Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 01.18.10
Stanstead, Quebec


Oh Canada, guess who's coming to dinner?

[Tok! Tok! Tok!]

Oh! There's the door. It must be him. I'll get it!

Prime Minister Harper, hello! How are you? It's great to see you. So good of you to take time out of your non-Parliamentary activities to join us for dinner. But then, I guess everything's a non-Parliamentary activity these days, eh? Heh-heh...

Come on in. Oops, but wait. If you don't mind, before you step inside, if you wouldn't mind just passing through this full body scan, please. Standard procedure. You can never be too sure, right? Nothing personal, but you do fit the profile: shifty eyes, awkward body language, inability to answer a straight question.

There we go. Hardly intrusive at all. The wife is monitoring in the next room so I don't gaze upon Your Right Honourable nudeness. Let me just check with her... Honey? How do things look?... Oh, really!... Yes, I'm sure his mother must be proud.

There we go, Prime Minister. Now one last procedure: if you'd just let old Shep here check you over. Whoa! Easy with the nose, Shep! No, nothing to do with security. Just a bit of a treat for him.

So, wow! Can't believe you're here. We're honoured. Actually, the original invitation was for our local Conservative MP to join us but her office told us that only the Prime Minister could answer questions on policy, respond to media enquiries, kiss babies, and eat strangers' pot roasts. So here you are! Who needs representative government anyway?

Here's the kitchen. Have a seat. Look at this spread the wife has prepared for you. You've got your baloney topped with American cheese, you've got your chicken wings (don't worry, they're all right wings), and you've got a liberal helping -- oops, sorry - a "generous" helping of traditional Ukranian proroguies. And after the main course, we'll go outside to the back benches for a bunch of fruitcakes. Dig in!

What's that, Prime Minister? You find it hot in here? First of all, Prime Minister, with all due respect, you're wrong. It's not hot in here. And even if it were hot in here, it would merely be a temporary thermostatic fluctuation. Sure, I could turn down the heat but that would reduce my domestic oil consumption, and I get my oil from brother-in-law who gives me a good deal and shovels my driveway for free. Quick, let's talk about something else. Hey, isn't youth crime terrible? How about that gun registry, eh?

I know, I know, I hear it too. That's our neighbour's dog, Akbark. He's a bad dog. Earlier this week, the wife spotted him digging in our compost pile. Not the first time. Luckily, this time she caught him. You should have heard her: "Why do you do that! Who sent you here! Are there others like you!" But she got nothing out of him.

Later on, we turned him back over to our neighbour. He's kept Akbark on that three-foot rope in his back yard ever since. Barks all day. Pardon? You can see our neighbour now? He's beating the dog? Oh, yeah, he does that all the time... I mean, wait, I take that back. I had no idea. I'm shocked! Then again, how do you know he's beating the dog? Are you qualified to recognize a dog-beating? Perhaps it's just aggressive play. Either way, I don't know anything.

You know what? This dinner is over. No, no, it's not you. It's the wife. She needs to recalibrate the dinner rolls and address serious concerns about the coleslaw. Barking? I don't hear any barking...

Here's your coat. Thanks for stopping by, Prime Minister. Don't worry, we'll have you back, probably around election time. That's when you'll get your just desserts.

Starting this month, my radio column goes weekly on CBC's Breakaway. You can catch me in living audio at 91.7 FM each Tuesday at around 4:50 PM. It's like reading with your ears!