COLUMN

The promise of a good summer

Allan Fotheringham July 1 1985
COLUMN

The promise of a good summer

Allan Fotheringham July 1 1985

The promise of a good summer

COLUMN

Allan Fotheringham

It’s going to be a good summer. You can tell that when a young guy named David Peterson becomes premier of our most populous province, finally killing off the wicked witch Tory, assisted by another young guy named Bob Rae. The summer will include a high school reunion, a balloon ride over Ottawa (the safest distance from which to view that place), a daughter careering around Europe and a lot of winning tennis. What more could a young guy (I’m 29) ask?

One could ask, actually, for just a few brief things. Such as the eyeball never again having to see a mention of Madonna, Prince, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson, not to mention Boy George.

Enough is enough. The one advantage of modern media is that, by excess, our instant celebrities are registered verboten quickly because of our boredom with them. We yearn for something mundane and banal like the name of Elizabeth Taylor’s next husband. Now, that would come as a relief. He won’t have purple hair or a pin through one of his appendages.

The aim for the summer, as it is for most of North America, is to lose weight. The Washington Bullets of the National Basketball Association have just drafted a young man from the Sudan who has played only one season of college ball. His name is Manute Bol, he stands seven feet, 6 % inches tall and weighs just 190 lb. He looks like a dipstick. The fear is that he will be turned into an ink blot by such as my favorite player in basketball, six-foot, six-inch Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia 76ers, who weighs 265 lb. on a low day and is known as The Round Mound of Rebound, or Boy Gorge. Coaches have Manute Bol eating five meals a day and he still can’t gain weight. Every woman extant wants to know his secret.

Enhance your summer by avoiding Rambo, a sick film filled with Sylvester Stallone’s muscle in which more than 70 bodies are rendered dead. Take in Jack Nicholson in Prizzi’s Honor and go to at

Allan Fotheringham is a columnist for Southam News.

least one picnic. If John Turner decides to forsake politics, he could be succeeded as Liberal leader by Don Johnston, which would enhance the inevitable Grit-NDP merger on the national front because Johnston plays piano even better than Bob Rae. It would be the greatest coup for that instrument since Lauren Bacall sat on Harry Truman’s.

However, my winter book favorite as the next Liberal leader remains my invention, Paul Martin Jr., who has been a favorite of this page—as you may recall to your boredom—for some years now. After all, this page has its reputation to

uphold, since it was here that one Brian Mulroney was introduced to the world in 1975, and look what that’s done for him. There are many people fighting to get on this page, Manute Bol included. Michael Jackson: don’t call.

There is the possibility this summer, getting on to serious matters, that the Toronto Blue Jays (quite the most stupid name in Canadian sport) and Montreal Expos (an outdated name) may meet in the World Serious. Toronto has a bunch of talented no-names—plus the worst park in the majors—and the Expos, now rid of the canker of Gary Carter, are playing to their potential. Now that my beloved Cubbies (who have the best park in the majors on account it ain’t got no lights) are fading, I may go back to the Expos, who have broken my heart more times than they deserve.

We have heard the last, one trusts, of Claus von Btilow and, one presumes, Josef Mengele, although the taste of

his family’s actions over the past quarter-century remains more than bitter. Can we hope that there is no more dredging up of Derek Sanderson, Martina Navratilova’s bisexuality or the latest drug problems of the latest baseball millionaire? One finds it hard to weep for the difficulties of OPEC. Could we declare a vow of silence on Harold Ballard? Forever? It would be a good summer if you could get through it without further speculation about a reunion of what is left of The Beatles. The advance of Western civilization is not going to be improved by further discussion about Liza Minelli’s angst or coverage of Barbara Walter’s new marriage. The world would be improved if the Montreal Concorde won the Grey Cup, although it is not going to happen.

The sad autopsies about René Lévesque will continue over the summer, but there is bright news. So will those about Maggie Thatcher. On the other hand, we will be treated to the increasing efforts of the boring George Bush to become the next President of the United States. Earlier he pushed tax reforms in Grand Rapids, Mich., flew to Rome, Bonn, The Hague, Brussels, Geneva, Paris and London and prepared to spend the Fourth of July courting votes in a parade in Bristol, N.H. Ambition takes over while the stomach rebels. However, watch Mario Cuomo, who will edge out Lee Iacocca for the Democratic nomination.

Speaking of egos, Conrad Black’s fading Bay Street reputation is being countered by the finest aim of mankind: to be a press baron. He once wanted to be the Numero Uno in Canada, trying for The Globe and Mail, but now has settled for a lesser field: Fleet Street. Since he has in effect purchased control of the good grey London Daily Telegraph, he follows in the line of Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Roy Thomson of Fleet as colonials who became propaganda toffs among the Brits. Black is more intelligent than either, but as ruthless as both. One anticipates with delight his confrontations with the English unions.

It’s going to be an amusing summer. Trust me.