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Not worth a phone call

The National ’s on, and the world is emotionally deflating in a sanitized, TV-dinner type of way.

The National ’s on, and the world is emotionally deflating in a sanitized, TV-dinner type of way. It seems official Canada doesn’t much care for Omar Khadr, a fact that has Peter Mansbridge nodding with heartfelt panache as he relates Khadr’s back-story: this murky business of maybe lobbing grenades in Ayub Kheyl and maybe exploding a U.S. soldier — and therefore definitely spending six years in Gitmo, and almost certainly more.

“Child soldier,” Peter ponders, “or little terror?”

Cut to the prime minister, fresh from another insanely productive meeting with his G8 buddies, all of them jealous of our economy. Serving burgers at a Warp Tour simulator, Harper is sporting an embarrassingly tight Dead Kennedys T-shirt, his fat legs stuffed into a pair of his wife’s jeans and his hair stylishly dishevelled with streaks of green and pink. The Conservative Party dipped into its heaping war chest, scooped out billions, and bought the simulator in the hopes of developing courtship strategies to use on those members of the youth vote whose families aren’t flag-hating terrorist sympathizers.

Nearby, in an effort to convert young punks into better haircuts and promising careers in the Canadian Forces infantry, a Liberal delegate is beheaded on the second stage while grainy footage of an abortion screens behind him. This, says MP Cheryl Gallant, is an exhibit to demonstrate the similarities between Iraqi-style decapitation and good old fashioned abortion.

“See?” she yells, handing out crucifixes to kids who want condoms. “Exactly the same. Told you so. Like four years ago, too.”

Meanwhile, Stockwell Day pretends to be a dinosaur next to a group of men. This, he says, is the way it once was.

“See?” he yells, gesturing madly at the assembled men. “Exact same time. Told you so. Like 10 years ago, too.”

Harper clips a mic to his sweaty shirt and fields a question from Peter. “Frankly, Peter,” he says, “those documents are overblown. I’ve been sleep deprived in Tokyo all bloody week, you know. I mean, you get used to it. It’s hardly a cause for repatriation. And switching rooms every few hours? Try raising a family in 24 Sussex. You switch rooms to get a little peace, man, I’m telling ya.” He briefly consults a cue card. “Omar should be, um, stoked.”

Quick as can be, Stock leaps to the foreground, his fingers gnarled up in emulation of a velociraptor’s claws. He throws his head back and snarls wildly, then says in a demonic voice: “Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen whose fate will be decided by an American military process.” And then, in a voice deeper and more demonic still: “Deal with it.”

Harper slaps him twice in the face with a burger flipper, and, hurt and humiliated, Stock shrinks back in mime of a fearful infant Tyrannosaurus.

“I told you I’d do this, didn’t I?” Harper screams. “I do everything. I told you that, didn’t I?”

Stock nods.

“Didn’t I?”

Stock nods madly.

“I mean, Christ,” Harper continues, “how many bloody times do you have to bash your head against the Peter Principle? Do you want to keep this portfolio or not?”

Without waiting for an answer, Harper turns back to the camera and shrugs a little oopsy-do. “As I was saying, Peter, our government is simply following the lead of the previous government. Maybe you should call them to lock down the logic. Further, you can’t really call Mr. Khadr a child anymore. He’s like 22 or something. Let’s get our facts straight.”

Peter nods, but not in agreement. He’s a national newscaster, blast it all, and he nods because he breathes. “Prime minister, according to a Federal Court ruling last month, the treatment of Omar Khadr violates international torture laws. Further, the United Nations has said it fears a precedent is being set for prosecuting child soldiers in other parts of the world. What do you say to critics who frame the Canadian government as a human rights violator on account of its inaction?”

Harper grows visibly irritated. “Look, Peter. When’s the last time doing nothing caused anybody any harm? World War II?”

Peter unhinges a righteous nod. “And Rwanda,” he says. “Those were terrible events, prime minister. Terrible.”

Harper shrugs and consults another cue card. “Life can be terrible, dude. It doesn’t mean I’m going to call the GOP about it.”

Peter shuffles some papers and cocks his head: “So you won’t call the American government?”

“Hey, I heard the Liberal party writes your questions. Why don’t you ask Paul Martin about this Omar stuff? They knew. They always do, even when they’re mad as hell.”

With that, Harper unclips his mic and hurls it, grenade like, over his head and into a faux mosh pit. He turns back to the cameras with a shrug, and, just as Joseph Kony approaches the barbeque for a burger, there’s a star wipe.