As the bricolage that is the G8 summit and it's evil bastard spawn the G20 roll into town this week, I have become acutely aware that there is very little left about which to bitch and moan. It has all been said and by far better pundits than am I. Ok! I won't be able to attend the second coming of Roy Halladay because the Jays have been shuttled off to Philly for the weekend. Forget any kind of trek into the city for theatre or dinner. Even if we could manage to get there, (traffic congestion promises to be as artery clogging as the worst possible cardiac episode) most businesses in the downtown core have wisely shuttered for the duration. Universities in the area have shut down for the days of the summit and the school board has cancelled all buses for kids, bestowing upon them an early start to their summer vacations. "Toronto the Good" is now a police state, with fences running around its perimetre and an armed constabulary patrolling on foot, horseback, and bicycle in full riot gear. We citizens have become well versed in new-aged weaponry such as water canons and piercing noise guns that will easily disperse crowds that become too vocal or too agitated. And just think-all of this could have be your's and your cities' joy for the bargain basement price of $1.1 billion. That is just the cost for which the taxpayer is on the hook. Included in the price tag? Security and cops of course. So many are required that we have had to import them from other jurisdictions. A fake lake and a media centre to show off the Muskoka beauty that the press corps will never see because they can't all fit at the site, will cost 2 mil. Facelifts for northern communities that no leader will come close to viewing are costing millions more. Nobody can even begin to calculate the revenues lost to businesses that are shutting down on the first weekend of the summer season. Not to mention the fact, that we Torontonians never asked to host this sham. We wanted the Olympics. Now, that is an event we could have all gotten behind. Who cares if Sweatered Stevie has a nice chat with Barry or Angie? Certainly not the citizenry of my hometown.
Since complaining has gotten us absolutely nowhere and leaving our homes for the next few days will prove to be an adventure in orienteering, I have instead decided to host a virtual G20 Summit party. All suggestions are welcome. I thought that we could come as our favourite world leader. I know that I could pull off Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina. The resemblance is striking, no?
Stop laughing now! That's an order! Well-I think I could make it work.
The Husband and I will construct a fence around our fake lake that doubles as our swimming pool, to simulate the prison-image of Toronto that the leaders will undoubtedly take home with them. Every guest must provide a cover charge to help offset the flower planting that needs to be done to bring the property up to G20 standards, and we need to purchase a few rubber duckies so that it will have that Huntsville feel. I am certain that I can convince the local neighbourhood watch to provide security. Please understand that they will be armed only with cellphones so if anything goes missing or is damaged, "dems da breaks!" The squirrels that illegally inhabit my yard are more than happy to act the part of unruly rabble-rousers and I am certain that I could scare up a BB gun or air horn to knock them off of their perches. Perhaps my neighbour's little shi-tzu will bark impatiently as she is known to do on occasion, to fend off the riff-raff. Please, no parking in the driveway or on any street within the containment zone.
I thought that we might serve cocktails. How about a mug of Angela's Ale? Maybe you'd prefer Lula's Hard Lemonade, or an Obama Mama? I am really not the drinker in this family, so I am open to suggestions. Munchies? A caldron of Calderón sopa or maybe Myung-Bak ribs. Vegetarians might want to avoid those.
We will save money on decorations by using the various country flags that are being flown proudly across the city in celebration of the World Cup. No need to invest twice. Everybody who attends must attach one to his/her car window. I am partial to the red and white of my home country, so the rest of you can fight over the remainder.
I am willing to take any other suggestions that party-goers might have. Since it is virtual-invite any and all comers. Meet you back here on Friday. Halladay is scheduled to pitch.