Photo by Canadian Press
Like most folks, I was stunned to hear the news of the passing of Toronto trainwreck Robert Bruce Ford at the tender age of 46. He was only a couple of years older than our Prime Minister, with two little kids.
I couldn't believe it, and I felt sad, really sad. It surprised me, the news, and made me shed a tear. Why, I asked myself. The man was creepy. He brought strippers into the hallowed office of the Mayor of Toronto. He smoked crack. He mused about the abundance of access to his wife's area.
I guess everybody loves a redemption story, and we couldn't believe that Ford was actually capable of cleaning up his act. And he had cancer; nobody deserves to die in that horrible manner, not at the age of 46.
It made me wonder: what would have happened to Ford if he hadn't gotten a dose of deadly cells? Would he have managed to successfully beat his addictions and demons when more than 95 percent of addicts go back to using after rehab?
We'll never know. My best guess is that the temptations were far too great for the man who went down into Dante's Inferno for all manner of sins, and lived to tell the story. Like most addicts, Rob Ford was an interesting bunch of guys. To many, he was a great politician, a man who picked up the phone when called by the littlest, meekest taxpayer. To others, he was a drunken, bingey buffoon who never met a pipe or a shot glass he didn't like.
It all made him larger than life, a Paul Bunyon character without the axe or the Ox named Babe. He became a legend in his own time, an embarrassment to the city he loved, a crook and a saint, a saint and a crook.
He cut a rug, that's for sure.
For people of world, Rob Ford was an international distraction from their problems. He made us all feel better about ourselves. Even the worst of us would have had a hard time matching him in his role as the villain of the piece.
Not since John Belushi have we seen his kind.
Rob Ford is was the embodiement of the cautionary tale.
Dante has him now.
Party on, dude.