Rob Ford’s clock radio played ‘I Got You Babe’. He reached over and turned it off, dropping back onto his pillow and sighing. It was the thirteen hundred and ninety-eighth consecutive day that he heard that song. It was the first in a sequence of events that played out the same way every single day. He sulked to his closet and put on his suit, the same black suit.
He drove to Tim’s and picked up the same coffee (four milks, four sugars). He sat in the same bumper to bumper traffic. He didn’t bother listening to the radio. Why? Nothing was going to be different.
At the office, he found a copy of the newspaper on his desk which every day had an unflattering photo of him on the front page. He checked his messages but he already knew what the people would say, ‘Apologize!’ ‘Resign!’ ‘Take Responsibility!’ Ford put down the receiver and sighed. Every day the same. Everything so pointless.
Rob’s Chief of Staff, Dan Jacobs knocked and entered. “For God’s sake Rob. You don’t live in Groundhog Day!”
“You say that every day.”
“I don’t know how to prove it to you! I put that newspaper there every morning so you can see that things change, the date changes.”
“First of all, I can’t read. Second of all, it’s always the same shitty picture of me.”
“No, it isn’t!”
“Looks that way.”
“No, it doesn’t!”
“If it’s not Groundhog Day why does my radio play the same song every morning?”
“It’s an ipod dock! Jeez, Rob! You don’t care about dates or facts. You don’t acknowledge time and space is occurring before you. How can I get you to see?!”
Rob didn’t answer. He looked down, defeated, and instinctively picked up the football that always sat on his desk. He squeezed it for comfort.
“That’s it!” said Dan who pushed Rob aside to get to the computer. “Rob, you think it’s September 11, 2010, right? The day after you were elected?”
“Who was the last Buffalo Bill elected to the Football Hall of Fame?”
“That’s easy. Bill’s founder Ralph Cookerly Wilson Jr. Just last year.”
“No. It was wide receiver Andre Reed. 2014.” Dan pointed to the Wikipedia entry. Rob tried to piece together the symbols. There was the title for Football Hall of Fame recipients. There was Ralph Wilson’s name and there was another name below it. It did sort of look like Andre Reed.
Rob looked up at Dan. “It’s 2014?”
“You mean, it’s over?”
“It was never happening!”
“I can be mayor?”
“You always were!”
“I can be mayor!”
Rob bear-hugged his friend. He screamed with joy and cried. Dan held him tight, screaming along.
Rob sat in his chair, shaking with excitement. “Alright! Let’s do this. What’s the first thing?”
Dan places two files on his desk. “A councillor has called for your resignation because you haven’t done any work in three months. And a resident wants you to apologize for saying that you opened a bank account with your Jewish friend.
“Dammit!” yelled Rob. “It’s still happening! It’s still Groundhog Day! Fuck this shit!”
Then he drove home and went back to bed.