Unforgiven


As soon as Campbell, Camp to us patrons, took off his hat and coat and seated himself in front of a fresh pint, I jumped in with my peeve of the week.

‘I have to revisit the Don Cherry fiasco from last weekend if you don’t mind,’ I said. ‘Was firing him for what he said really the correct thing to do? No chance to apologize, no discussion, just show him the door?’

‘Cherry did rant on about ‘…you people who come, you love our way of life, our milk and honey, at least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy…’ something like that but hey, it’s kind of what we expect from ‘Grapes’, it’s his belligerent stage persona, but I felt he did overreach this time. Let’s face it, we all come from somewhere or are the offspring from somebody who came here, all except the natives,’ Camp said.

‘It’s not just that. If you look like you belong to a minority, mostly Eastern of African, no matter if you’re a third generation Canadian, you’re conveniently thrown into the bucket of ‘you people’. Cherry didn’t talk about the Irish or the Swiss immigrants like me,’ I said.

‘He sure hit a public nerve and then there is Ron MacLean, his partner and side kick since 1986, with his thumbs up but then he tossed him under the bus the next day, wriggling himself out of the  controversy and whoosh: the dream is over for Grapes: no hall of fame, no order of Canada for what he did for hockey, probably no severance pay from Rogers, not that he needs it and no support from his side kick for three decades.’

“And don’t forget a few people who are out of a job now, like the tailors who made his outrageous suits, a different one every week, all of them going to charity auctions after.’

‘It’s the society we live in. One misstep and you’re out, one mistake and you’re forever branded, except of course for the guy in the White House or Hannity from Fox News who can say, write or tweet whatever they want, without consequences.’

‘Is that fair?

‘It’s corporate.’

‘We are unforgiving in these modern days of correctness and probably overreacting a lot of the time. No ethnic jokes or jibes are allowed, no differences pointed out since we all want to be treated the same. Skin-color blindness, tolerance and acceptance of sexual orientation and deviation from the worn out Anglo-Saxon norms are todays proper behaviour requirements, and yet we discriminate with impunity against entire populations like the Muslims, or our own first nations people, but not against individuals.’

‘Which brings me to Peter Handke, this year’s Nobel Prize winner for literature but his support of Milosevic and the Serbs during the Balkan war, is all he’ll be remembered for.’

‘Or as we used to say at work: One oh-fuck cancels ten attaboys.’

All this ranting makes for a mighty thirst and we both cooled our throats.

‘Muriel told me the story of her dad who worked as a custodian for Pepsi in Montreal for 40 years and was fired a couple of months before his retirement. For what? Apparently stealing a pen from the chairman’s desk when he was sweeping up a spill or something. No explanation, no tolerance, no compassion.’

‘A colleague of Clare’s was unceremoniously escorted from her office after 25 years of service. Why? Because her job had become a redundancy. No explanation, no compensation. Did she do something wrong? Maybe. Nobody ever pointed it out. People are being cancelled for no apparent reason and Roger’s probably wanted to get rid of Cherry for a long time and just used this latest escapade as an excuse’ I said.

‘Well, he was an institution that has run it’s course. It’s kind of sad,’ I said.

‘Vicky what do think of Don Cherry’s firing at Hockey Night in Canada?’

‘Who, Cherry? That old hockey guy who looks like the KFC guy? He got fired. For what?’

‘He insulted a lot of people, practically calling them unpatriotic freeloaders,’ Camp said.

‘You mean like Trump does every day.’

‘This is Canada. We are polite,’ Camp said.

‘But apparently unforgiving.’ Vicky countered.

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