in the eye
Please. Haven't we had enough
of these characters who go around tossing cream pies in VIPs'
faces? This week, they hit Mayor Bourque squarely with not one
but two pies. The point was for the public to laugh at the man.
But that was hard.
With the mayor, the pie-throwers may have hit
their target, but they succeeded only in making people feel sympathy
for him.The idea behind pie-throwing, after all, is to poke fun
at pompous people. Now, taking some air out of stuffed shirts
can be a noble calling (hi there, Aislin). But doing exactly the
same thing to a whole series of people is not very amusing. It's
Besides, say what
you want about Mayor Bourque, pomposity is not one of his problems.The
first of the high-profile incidents occurred last winter in Belgium,
where the target was Microsoft mogul William Gates. True, there
was something delicious about the world's high-tech potentate
getting creamed in a low-tech stunt. But almost overnight, the
Belgian nobody behind the incident became a media celebrity. Shoving
dessert up someone's nostrils somehow became an imaginative political
The Belgian hit
man's admirers quickly sprang up in Montreal, where they've ambushed
mayoral candidate Jacques Duchesneau and Alliance Quebec president
William Johnson. Both of these targets, as well as Mr. Bourque,
painfully tried to be good-humoured as they wiped the mess from
themselves. A new kind of political etiquette has evolved: one
cannot be cross, since that would show that one really is pompous.
The targets therefore have to laugh and pretend it's hilarious,
when it's not. It's a form of assault.
An aide to Mr.
Bourque, Madeleine Champagne, put an ingenious spin on the assault
on her boss. She said the mayor's camp took it "as a compliment"
- after all, she reasoned, it did happen to Mr. Gates.
A pie in the face
has thus become a status symbol: it means people take you seriously.
If this keeps up, wanna-be VIPs may soon be staging their own