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At Wit's End

At Wit's End

The Deadly Discourse on the Jewish Joke
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
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Ford AbomiNation
Excerpt

 

Chapter Five: The Dirty Stuff

 

Back when Doug Ford was growing up, things were simple.

 

There were boys, and there were girls. And there were some fancy boys who always tried out for the lead in the high school musical, and some of the girls showed a strange affinity for auto shop. But on the whole, the boy-girl dynamic was pretty straightforward. She might say no, but you knew, in her heart, she meant yes. It was great if your dad had a station wagon. And if you pulled out in time, she wouldn’t get pregnant.

 

And there was no #metoo movement back then. Well, there was, but it was more like this:

 

“Who wants a beer?”

 

“I do!”

 

“Me, too!”

 

Nobody knew anything about all the various sub-categories of sexual identity. No one had a clue about people who were bi-coastal or trans-atlantic or if you were a Jane trapped in the body of a Jim or whatever.[1] And you could pinch a girl’s ass without it becoming an issue involving an intervention by a UN peacekeeping team.

 

If you didn’t have to worry about all those things then, well, why do you have to worry about them now? And if you’re Doug Ford, you have to ask yourself this question: “If we didn’t know about all this stuff, then how did we turn out to be so well-adjusted?”

 

Exactly.

 

Which is why, when the Ford administration took over, just about the first thing it did was take a look at the sex education curriculum in the province’s high schools. There was a lot in the teaching guidelines from the previous Liberal government that was cause for concern. Things like gender identity. Consent. Social media bullying. And there a unit on sexting, whatever the hell that is.

 

The Ford administration wants to be the primary source of information and guidance when it comes to shaping young Ontario students’ attitudes toward sex, and sees no reason why it can’t be successful in this regard, so long as you don’t consider the fact that there are more than a quarter billion porn sites, that roughly 30 per cent of the Internet is dedicated to pornography, and that million of people subscribe to all sorts of streaming services, like HBO, which shows Game of Thrones, where you can see, especially in the earlier seasons, people going at it like those White Walkers are going to be coming through the gates of Winterfell at any moment. 

 

So, once the Conservative MPPs took office, they immediately embarked on revisions to the sex ed program to make it more traditional and acceptable to the general population. And the Ford government had no problem with spending a little money to set things right.

 

Among the initiatives:

 

* $3 million for back alleys: Those dark, narrow, trash-strewn alleyways are where a great many of us learned about the birds and bees. We huddled with friends, perched on the tops of garbage cans, smoking cigarettes we’d stolen from our mom’s purse, and shared stories about things we’d heard. There would always be one guy – let’s call him Bert – who was only thirteen but said he had already gotten to second base, and he had an older brother who’d gone all the way, so he knew EVERYTHING. We suspected he was full of shit, but it didn’t matter, because Bert was a great story teller.

 

But we digress.

 

It was in back alleys, away from the prying eyes of parents, that valuable information could be imparted to the next generation. The Ford government understands that many of the suburbs surrounding Toronto do not have traditional back alleys, so they will be erected[2] in several key locations in the 905 area. In more outlying, rural areas, where building back alleys is problematic, funds will be directed to the construction of tree houses, another key location where young Ontarians can not only learn about sex, but see their parents coming from a mile away.

 

* $1.3 million for old periodicals: The education ministry is searching used bookstores and eBay for copies of men’s magazines from the 1960s and 1970s. As any male over the age of 50 can tell you, everything one learned about sex was from the pages of these magazines. Hugh Hefner’s iconic publication, Playboy, is the periodical most eagerly sought[3] but if not enough copies of that magazine can be obtained, then such titles as Swank, Gallery and Penthouse will be considered, just so long as not too many of the the pages are stuck together.

 

One of the side benefits of securing old Playboy magazines is they can also be used in the event that schools run out of Where’s Waldo or the Richard Scarry picture books where you had to find Goldbug. Kids of all ages will love trying to find the Playboy bunny logo, which appeared on the cover of every issue, often very cleverly hidden, nudge nudge, wink wink.  

 

Considering that there are slightly more than two million students in Ontario, that’s a lot of old magazines to be found. There’s a concern that when students take them home overnight to complete assignments, they might not be be returned.[4]  That’s why the government has a backup plan of reissuing the Eaton’s and Simpsons-Sears catalogues, or at least those pages featuring women’s underwear.

 

* $100,000 for old paperback copies of The Godfather: One of the most memorable scenes in the Mario Puzo novel, where Sonny Corleone has sex with the bridesmaid, is told in such graphic detail that no accompanying pictures are necessary. 

 

* $430,000 for VCRs: The adult film industry really took off with the invention of the video cassette recorder in the 1980s. Before this, if you wanted to see a movie where sex was the primary theme, you had to go to some seedy, icky place filled with lowlifes (no, not Queen’s Park) and go into a seedier, ickier booth. Or, maybe you knew someone with a reel-to-reel projector who could show these things at home, but that was pretty rare. The movies made for VCRs were tamer than the kind of material being shot today, and probably more palatable for today’s concerned parents.

 

Also, there’s a strong moral component to the Ford administration’s sex education curriculum, particularly where it relates to the viewing of such material on a VCR. Students will be reminded of one guiding principle:

 

BE KIND. REWIND.

 

 

[1] Known collectively, more or less by the Ford government, as the BLT people.

 

[2] Sorry, we just giggled a little there.

 

[3] In particular, the February 1974 issue, with the Girls of Skiing pictorial. Whoosh!

 

[4] Especially if dad discovers them.

 

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