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Your Captions: Harper And Chrétien Sharing A Laugh On A Jet
December 10, 2013
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(Photo: Flickr)

On the show last night, George shared this photo of former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien enjoying a laugh with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. We asked viewers to submit their own captions through social media with their best guess as to what was so darned funny on that flight. 

A little more context: the two politicians, one-time rivals, were seated beside each other on a jet en route to South Africa for today's Nelson Mandela memorial service. In a moment of levity, the photo appears to show Chrétien in full-on howling laughter while a grinning Harper eases back into his seat. Here are a few of the highlights of your interpretations:

Toronto mayor Rob Ford was the subject of several of your responses. On Facebook, Jason Wilks offered this punchline: "Then Rob Ford said he would be prime minister." On Twitter, Jennifer Alguire suggested:

Not pictured in this particular photograph were former PMs Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell, though they were shown in other snapshots from the same flight. 

You also got some comedic mileage out of the senate expense scandal. Karem Veijalainen-Allen, on Facebook, imagined Harper delivering this kicker: "I see your adscam and raise you a senate scandal," referencing the federal sponsorship scandal that involved the Liberals. And another one from Matt Smith: "Wait 'till we expense this," he wrote.

There were also references to Chrétien's dessert-in-the-face encounter with a pie-wielding protester in Charlottetown 13 years ago. Melannie Cashman, channeling Chrétien's voice on Facebook, wrote: "This pie is much tastier than that one I had in PEI in 2000..." 

And, of course, a few references to Chrétien's famous "Shawinigan handshake," in which the former Liberal PM put a chokehold on an anti-poverty protester in 1996. Here's a reference from François Martin on Facebook: "And so I grab dat SOB by ze troat wit my two hands and start to squeeze, you know, and tell him when he goes down, 'dis is how I attack unemployment.'"

Chrétien has been known to joke about the Shawinigan handshake; in 2010, he cracked that he would put the hold on hospital staff if they didn't do a good job shaving him for an operation.


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