IN LIFE, JIMMY MCCONNELL was well known for his knack for fundraising, but even some of the mourners who attended his wake were taken aback by the $10 admission fee.
About 300 people filed into Mr. McConnell’s wake on Monday — just under half the population of his hometown of Georgetown, P.E.I.
“At one point, my sister and I, at the end we were counting it and my sister looked at me and she said, ‘Oh my goodness, this is terrible, we’re counting money over the top of him!’” said Barb Mazerolle, his niece. “And I said, ‘Don’t be so silly! He’d love this.’”
“When the funeral director said, ‘I can’t do that, Jimmy,’ he said, ‘Fine. Well, I’ll take my business elsewhere.’”
Check out the full story here, since it appeared on the front page of the National Post. This story was tricky to get done, and I don’t think I appreciated how bizarre it was until after I wrote it. One commenter on the Post website had it right: “Wish I met Jimmy….sounds like one of a kind.”
ONCE UPON A TIME, Stephen Harper was a mop-haired, plaid-clothed university student, and Jack Layton’s mustache was still black. Fast-forward some 30-odd years to meet David Leibl, a 31-year-old communications strategist from Winnipeg, who found these old photographs scattered across the Internet, sought the help of two tech-savvy friends, and compiled the images to make www.VintageVoter.ca. The Post’s Michael Fraiman spoke with Mr. Leibl on Tuesday, roughly 24 hours and 130,000 views after his site’s launch.
“People that don’t vote often say they don’t have enough information, or they tell you that politics isn’t relevant in their lives and they feel disconnected or disinterested in the political process. Humour, though — there’s no one who doesn’t like a good joke. And we think that humour and parody are pretty effective tools in breaking down the barriers to political participation, and we have no problem with making politics funny.”
Check out the full Q&A with David Leibl here, and while you’re at it, VintageVoter.ca is also worth your time.
ON FRIDAY MORNING, former Price is Right host Bob Barker led a press conference detailing why cold-climate Toronto should give up its zoo’s three elephants, move them by truck to California and pay $15-million for an immersive, digitally interactive elephant exhibit in its stead. The Post’s Michael Fraiman went to the conference to hear them out.
Mr. Barker mentions the proposal for a new, $15-million exhibit, with several-dozen-metre-tall screens and a rumbling floor and surround-sound stereo elephant noises. “It would truly be educational,” Mr. Barker explains. “Unlike going and watching some elephant standing there, watching it bob its head, bob its head, sway back and forth because it’s so whacked out from being under such mental strain for so long.” He’s right, of course. If I wanted to see that, I could walk down Yonge Street.
I am grateful that the Post continues to give me these bizarre and largely sarcastic mornings out of the office.
In related news, I’ve started doing a bit of blogging for the Financial Post Tech Desk. Solid crew of writers at that Tech Desk, and worth following if you care at all about tech news with a Canadian slant.