Police were called to Rob Ford's office Tuesday.
It was not to usher him away in handcuffs, unfortunately, for his crimes against humanity, or that crack business. Details are sketchy, as they usually are in these matters.
But last time we heard about police investigating a "threat" against Rob it turned out to be his brother-in-law Scott MacIntrye looking for some money for drugs he says the mayor owed him. We all know what happened to Scotty after that. He got his leg broken in jail.
All of which is to say that Rob Ford is practiced at the art of deception. Whenever the you-know-what is about to hit, there's a pre-emptive strike launched to defuse a potentially embarrassing situation. To wit: the alleged "threat."
On Thursday the mayor in name only was spotted entering Toronto Western hospital. He'd reportedly - or is that allegedly? - broken his baby toe (it's unclear when) and ended up in hospital where he was left behind by his sobriety coach, who is now no longer in the mayor's employ. The mayor can apparently stand on his own, broken toe and all, but did coach abort this mission because Rob fell off the wagon?
Curious, given that Ford interview on CP24 the day before to commemorate the second anniversary of the Danzig Street shooting in which the mayor looked... not quite himself. Let's not go there.
But clearly it appears our summer rerun of the Rob Ford shit-show is just getting started. Take a deep breath Toronto. The supposedly clean and sober version of Rob Ford is smelling a lot like the old Rob Ford.
The refrains are all too familiar. There was the sympathy card at a press conference Thursday called to talk about Waterfront Toronto, but clearly to smooth any lingering questions their might be about what really happened with coach.
"A lot of people really wish that I'm gonna fail, that I'm going to drink, and that I'm going to do drugs," said Ford. Not exactly. People just want Rob to go away.
Nevertheless, Ford "guaranteed" that he wouldn't do drugs or drink anymore, which sounded a lot like that guarantee there would be no service cuts. But I digress.
He also said his "heart bleeds" for a seven-year-old who was struck and killed by a car in Leaside - although not enough apparently to stop him from trying to score political points by turning the tragic incident into a stump speech on why LRTs don't belong on Eglinton. Ford's heart bleeds for cyclists too, as I recall, except when they get killed it's their own fault, or some such.
Can anyone believe what Ford says anymore?
If it's not tall tales about Waterfront Toronto spending on rocks, pink umbrellas and $600K toilets, it's the gay elites Robbie's after. Ah yes, the good ol' gay elites.
Ford has been not-so-hard at work polishing off that familiar narrative since his return from rehab. He didn't standup with the rest of colleagues to salute WorldPride at council the week before last. He was also the lone member to vote against a shelter for LGBTQ youth. What me a homophobe?
The anti-gay thing has always formed part of the undertow of Ford's messaging.
Worked really well for him when he had openly-gay George Smitherman as his main rival in 2010. And there was that $12,000 retirement party for the only openly-gay member of council Kyle Rae to harp about. Council largesse? Blame the gays. Who exactly do you think make up the "elites" he's always wanking about anyway?
Make no mistake, it's "shirtless horde" following Ford around town. Already Ford's minions are cracking wise on Twitter about that. Remember when Rob said the campaign was going to be war? He's just warming up. We all await with bated breath for him to explain that "wops", "kikes" and "niggers" thing. It's complicated, apparently.