No, Toronto, you can’t have our mayor.
I know that nobody asked. Yet. I am just throwing this out there as a pre-emptive hands-off. Byron Brown, unlike various goods and services, will not clear Customs. He will not travel across the Peace Bridge. He is not part of any free trade agreement.
Like firearms, citrus or Cuban cigars, he stops at the border.
Look, I know you are in dire straits up there. Things have gotten a little, well, embarrassing. It is not often the world bears witness to a glorious metropolis that is being run by a class clown. Not that anything about what’s happening with, or to, Rob Ford is ha-ha funny.
Drunken binges, crack-smoking and bellowing death threats – all of it caught on digital recorders – are hardly humorous, even when it involves the neighborhood sociopath. It is exponentially more troubling when the hard-partying party in question is the civic leader of North America’s fourth-largest city. It’s weird. It’s sad. And, as I said, embarrassing.
Which is why Torontonians might be looking around, perhaps to neighboring cities, for an alternative executive.
Don’t get any ideas. It’s OK that you borrow the Bills once a year (although we hope you don’t covet your neighbor’s football team for permanent residence).
We don’t mind (not much, anyway) all of the cross-border hockey fans who transform First Niagara Center into Leafs home ice for every Toronto-Sabres game (particularly since they pay top dollar for tickets on StubHub). And we greatly appreciate all of the Torontonians who trek to the Walden Galleria to drop a few loonies, or who fly the friendly skies out of Buffalo Niagara airport.
But this whole collegial, cross-border, friendly-neighbors thing ends with our mayor. I just want to make that clear.
Not that I love the guy, although – in fairness – he last week (for the third time) proved popular on Election Day. Brown is not particularly dynamic, innovative or visionary. He’s more of a buttoned-down, between-the-lines, solid citizen. Which is precisely why he must look awfully good to Torontonians right about now. When it comes to elected officials, circa 2013 Toronto, Boring is Beneficial. Dull is Desirable. Polite is Paramount. Caution is Commendable.
I repeat: Leave our Byron alone.
I know that he is a lot of things that Rob Ford isn’t. No offense, but Toronto’s leader looks like a boundary-lite, brakes-free dude who dresses in the dark, torched his etiquette handbook in grade school and – in violation of biological laws – seems to be well into his eighth month. He may be sorely in need of an intervention, a personal trainer and a 12-step program. I sincerely wish him the best with all of those.
Buffalo’s mayor, in contrast, is a fit, serious, family man who looks like he stepped out of a GQ ad. The closest he ever came to a publicly embarrassing moment was when – at a Thursday at the Harbor concert two summers ago – he declined an offer to get down onstage from members of Salt-N-Pepa. And it wasn’t even an election year.
I know the logic of Byron relocating from the Queen City to Queen Street doesn’t work. A Canadian metropolis can’t have an American mayor. Besides, we just locked him down for another four years. But you couldn’t blame Torontonians for casting a covetous eye.
Forget it, T.O. You can borrow our football team once a year. But keep your hands off of our mayor. However good Bland ’n Boring looks to you these days.