The crime of celebrity

“Welcome to ‘Flap Your Gums,’ the segment of our show that celebrates the opinions of ordinary folks like you and me. Well, not exactly like me, because I’m sure the rest of you aren’t outfitted by the best men’s wear store in a major Canadian city or covered in three layers of face makeup under hot studio lights. But that’s the kind of sacrifice I make for all you little people out there. I’m your host, Branch Undercoating. Please welcome this evening’s guest, Arnie Motormouth.”

“Watch your back, Slick. I didn’t want to be here on one of these fake news shows, but I was kicked off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, so this is the only way I can get my message out to the people.”

“Nice to meet you too, Mr. Motormouth. We wanted to speak to you because of your petition campaign. You’ve been asking people to support your efforts to ban… I’m having trouble reading your writing, sir. What, specifically, do you want to outlaw?”

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“Celebrities.”

“Come again?”

“Celebrities. Famous people. They’re all out to destroy the world, and I’m sick of it. Time for all those superstars and glamour queens to crawl back under the diamond-studded rock they came out from.”

“Can I ask you what exactly brought this on, Mr. Motormouth?”

“Sure, if you promise to do it in plain English and not that tricky fake-news double-talk you fancy-pants anchor-idiots are always using to embarrass good, honest taxpayers like me.”

“Um… Okay, then. Why did you start your petition campaign, sir?”

“Well, first of all, it was that stupid Meryl Streep, making that dumb speech at the Golden Globes or Silver Tongues or Bronze Medallions or whatever that thing is called. Imagine, a celebrity insulting Donald Trump for making fun of a disabled reporter. Mr. Trump was so upset that he could only tweet about it three times over the next 24 hours. Only three times! So, like I just said, she went too far.”

“Doesn’t Ms. Streep have the same right to an opinion as any other people, Mr. Motormouth?”

“No way! She gave up that right when she started making a bazillion dollars a year on all those boring movies that I never watch. Famous people with lots of money should butt out of politics and leave the decisions to regular Joes like you and me. Well, like me anyway, Mister Fancy Pants.”

“But, Mr. Motormouth, isn’t Mr. Trump a billionaire celebrity himself? And doesn’t he spend a considerable amount of time in the company of other celebrities?”

“Hey, watch your back, buddy. I’m sure he and Kanye West were having a serious discussion about all that foreign policy stuff when they met at Trump Tower after the election. Trump’s a man of the people. Did you see him eat that taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo? Or that bucket of KFC? Oh yeah, he knows what we’re up against, down here in the trenches. Just like Kevin O’Leary.”

“Kevin O’Leary?”

“Yeah! He’s my kind of guy. O’Leary doesn’t mess around with socialist ideas like fact-checking or taking other people’s feelings into account. He just tells it like it is, without even thinking. Thinking’s for losers, anyway.”

“Help me out here, Mr. Motormouth – just how did you hear about Mr. O’Leary in the first place?”

“Well, he’s on TV all the time. Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank, the whole enchilada. He had that show with what’s-her-name on CBC’s news channel too, before I stopped watching it. The CBC is a bunch of money-grubbing, left-wing snowflakes, you know. They haven’t been any good since they cancelled Front Page Challenge.”

“So, given all this, you don’t consider Kevin O’Leary a celebrity.”

“No way, buddy! He earned his place in the public eye the old-fashioned way, by being rich. Not like that Jane Fonda idiot, coming up to Fort McMurray with her Academy Awards and her movies and her Hollywood attitude. She and Neil Young and that kid from Titanic should just stay home and shut their traps. They’re not even Canadians, anyway.”

“Actually, Neil Young was born in Toronto and grew up in Ometree, Ontario.”

“Celebrity propaganda! That’s the worst kind. My petition would outlaw all celebrities, so movies would only be made by people I trust. Like Scott Baio.”

“The last time I checked, he was still an actor.”

“Not that you’d notice, eh? Hey, wait a minute. You host a TV show! That makes YOU a celebrity! I’m making a citizen’s arrest! You people watching this, don’t listen to this guy! He’s one of THEM!”

“And, mercifully, that’s all the time we have for ‘Flap Your Gums.’ I’m Branch Undercoating, thanking our guest tonight, Arnie Motormouth.”

“Traitor!”

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Adam Cooke has been a staff writer and columnist for The Reporter since 1999. A native of L’Ardoise, Adam lives in Port Hawkesbury with his wife Cathy.