Letters to Rob Ford: How to Stop the Gravy Train (using gravy)

In City, Criticism, Culture, Letters to Rob Ford, Personal, Popular Posts on August 9, 2011 at 8:05 AM

Andy Smith writes a special letter for a special mayor:

Dear Rob,

I hope it’s ok that I call you Rob. “Your Mayorship” seems too formal for a guy that buys his suits off the rack, and you might think I mean your brother.

Besides, I figure that since we have a lot in common, you won’t mind. I like sandwiches, and you like sandwiches. I like football, and you like football. I like drinking beer and you like drinking beer (and getting wasted and going to the Leafs game and harassing communists).  And, like you, I enjoy saving money whenever possible.

During the campaign to become the city’s mayor, you were like “Who’s gonna stop the gravy train?” And we were like, “Nooooooooooo Body!” Wait. Wrong catchphrase. Sorry about that, but I’m sure you can understand how us downtown folks get you confused with that other incompetent Mayor from the North.

So yeah, like I was saying, you were all, “No more gravy!” and we were all like, “Yeah!” But then a funny thing happened. You could have found more gravy at PETA’s annual Lettuce Luncheon than KPMG found at City Hall. So instead of trimming the fat, you’re faced with some tough choices. And you’ve come up with some crazy ideas, even for a guy that smokes the wacky tobacky, the green devil-weed, the old school skunk, the icky sticky, the Northern Lights.

Seriously, have any of Stephen Harper’s other fishing buddies suggested cuts to police services? I bet not. That’s what I like about you. You’re not afraid to make suggestions that – quite literally – no other person agrees with. The “Closed Loop” subway line? There’s an idea that city planners, financiers and environmental thinktanks all think it terrible. But that isn’t going to stop you, is it? You’re the Frank the Tank of municipal politics.

But let’s be honest. Just between you and me, you don’t really want to cut police services, do you? You don’t really want to shut down libraries and parks, do you? Problem is, you’ve eaten yourself into a booth, and now you’ve got to eat your way out.


I won’t take credit for this idea, because it was inspired by you. And if I tabled this, as a private citizen, nobody will listen. Your brother sure as heck won’t. I mean, I’m not an elected official and I’m no Giller Prize-Winning author, so why should he? If somebody asks you where you got it, just say the same thing you do when the city auditor asks about your office supplies: It just magically appeared.

You can stop the gravy train with actual gravy. I know you’ve got a lot of it. You host barbeques all the time, and I’m sure you have a king-sized grille up at the family cottage. Rob, where there’s meat, there’s gravy. Harness that wave of gravy power and fuel our city’s budget.

Based on your appetite (I saw you eating pizza this year at 1,000 Tastes of Toronto), the size of your family, the number of fundraising dinners you host, and the enormity of your waistline – I know, I know, it’s not nice to make fun of your size and you probably just look that much more rotund because of your tiny, tiny head – I estimate that your family could produce 750 million gallons of gravy each year. It’s time to put that gravy to use.

Are you with me? Let me explain.

Downtown Toronto, we have a bunch of community pools. The water, the pool chemicals, the cleaning, all that stuff costs money. But why are we using water? Let’s get the leftover gravy from Ford family dinners, and fill our pools with that. Imagine, floating in the sublime tranquility of a gravy train three metres deep. The city could sell Yorkshire Pudding Pool Noodles to float and snack on for additional revenue. (Not to mention the money you’d save on cleaning. In much the same way your incompetent cronies at City Hall are able to fly under the radar in your shadow, nobody sees a dookie in the gravy pool!)

Have you heard of cars that run on veggie oil? I’m serious, it’s a real thing, even though to you I bet it sounds like it’s from Star Trek, Star Wars, or Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Anyhow, alternative energy is serious business. Instead of cutting our police staff by ten percent, let’s just convert those cruisers to gravy powered protectors of the suburbs and let the savings pile up!

Here’s a Two-for-One Gravy Special: soup kitchens and trash collection. Why should my taxes pay for Kraft Dinner that a single mother feeds her kids, while even more of my taxes go into the pockets of unionized garbage men who take the empty KD boxes to the landfill? Instead, hook up the taps of Toronto Community Housing properties directly to the gravy supply and let them suckle from  your gravy teat. It’s calorie-dense and delicious! And the best part is that there’s no packaging for garbage men to collect after!

Think I’m done? No way! There are so many opportunities to use Ford Family Gravy it’s hard to remember them all. Scrap Transit City and build a Lazy Gravy River! We can all just float to work. A new sports arena along the waterfront? Just freeze some gravy, we can skate on that. And I’m willing to bet that if you add enough cornstarch, we can turn gravy into a solid, multi-purpose building material to make that tunnel to the island airport a reality.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you are able to implement some or all of my suggestions. Just remember to wear a bib, because when you do, it could get a little messy around here.

Oh wait. It already has.

Yours in drippings,
Andy Smith

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