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Page Turner Challenge: Picks

Art Appreciation by Tanya Ambrose

Two undercover security guys from the PMO stood between the body and the painting. Dressed in trademark black suits and dark glasses they talked casually but every word was heard back at headquarters now that their jackets were wired for sound - less conspicuous that way.

“It’s Poutine alright; he’s still holding the box cutter I gave him yesterday. Poor guy almost finished the job too.”

They examined the painting. The naked figure of the prime minister was almost completely sliced from the composition and drooped from the frame at the point where the excision had been interrupted - only the PM’s feet remained attached to the canvas.

“Poutine’s been whining for months to give him another chance to prove his loyalty, that he won’t talk, so we sent him to the reception last night.”

The National Gallery had launched the exhibit, “Candid Portraits of Canadian Prime Ministers”, with a Gala the evening before. None of the members of the Conservative Caucus attended but members of the opposition and a few back-benchers came out in gleeful full force to see the recumbent incumbent PM in all his unembellished splendor. The gallery had never experienced so many catcalls mingled with groans. 

In the morning, one of the few guides still employed by the gallery discovered the defaced painting and the body.

“What’s that in his mouth?” 

The two undercover security guys knelt down and parted Poutine’s lips and teeth and pulled out a black ball of sticky tar.

“Well, there’s the murder weapon.”


Tanya Ambrose is from Mallorytown, ON



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