to the ol’ hair-shirt, as it were.

You see, during his recent tenure as minority PM, there was one thing Stephen Harper constantly dreamt of doing but was always denied - and had the good sense to keep to himself. The only other sentient beings who knew of his bitter conundrum were his faithful pet worm, Nicholas Flood Davin and his long-suffering wife. She quietly put up with his knuckle-biting rages as he wore eight-foot long trenches in the carpets of nameless hotel suites on the seemingly endless campaign trail. Her face slathered with the latest age-defying potions, Maven - isn't that her name? Well, whatever, let’s call her Maven. Hey… wait second… that’s it! Stash and Maven! How 'bout that? It the kind of tag that takes political branding to glorious new heights!

Like Abbott & Costello, like Simon & Garfunkel, like Proctor & Gamble, like Johnson & Johnson, like Oprah & Obama, this Canucklehead version of the positive bipolar effect, it offers a legitimizing backbone that combines the sober traditions of Rural Routes, Town names newly and proudly painted on grain elevators, alcohol-free natives dancing in brightly colored garb, while also subtly appealing to young, white urban pioneers who've bravely gone forth to gentrify ethnically blighted former urban no-go zones and make them safe for thousand-dollar strollers and café culture. Yes… it is something to make the PMO’s hand-wringing pollsters finally get a decent night's sleep.

Anyway... the one thing that drove Stash nuts while biding his time as the minority PM was the fact he’s blessed and/or damned with the world's most ironic hair-do. The poor bastard's got hair thicker than a young silverback gorilla but it's so thick - and because of the shape of his skull - is necessarily cut in such a way as to make him look like he's wearing a fucking toupé! A toupé that looks like it came straight off Barney Goddamn Rubble!

So Canadians from Bona Vista to the Empress Hotel tea room ought to be deeply proud their new leader did NOT yield to the relentless psychic pressures of campaigning, lose his shit and bend over at some all-leaders debate in Buttfuck, Manitoba or wherever, grab hold of his own hair and thrust his scalp into reporters’ faces, yelling, “See!? It’s real, you bald assholes!! Feel it! Pull on it! It’s fucking well REAL!!”

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Basil Papademos

Basil Papademos is the author of MOUNT ROYAL: There's Nothing Harder Than Love, published in the spring of 2012 by Tightrope Books, also available as an ebook in all formats from all digital retailers. His earlier novel, The Hook of it is, was published by Emergency Press. His upcoming novel, How To **** Your Psychiatrist, will be published in the fall of 2013.

Go to Basil Papademos’s Author Page