In honour of today’s Trudeaumania in Calgary (the sort of event that—like kittens—inspires a news website photo gallery), a photo and story from this summer.
Justin Trudeau was at Liberal MLA David Swann’s Stampede breakfast in July. Swann’s breakfast is great. It’s vegetarian-friendly (vegan sausages), pre-coffee walking distance from my family’s home, and eco-friendlier than most (bring your own dishes, and one year they gave out high-efficiency lightbulbs). The neighbourhood puts politics aside for pancakes.
This year, we thought we had got there early enough to escape much of a lineup. However, despite being there, plates and travel mugs in hand, at the crack of nine, the line scooched forward only haltingly. After complaining to my brother over the twang of a guitar, I noticed the pancake flippers were waiting patiently for customers.
It turned out Trudeau’s curly locks and dreamy, um, hand-shaking were holding things up. When we finally snaked our way up to him, I was ready to skip meeting him. Pancakes or politics? The decision gets easier the longer it’s been since last night’s Tubby Dog. Also, there was a Wildrose fan in our party and I wasn’t prepared to moderate a debate on taxation.
But my mom insisted we shake his hand and then got the suburbanites behind us in line to take a photo of us all. Trudeau giddily asked to pose with my brother’s coffee mug, which is emblazoned with my brother’s own face. He thought it was great and maybe we’ll send him one of his own for Christmas. My mother said something about adopting Justin and he laughed as if no woman had ever offered that before.
Post-Justin, my family debriefed. We decided we were glad we were in line for Justin, as Bob Rae wouldn’t have looked as good on Instagram. And we agreed that despite the impossible task his party faces in Calgary, pancakes and handshakes were as good a way as any to spread the Liberal gospel in Alberta.
Then, the suburbanites who took our photo caught up to us as we got our ceremonial pancakes.
“Who was that guy?”