Rob Ford made headlines when he arrived in Vancouver on January 31. He waddled into baggage claim, where he greeted fans, talked about football, and ignored reporters asking him questions about whatever it was he did wrong this week. When it became obvious that the stupid reporters wouldn’t leave him alone, Toronto’s Mayor zipped out of the airport and headed east, on what was apparently the first leg of his cross-country tour.
In his first day, Ford travelled an impressive ~40 km to nearby Coquitlam, B.C., where, upon arrival, he was understandably thirsty. Hoping to wet his whistle, he entered a local watering hole called The Foggy Dew, where a boisterous crowd of youngsters greeted him with open arms (and, one might imagine, a growler or three). The privileged partygoers posted pictures of their encounter with the world’s most famous Mayor on their Twitter and Instagram account. After thorough review, this evidence suggests that Ford danced, sang, and had a really, really, really good time. Then he left, since he remained a man on a mission.
Ford continued his cross-country tour on foot. Sadly, this leg of his journey was not quite as efficient as the first was. As soon as Ford left the bar and crossed the road he encountered the police. Outrageous! He was on the other side of the country…how could Bill Blair still nab him? In any case, police issued Ford a $109 ticket for jaywalking. A media storm promptly ensued, and with it came the opportunity to scold the Mayor for this infraction. To do so, however, would be to miss the bigger picture. In reality, this jaywalking ticket demonstrates Ford’s commitment to hard work.
Consider the facts. A googlemaps analysis of North Road, the road Rob Ford crossed, shows that it is six lanes wide. Assuming an average lane width of 10 feet, Ford had to walk 60 feet to cross the street. This does not include the distance Ford travelled to reach the side of the road, nor the distance he intended to travel to reach his destination on the other side. Adding these distances, it is possible that Canada’s finest set out to walk in excess of 100 feet. Talk about ambition! Last time he tried to walk that far he had to turn back before the half way point .
Long walks aside, this late night escapade shows that Ford’s problem-solving skills are improving. After having a few drinks and encountering police in 1999, he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence. Now, after a similar encounter in 2014, the Mayor earns himself a measly jaywalking ticket. This, folks, is real progress. Give him another 15 years and he’ll probably be able to talk his way out of that ticket. Love him or hate him, he is going somewhere.
So where will the Kardio King go next? Unfortunately, after such a rocky start, it is unlikely Rob Ford will continue his cross-country tour. Like the Cut the Waist Challenge, Ford knows some things are better left unfinished. Realistically, it is much easier to fly back to Toronto– and probably cheaper too. Considering Toronto is over 4 000 km from Coquitlam, and that Ford’s on-foot transportation cost is $109 per 60 feet (not including drinks and snacks), the Mayor could even justify hiring a private jet. But being economically rational isn’t good enough for this Mayor– he’d have to find some way to cut costs. Knowing him, he’d refuse to hire a pilot.