The Apprentice: Toronto Council Edition
By: Rachel Marsden
This week, Toronto’s homegrown Ms. Universe—Natalie Glebova—was forced to doff her sash at a public appearance in Nathan Phillips Square in order to comply with the municipal bylaw prohibiting events that “exploit the bodies of men, women, boys or girls solely for the purposes of attracting attention.” Personally, I think council should refrain from making stupid laws like this that risk “attracting attention” to its own moronic acts of political correctness.
But one aspect of the situation that has been overlooked is the fact that the co-owner of the Ms. Universe pageant is the infamous real estate mogul turned reality TV star, Donald Trump. He just so happens to be the same guy who is building a major tower in this city—The Trump International Hotel and Tower—at the corner of Bay and Adelaide in the Financial District.
In bringing to Toronto what is being touted as one of the tallest buildings in North America, Trump is injecting the city with some much-needed prestige. His reward? An attack on his Ms. Universe venture.
In light of recent events, I thought it would be fun to come up with some special challenges that Trump could put our local authorities through, should he ever decide to get a little payback and use these twits as contestants in a special version of his reality TV show: “The Apprentice: As-If-I’d-Ever-Actually-Hire-These-Morons Edition”.
“Sushi Sale”: City council must spend a day operating a sushi stand at the C.N.E. Special guest contestants will be Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health Minister George Smitherman—the two guys who apparently see a loaded gun hidden inside every spicy tuna roll. If no one actually dies from eating the stuff by the end of the day, then everyone’s fired.
“Queer Eye for the T.O. Popo”: Councillors must create brand new uniforms for the Toronto Police Department. Guest advisor/handicap: Federal Conservative Party leader and walking fashion disaster, Stephen Harper. Leather is prohibited—but at the end of the day, the up/down vote will belong to a panel yanked straight off the most enthusiastic float from this year’s Pride Day parade. Good luck!
“Every Day is Pride Day!”: Oh, what the heck, what’s one more traffic jam! Councillors must organize a Pride parade in which the participants are held to far looser standards than Ms. Universe during her appearance in Nathan Phillip Square. Any dropping of strategically-placed fig leaves, boob-flashing, obscenely tight banana-hammock Speedos, or suggestive hint of ‘manziere’, and everyone’s canned.
“The ‘No Grave Robbing’ PR Challenge”: Council will design a set of ads to promote the city’s upcoming events. You can advertise any and all events you want, but please refrain from promoting things that have already happened, such as the War of 1812, the potato famine, Pope John Paul’s visit, or this year’s Canada Day fireworks or Molson Indy. Otherwise, you’re fired—but will still be free to seek a management position with the city’s Toronto Unlimited campaign.
“The Building that eBay Built”: Councillors will have a week to build a functional, single-floor (we’ll keep in real simple) office building in the downtown area. Use of “green roofs” or other enviro-perks are permitted—but auctioning off hydro equipment and various fixtures from city property to pay for your utopian idiocy isn’t. Oh, and if you consult Smilin’ Jack Layton on anything to do with this task, then you’re fired on the spot.
“Non-Evil Beverage Sale”: Contestants will spend the day selling beverages at a Barenaked Ladies concert in Nathan Phillips Square. Ninety percent of what councillors sell will consist of fruit juice and water, as recommended by Olivia Chow. They will be competing against a team of equal incompetence selling only Pepsi, and will get a $5,000 head start.
“Harbourfront Sandcastle Competition”: Councillors will head to the Toronto Harbourfront and build a sand castle that must be at least two feet high by three feet wide. You won’t be judged on the castle itself, but by your ability to actually retrieve enough sand from the city’s harbourfront with which to do anything at all. Scooping up sand off the floor of the TTC streetcars on the Queen Street route will be considered an acceptable form of cheating.
“The Civil Debate Test”: Council will be asked to choose a political issue—any political issue—and attempt to debate it civilly. Terms such as “jerk” and “waste of skin”—as well as insulting of family members—are prohibited. To compensate, you will be provided with a thesaurus and strongly advised to use it. Your level of civility will be judged by the group of British soccer hooligans straight off their vigilante hunt for the London subway bombers.
“The Homeless Tally Rally”: You will drive around the streets of Toronto, counting all the homeless people as quickly as you can. The use of taxpayer-funded, chauffeured limousines and phone calls to advocacy groups in the homeless industry are strictly prohibited. If you actually submit a figure at all, you won’t get fired—because that would be a major accomplishment in itself.
PUBLISHED: NATIONAL POST (July 23/05)
COPYRIGHT 2005 RACHEL MARSDEN