I took one for Stelmach
February 26, 2008 | 09:38 AM
Ed Stelmach brought his PC Party road show to the heart of Calgary-Mountain View on Monday. Despite a few Grits waving David Swann signs and one guy unhappy about PC candidates skipping local debates, Stelmach happily posed for photos and even kissed a baby. I got a different kind of kiss.
While waiting for Stelmach to start a scrum right on Kensington Road with the assembled media horde, someone decided to throw some food at the PC leader. I'm not sure what it was… perhaps, a cookie.
Trouble is, their aim was off by about two metres, so I took it square on the cheek. It felt like getting hit by a small snowball. It was hard and it stung. If it had been an inch higher, it would have been in my eye.
I wheeled around to see who threw it or where it came from. No sign. Was it from across the street?
Before I knew it, the scrum began and that's the job at hand. But right after, I approached each of the burly Alberta sheriffs tasked with protecting Stelmach and his wife. They didn't see the incident and didn't seem to be overly concerned. After all, the leader was safe.
Beyond the small numb spot on my face, I was safe too. But I do recall a conversation former premier Ralph Klein had about the time he was smacked in the face with a pie at his Stampede breakfast a few years ago.
After a scrum, some of the reporters were chatting with Klein about the incident. He got wide-eyed and said to us: "How would you like it if someone came up to you and went WHAM!" With that, he came towards my face with his open hand and stopped just short of hitting me. I got it.
I've never had much time for political cowards: the people who yell from a distance, or the type who would throw food at an elected official. Have the courage of your convictions and speak in a civilized tone.
It would be a rare political candidate who ignores a simple question from a citizen — especially if he or she is surrounded by a gaggle of reporters. Be brave. They won't bite.
As for my little owie, I guess that's how the cookie crumbles. (Ba-da-boom!)