The wit of Mayor McKay

Posted on December 16, 2007
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            There’s a bit of shtick I love and used a lot.

            It goes like this.

            You are going to ask me two questions.

            The first question is “What do you do for a living?”

            When I answer that question, you are going to ask me the second question: “What is the most difficult thing about your job?
            Okay, here we go.

            You: “What do you do for a living?”

            Me: “I’m a standup comedian.”

            You: What is the most . . ‘

            Me: “Timing!”

            Mayor John McKay of Miramichi doesn’t seem to have much future in standup. His jokes go over with the delicate zing of a watermelon landing on concrete from 20 seconds up.

            Last summer he tried to play comic pirate with the crews of visiting tall ships. He managed to insult them all and drove one captain from the room in high dudgeon.

            Surely he was trying to be funny at a recent council meeting when he brought up the matter of the local newspaper dunning the city for payment of an advertising invoice.

            The options are that he was trying to embarrass a city employee or he was trying to be ironic.

            He brought it before council that the city had been refused credit to place an ad over an unpaid bill.

            He never did explain, in terms anyone seems to have understood, why the mix-up or dispute warranted council attention.

            There was an immediate comedic possibility.

            He could simply have said, “I just wanted to bring it to your attention that the Irving media cut off the city’s credit for being late with a payment.

            (Pause, one, two, three, four, timing, remember, timing!)

            “Ain’t that one for the books?”

            (Pause, one, two, three, four, and on to the next item with a straight face if possible.)

            All New Brunswick and most of the Maritimes would have been FOTFLOL. That’s “falling on the floor, laughing out loud,” in dated internet chat line acronym.

            For the benefit of those unaware of the New Brunswick business environment, or unfamiliar with the term “accounts payable,” let me explain.

            In the world of business, getting the Irvings to pay a bill before it reaches the 90-day list is akin to climbing Mount Everest blindfolded, in shorts and sandals. The thought of an Irving business acting as the injured party is hilarious.




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