If wishes were horses

Ed Smith
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Your favorite celebrities are getting into this “wish bucket” thing.

That’s where you make your wishes known about what you want to see or accomplish or just do before you pass on to the realms of angels and archangels.

For celebrities — by definition being well-known types — their wishes are put out there for all the world to see.

Me being world-famous in Newfoundland and Labrador, I thought I might try something similar.

Bill Clinton’s wish bucket was online yesterday. Lots of potential there, I thought. So, I looked and was thoroughly disappointed. It was all so extremely mundane. He wanted to live to see his grandchildren and he wanted childhood disease eradicated.

For Pete’s sake, that’s something any ordinary Joe like me might come up with. That man was the most powerful man in the world for eight years! Great heavenly day, he’s had Monica Lewinsky worshiping at his feet! Perhaps worshiping is the wrong word.

Monica isn’t even mentioned in the wish bucket. Neither is Hillary.

The wish bucket of Tiger Woods might be worth peering into. It might only consist of one line: “I wish I hadn’t. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I hadn’t” written some 12 or 15 times, or many times more if you’re counting incidents rather than individual ladies

Tiger is responsible for the rewriting of the most famous sports poem of them all:

For when that one great scorer comes

to tally up your game,

He’ll not write that you won or lost

 but that you couldn’t remember their names.

And of course:

It matters not if you won or lost

but how many times you scored.

I know, I know. You’re sick and tired of hearing about the likes of Tiger Woods and Monica Lewinsky. Every time some second-rate hack writer wants fill for his column, he falls back on the titillating and the licentious. Obviously, it happens to writers who are not second rate, as well. I do apologize.

Let’s look at the wish bucket of a more sterling character. The Pope. Can’t get much more sterling than that, unless you’re concerned about his lumping together the two “criminal activities” of ordaining women priests in the church and the molesting of little children.

I don’t know on what point of the criminal scale the use of condoms would fall. Possibly just ahead of eating meat on Fridays. But are these sins on a par with the criminal activities mentioned above?

What is the difference between sin and criminality? Between ignorance and stupidity? These are weighty questions for weighty minds. The Pope’s wish basket could have this little prayer: “I wish to fall asleep for 200 years and wake up in the 21st century.”

And, “I wish to die a Protestant, and so cover all my bases.”

U.S. President Barack Obama is hanging tough these days. Besieged at home by the twin evils of narrow fundamentalism and narrow nationalism, you know his wish list could contain only the one thing: “I wish I were prime minister of Canada.”

Speaking of Stephen Harper, has anyone seen or heard tell of him lately? Is it possible he’s been taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire like Elisha? Or was that Elijah? No matter, as long as they had Steve with them. Thus would be fulfilled the wish buckets of hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and the Bloc Québecois.

The wish bucket of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, should be something to see. One imagines that she looks fondly at her son, good Prince Chuck, and throws a note into her wish bucket: “I wish I hadn’t, I wish I hadn’t, I wish I hadn’t.”

The next wish to go into her bucket: “I wish I could come back as the Virgin Queen.”

And finally: “I wish they’d do away with that silly ‘God Save The Queen.’ I’m so sick of it I could puke.”

Danny Williams doesn’t have a wish bucket. He wants something, he either buys it or takes it. I don’t mean that personally, of course. That’s simply the way he is politically. The province has discovered how good that can be for us.

But if the premier did have a bucket, it would be for things that even he cannot control. For example:

“I wish that Stephen Harper would be taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire, like that fellow Elijah or Elisha or whatever his name was”.

Or: “I wish Québec would try to take Labrador by force!”

Or: “I wish there was a way we could take Labrador power through Québec without their finding out about it. Hmm — I wonder.”

Last but not least is the wish bucket of Yvonne Jones, she of the Liberal Party, she of the Straits, the official Opposition to Premier Danny Williams.

She once bought a lovely coat in a Strait store. For years she would tell people in Toronto that things often got so rough back home, she had to wear her straitjacket.

Ms. Jones has a large bucket with only one huge wish:

That Danny Williams be reeved on the top of the CN Tower and used as a national weather vane. That what they use cocks of the walk for isn’t it, she said.  Leave us not forget myself.

 The temptation with me is to spend all my wishes on others because that’s the kind of guy I am. But I won’t do that here. I’ll be uncharacteristically self-centred and think about what I’d like to accomplish before I’m carried off to meet Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Sarah Palin and other great minds.

One of my wishes would be to make as much money relatively as Mark Twain did. Another, to be as highly thought of as Willie S. A third to go on a writing retreat with Angelina Jolie.

I don’t want much.

I just want my fair share.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is edsmith@nf.sympatico.ca.

Organizations: Bloc Québecois.The, Virgin Queen, Liberal Party CN Tower

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, U.S., Canada Toronto Springdale

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