Friday, January 14, 2011

Stephen Harper's True Calling



Deep in the bowels of a Conservative Party back room, Stephen Harper confers with his recently-appointed Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright. The prime minister is pacing the floor, clearly troubled. Nigel Wright addresses him.

NW: What’s the matter, boss? You seem agitated. Something bothering you?

SH: Nigel, I have to talk to someone or I’m going to burst. I can’t hold this in any longer.

NW: Okay, pull up a chair and tell me what’s up.

(Stephen Harper sits down slowly)

SH: What I’m going to say is going to shock you. After all these years in politics and after all these years of upholding conservative principles, I have found my true calling. At the age of 51, I have found my true calling. If I had only known sooner . . . (He holds back tears.) Sorry, Nigel. Give me a minute to compose myself. Tory men can not cry. It’s against the code. I’m counting on you not to let this get out.

NW: (Hands Stephen Harper a glass of water) With all due respect, sir, what do you mean when you say you’ve found your true calling? You’re Prime Minister of Canada. Isn’t that your true calling?

SH: (Sips some water) When I was younger, I wanted to be a famous economist. Then I became involved in politics. Now don’t get me wrong, Nigel, I really love politics. I love crushing Liberals, Dippers and leftist Torontonians. But I’ve discovered something that gives me even more satisfaction.

NW: What could possibly give you more satisfaction than stomping on Liberals or winning a majority government? I can’t imagine . . .

SH: Neither could I, Nigel, until it happened. I’ll never forget the thrill I felt when I sang “With a Little Help from My Friends".  I let loose in a way I’ve never done before. The adrenaline flowed. I was in the clouds . . .

NW: But sir, you can’t be serious . . . Have you taken leave of your senses?

SH: Listen to me, Nigel! I thought maybe I had experienced just one magical night. But then I performed again and I felt the same way. Nigel, I want to be a rock star. I want to feel the excitement of singing before an audience. I want to hear the applause.

NW: This is crazy, Prime Minister. It really is. Is this some kind of prank? Are you playing a joke on me? It’s not April Fool’s Day, you know.

SH: No, Nigel! This is my calling. I even have the right name for a singing star – Steven Tyler, Steve Miller, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Stephen Harper . . .

NW: (Throws up his hands and shakes his head) No! No! No! You can’t be serious! You must be going middle age crazy.

SH: Just listen to me for a minute, Nigel. I’m not too old to be a star. I’m younger than Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart and Elton John and Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney and Tom Jones and John Mellencamp and Randy Bachman and Robert Plant and . . .

NW: Okay! Okay! I get your point. But they started out long before they were 51.

SH: Don’t try to discourage me, Nigel. I’ve made up my mind. I’ve even thought about a name for my band. How about The Harperites? No, maybe The Blue Tories sounds better. What about Stephen and the MPs?

NW: Please, boss, stop this!

SH: I can’t, Nigel. The press always says that I lack charisma. Well, I’m tired of being charisma-challenged. When I’m at that piano, I feel charged like a battery. My charisma is earth-shattering. No more Stephen Harper the politician. From now on, it’s Stephen Harper the rock star.

NW: But sir, your party needs you. What about the election? It’s definitely coming soon. Are you going to just stand back and let Iggy get the upper hand? What about the Canadian people? They need their leader. Who will build more jails? Who will make sure that the long-form census is really dead? Who will buy more fighter planes?

SH: Yes, I know. I’ll be sorely missed, but it’s time for me to move on. Don’t worry, Nigel. I’ll leave the country in capable hands.

NW: Have you told your wife Laureen about this yet?

SH: No, I haven’t. That’s why I’m so worried.


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