“They just don’t know Dougie like I do,” Diane Ford says, watching her eldest son roll around the front lawn, pretending to be a mower, complete with sound effects. The premier’s mother looks drawn, and concerned, and is clutching a form from the Ontario District School Board requesting a meeting this Wednesday at either 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, or 7:00 PM. She admits it’s not the first time she’s had to meet with educators to discuss Doug’s less-than-acceptable behaviour.
“It used to be a weekly thing,” she says, breaking off momentarily to beg the premier to at least take off his suit jacket if he’s going tumble in the grass. “Back when he was a student, which was off and on from 1969 to 1975.”
Ms. Ford describes how the latest summons arrived just like the others did, all those years ago, before Doug grew the family business into a failure, before he won an election by repeating unrelated lines from John Wayne movies. Before he began cutting necessary, publicly-funded programs to pay for an unnecessary political gambit that will cost the province billions and change nothing.
“I checked Dougie’s backpack, just like I always do, and there at the bottom, under the finger painting he made for his first day at Queen’s Park, and the macaroni necklace he made for me, and the crusts from his pizza lunch, was one of those pink notices I’ve seen so many times before.”
“Dear Ms. Ford,” she reads in a bored monotone, after unfolding the letter with dramatic flair.
“Over the past few weeks it has become increasingly apparent that Doug is not responding to repeated efforts to help him build co-operative, outcome-orientated skills. Despite numerous attempts to assist him with remedial math, and introducing the concept of future consequences being tied to current actions, he appears to be struggling to broaden his learning experience beyond exacting petty revenges, and turning Grade 5 (his 43rd attempt, as you well know) into yet another opportunity to showcase how little he cares about graduating, or anything other than disparaging the work of others, whilst not completing his own assignments. With this in mind we would like to invite you to a parent-teacher meeting at one of the below times. Coffee, bourbon, and edibles will be provided. Please do not bring Doug with you.”
Diane sighs. “G-damned teachers,” she says, crossing the lawn to collect her son, who has fallen in a decorative water feature. “Always pushing their agendas of learning, and inclusion, and ownership of actions, and making the bare minimum of repairs to the schools to keep them semi-habitable like we’re some sort of developed nation or something. I tell ya. What a joke. Dougie. Dougie! Leave the ducks alone.”