W.L. Mackenzie King & Pat

Some stories are just too complicated for ordinary bloggers to explain. That’s when we turn to the expert knowledge offered by Perfesser Dave, the Answer Guy. Perfesser Dave knows practically everything there is to know about politics in Canada. And when he doesn’t know, he knows where to look to find out! So if you have questions, don’t just ask some blogger! Ask Perfesser Dave!

Questioner: Perfesser Dave, I’m just totally confused! Nobody I know likes Prime Minister Harper, and yet he’s been the prime minister of Canada now for, like, forever. Why would anyone vote for that guy? He’s just creepy! Can you do anything to illuminate my fuzzification?

Perfesser Dave: I really can’t help you, Questioner. But I can tell you this: you’re not alone. All the experts are completely mystified by this. We call it “The Harper Phenomenon.” We have an expression in science: “It defies explanation.” Mr. Harper’s success defies explanation.

Questioner: But what can we do to find out, then? Don’t you think we need to know? Don’t you think Canadians need to know? C’mon, Perfesser Dave! Help us out with this.

Perfesser Dave: I understand completely, Questioner. At times like these we use finely calibrated scientific instruments to help us analyze the past and the present in order to determine what the future may hold. Just hold on a moment, please… [Rustling noises] … All right, we will use this precisely calibrated prognostication device to …

Questioner: Perfesser Dave! That’s not a precisely calibrated prognostication device! That’s a Ouija Board! That’s…

Perfesser Dave: I’m sorry questioner, you’ve asked me to try to answer questions no one really has the answer for, and I’m attempting to do my best, now just sit down over there while I apply the scientific method and put your hands on this heart-shaped indicator…

Questioner: Perfesser Dave…

Perfesser Dave: Questioner! Do as I say! This is a science lab not …

Questioner: More like a séance lab…

Perfesser Dave: What was that?

Questioner: Oh, never mind… Oh, alright… Where do I put my hands?

Perfesser Dave: Right here…

[Long silence. Followed by thumping noises]

Questioner: What’s it saying?

Perfesser Dave: Just a minute… [In a strange reedy voice] “Pat! Pat! Come here Pat! Where are you Pat! [A piercing whistle!]

Questioner: Owww! What the heck was that?

Strange Voice: It’s me. I’m looking for my dog. Have you seen a little dog? He answers to the name of Pat? Have you seen my little friend Pat? Come here, Pat!

Questioner: Who the heck are you? Why don’t you sound like Perfesser Dave?

Strange Voice: Why, I’m W.L. MacKenzie King. The Prime Minister of Canada, of course. And I’m looking for my dog. He answers to the name of Pat. Have you seen Pat? Pat!

Questioner: I haven’t seen any dogs, Mr. King. I was trying to get Perfesser Dave to explain why the prime minister keeps getting elected when he’s not a very popular fellow at all. And now your voice is coming out of Perfesser Dave! What’s going on?

Strange Voice: I’m here to illuminate your fuzzification, Questioner, just as you asked. Isn’t that what you wanted? You may call me Willy, by the way. Have you seen my dog?

Questioner: I told you, Willy, I haven’t seen your dog. But how can you be the Prime Minister? The Prime Minister is Stephen Harper!

Willy: Stephen? My dog’s name is Pat!

Questioner: Pat? The prime minister’s name is Stephen. Who are you again?

Willy: I’m the prime minister. Mackenzie King. Willy. And you don’t have to be liked very much at all to be the prime minister. If anyone would know that, it’s me! That’s the thing, though, Questioner, you just have to be liked more than the other fellow, the leader of the Opposition. Plus, of course, you have to have good timing. And it’s a good idea to make sure you have your own man as Governor General. That was a problem for me, I’ll tell you, Sir!

Questioner: What was that problem?

Willy: Oh, the Governor General. But never mind that just now. What were you asking about this Stephen fellow?

Questioner: Stephen Harper.

Willy: Oh, I’ve heard about your Mr. Harper…

Questioner: But how?

Willy: We’ll come to that in a moment. Just explain your concern, please…

Questioner: Are you sure you aren’t Perfesser Dave? I’m confused.

Willy: Questioner!

Questioner: All right, Willy, it’s like this: People liked Jack Layton way better than they like Mr. Harper but they still elected Mr. Harper’s party. How do you explain that? Oh, wait, do you know who Mr. Layton was?

Willy: Oh yes, I know Mr. Layton, Questioner, and, for one thing, Mr. Layton wasn’t the leader of the Opposition when he ran against your Mr. Harper. And as Jack was just telling me the other … day – over at Mr. Trudeau’s place, as a matter of fact – if the campaign had run another week or two, he would have been the prime minister…

Questioner: You were…? What? I’m totally confused!

Willy: Don’t be, Questioner. It’s really pretty simple, really. Canadians are sensible people. And they’ll elect a leader they think is sensible too if they don’t think the alternatives are as sensible. And they’ll even elect a leader they think isn’t sensible if they think the alternatives are even less sensible, which is what Jack was saying happened last time, at least until he started getting through to the people of Can…

Questioner: Sounds like you’re making a speech, Mr. King…

Willy: Well, let me make it simple then… Canadians think, “Stephen Harper if necessary, but not necessarily Stephen Harper…”

Questioner: What are you saying?

Willy: Well, I was going to say something about your Mr. Mulcair. Mr. Thomas Mulcair, whom I haven’t met, but whom I’ve heard about … Oh, there you are, Pat! Where have you been you naughty little fellow! Come here at once. Well! We really must be getting back to Mother!

Questioner: Mr. King! Wait! Willy! Please wait! You have to explain…

Pat: Arf! Arf!

Willy: Come along Pat!

Questioner: Mr. King! Come back…

Perfesser Dave: Unghhh! Wha? Wha? Where am I?

[Sound of Ouija board falling to the floor]

Questioner: Awwwwww! Perfesser Dave!

This post also appears on David Climenhaga’s blog, Alberta Diary.

David J. Climenhaga

David J. Climenhaga

David Climenhaga is a journalist and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. He left journalism after the strike...