Last week, Stéphane Gendron, the Québécois mayor of the 2,500-person town of Huntingdon, openly bragged about killing cats on his radio show. What sort of public official does that? A Canadian mayor, of course, a political genus that's proven to be the most corrupt, foolish, and unrepentant beast of them all.
The Canadian mayor is an animal. Its mere existence is allegorical, a moral of direct imperative: Do nothing the Canadian mayor does—and especially, do not smoke crack cocaine. Here are eight specimens.
Stéphane Gendron, still in office
Principal habitat: Huntingdon, Quebec
This beast can be distinguished by: recently acquired cool-guy glasses, roadkill-mashed tires, a big mouth.
Species identification: July 9, 2013.
The Stéphane Gendron is a radio-show host, small-town mayor, and deadly enemy of the stray cat, which it preys upon with his pickup truck. “Stray cats have no business on the street,” it said recently on his Radio X show. “So bang! I accelerate.”
The Stéphane Gendron also bragged that homeless kittens weren't exempt from its vehicular extermination. “The other day I backed up over a newborn and I’m sure it didn’t feel a thing,” it said on air. “The pickup passed over him like it was nothing.”
Alexandre Duplessis, resigned
Principal habitat: Laval, Quebec
You can distinguish this beast by: escort-agency text messages, women's underwear, a remote country cottage.
Species identification: June 28, 2013.
The Alexandre Duplessis acts as the interim mayor, appointed in the aftermath of a corruption scandal, but lasts just over six months in office after facing allegations of prostitution and extortion. The Alexandre Duplessis is also said to enjoy high-heels and makeup, but that’s its prerogative.
Michael Applebaum, resigned
The Michael Applebaum takes office as an interim mayor, hailing itself as a kind of honest antidote to its direct ancestor, the Gérald Tremblay, a self-styled martyr forced to resign amid allegations of corruption. Then seven months later, the Michael Applebaum finds itself arrested and charged with 14 criminal counts—including fraud towards the government, breach of trust, conspiracy and municipal corruption—and resigns. In this way, the Michael Applebaum looks like the Alexandre Duplessis. No relation to the Bonita Applebum.
Rob Ford, still in office
Principal habitat: Toronto, Ontario
This beast can be distinguished by: its love for crack cocaine, its uncanny resemblance to Chris Farley, its wild lunacy, its amazing photo opportunities.
Species identification: May 16, 2013.
The Rob Ford is the king of the beasts. With the body of a ripe blueberry, the head of a bleached medicine ball, and the physical demeanor of an infected tick, the Rob Ford is prone to uttering racist statements, to slapping refrigerator magnets on cars arbitrarily, and to coaching football. A voracious carnivore, the Rob Ford is thought to smoke crack cocaine, to sleep with its eyes open, and to sweep away its tracks with a pipe-wielding thug. The Rob Ford does not feel contrition or emotion or responsibility to truth. No larger animals can be found.
The Joe Fontana is deeply devoted to its offspring, so devoted that it is accused of using a $1,700 federal government check to cover the deposit for a male spawn's 2005 wedding ceremony. Seven years later, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged the Joe Fontana with fraud, breach of trust by a public official, and uttering forged documents because of this payment, but the Joe Fontana will not resign, a similarity it shares with the Rob Ford. Not to be confused with the Joe Fontana of the Mentula Lupus genus.
Sam Katz, still in office
Principal habitat: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Distinguished by: its reckless gum-chewing, its bad political judgment, its desire to partner with much younger women.
Species identification: undocumented.
A former entertainment-production mogul who's been in office since 2004, the Sam Katz is a mortal enemy of the soccer-playing boy, a species it attacks by kicking in the face. The Sam Katz uses its big teeth to chew gum, throws the used gum on the grass, and then lies about it.
But the Sam Katz's real danger is that it has repeatedly demonstrated poor political judgment. In 2006, it described standing next to Winnipeg's team of five-women Olympic medal winners as making the beast “feel like Hugh Hefner.” In 2010, the Sam Katz held a city council Christmas party at an Asian restaurant it owned and had taxpayers foot the $3,084.35 bill, paid to its business; a judge later ruled that this was not in violation of the city's conflict-of-interest laws. More recently, the Sam Katz used city funds to pay for a $90,000 ad campaign for a pet cause. The Sam Katz is a kind of crocodile.
Gérald Tremblay, resigned
Principal habitat: Montreal, Quebec
This beast can be distinguished by: its blind eye, its overstuffed safe, its Harvard Business degree.
Species identification: November 5, 2012.
The Gérald Tremblay is the mayor of Canada’s second-largest city, who is thought to turn its enormous blind eye on illegal fundraising. When confronted with political corruption, the Gérald Tremblay says, “I don’t want to know about that.” When forced to resign after a decade in office, it says, “I am going through a period of unbearable injustice.” When faced with a mirror, the Gérald Tremblay sees a martyr.
The Gilles Vaillancourt spends 23 years in office, only to find itself charged with gangsterism, along with 11 other criminal counts, including fraud, influence peddling, breach of trust, and a conspiracy involving “acts of corruption in municipal affairs.” The Gilles Vaillancourt maintains its innocence. The Gilles Vaillancourt is a type of snake.
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