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Rob Ford, P.I. and the Found Apology

November 28th, 2012 No comments

Rob Ford exited Toronto Courthouse 8, his fedora held in his left hand, mopping his brow with a handkerchief held in his right. Fourteen days, he had been told. Fourteen days, and then he would no longer be P.I. of Toronto. What would he do? He had a whole filing cabinet full of cases he needed to solve!

Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, a horde of reporters descended. “Rob Ford, P.I., what are your thoughts on…” “Rob Ford, P.I., what do you have to say about…” “Rob Ford, P.I., why did you..” “Rob Ford, P.I., who was it that…”

Rob Ford looked over the yammering crowd of so-called journalists and jammed his fedora back on his head.

“Boys, boys,” he said, waving his hands, standing on the courtroom steps, the wind blowing his jacket around his hips, “you want a statement? I’ll give you a statement.”

He cleared his throat.

“This comes down to left-wing politics. The left wing wants me out of here and they’ll do anything in their power to,” he said.

“And I’m going to fight tooth and nail to hold on to my job. If they do for some reason get me out I’ll be running again.” Then, as the reporters started asking more questions, he held up his hands and walked towards the parking garage where his Esplanade was parked.

His brother appeared from behind a tree. “Bro,” he said, “we have to talk now.”

“About what? About how dad always loved you more?”

Doug sighed and grabbed his brother by the arm.

***

Deputy P.I. of Toronto, Doug Holiday, was speaking with reporters in a different part of the courtroom lawn.

“Yes, boys, Fordie was on the right track. Mopping up the gravy, clipping the ears of those lefties. I just wish he showed more common P.I. sense and not lead with his chin so much. P.I.s are supposed to be discreet, you know. Say! There he is now! Hiya, Fordie!” And the reporters, seeing a protesting Rob being led by the arm by his brother, quickly broke away from Holiday.

***

Doug Daily, reporter for the reviled (by the Fords) Toronto Star pulled up at the entrance to the parking garage. “Well, he must be here somewhere. He can’t have vanished into thin air. We spread out, and the first one to find him sings out, ok, boys?” A chorus of assent came from the assembled mob of journalists and they spread out.

Across the street, through the window of a Tim Hortons, Rob and Doug watched the goings on.

“I told you they’d never look for us here!” Rob said, taking a bite out of his Boston Creme doughnut.

“Bro,” Doug replied, taking a sip of his extra large double double with espresso shot, “you have to change your tack.”

“Do what now?”

“You have to change your attitude.”

“My attitude?” Rob carefully set down his Boston Creme doughnut and leaned across the table. “What’s wrong with my attitude?”

“Well, sometimes, it rubs people the wrong way.”

“People? Like what people? Not one of my friends, or the kids I coach, or anyone in the family until now has said anything about rubbing people the wrong way!”

“Yeah, but in public, bro. Look at what happened. You got turfed as P.I. of Toronto in part because that judge said you were dismissive and confrontational.”

“Oh really?” Ford pulled out his BlackBerry (Israel Idonije version) and started thrusting it at his brother after eachyou. “Do you know what it’s like to be fighting the crime started by welfare bums and streetcars? Do you know what it’s like to comfort a crying mom who will never have a subway stop in her neighbourhood? Do you have any idea how many people thank me every day for what I’m doing? Do you…” but he was stopped by Doug putting a hand on the BlackBerry.

“All I’m saying is, in public, pretend to be more sorry sometimes.”

Rob pulled his BlackBerry away and stood up.

“Sorry?”

***

Doug Daily fanned himself with his notepad. “Boys, he’s pulled a Houdini, and no doubt about it. His Esplanade is gone. We might as well…”

“Look!” cried a cub reporter for theToronto Sun. And, sure enough, if you followed the pointing finger of the cub reporter, you would be looking through the glass window of the Tim Hortons across the street, seeing two yelling Fords, one with his finger in the face of the other, one with a BlackBerry poking the other in the chest.

“Let’s motor, boys!” Daily said, and they rushed toward the coffee shop. Further down the courthouse block, Doug Holiday stopped at his door and looked.

“Well, Fordie. You don’t like the reporters, but they sure seem to like you.” And then he got into his car and drove off.

***

“Bro!”

“Never once have I backed down from a fight, and if you think I’m doing it now…”

“Bro!”

“The people of this town chose their P.I. fair and square, and no Commie NDP judge is going to…”

“Bro! We gotta move now! Look!”

“You—” Then Rob Ford looked where his brother was pointing and saw the crowd of reporters trying to break through the traffic coursing down Adelaide Street. “Yikes!” And both Fords made a beeline for the back door.

***

The mob of journalists got to the front door just in time to see Ford driving away in his Esplanade, saluting them with his middle finger. The camera boys were too slow to get a photo of that as Ford peeled away, running a yellow light.

A puffing Daily, bent over, hands on his knees, said, “We’ll get him, boys. We’ll get him.”

***

Doug was twisted in his seat, facing left.

“I’m not saying you have to be sorry. I’m saying you have to look sorry.”

Ford, driving, was uncharacteristically silent.

***

Doug Daily and the other reporters were there early for the press conference scheduled outside of Rob Ford’s office. (At least for the next fourteen days.) As Ford stepped out on the building steps, they began shouting out questions and jostling to get to the front, by the line of police standing there.

Doug stood behind his brother. When silence finally took over, Rob began to speak, pulling out a sheet of paper from his jacket pocket first.

“Looking back, maybe I could have expressed myself in a different way,” Ford said. “To everyone who believes I should have done this differently, I sincerely apologize.”

Then, refusing to answer any more questions, he vanished back into his office building.

From across the street, Deputy P.I. Holiday nodded. “Well, Fordie, that’s a start. Let’s see if you can keep it up. Because if you can’t…” And he got in his car and drove away.

THE END of Rob Ford, P.I. and The Found Apology

Rob Ford, P.I. and The Missing Apology, part 5 of 5

November 26th, 2012 No comments

A vision came to Rob Ford. He strode out of his office building, a roscoe in his hand, a heater, a gat, a convincer, 45 ways to a man’s heart, like Mike Hammer, savage, unstoppable.

No one stood in his way as he waved his 45 Colt around. Whining lefties vanished or converted to the right, streetcars drove out of town in fear (never to return), and no one gave him any guff when he told them he needed to coach a football team.

All of the riff raff at city hall and the police followed him around like puppies, panting for one kind word and nearly killing themselves with joy chasing their tail after they got it. The subway to Scarborough got built in a month. The NHL got back together after he held talks with both the players and the owners in a special meeting.

Rob Ford blinked. He was still in his office building lobby, hiding behind a pillar. Face it, Ford, he thought to himself. You’re not a muscle P.I., no matter how wonderful Mike Hammer is. What you are is more of a thinking P.I., like Sherlock Holmes.

What would Sherlock Holmes do now? he asked himself. WWSHDN.

Then, suddenly, inspiration struck. Disguise. Not something Mike Hammer would have done, but Mike was a man from a different age, a different time. A happier time, in many ways.

The crowd outside fell silent in a disordered fashion, one or three voices dying out at a time, when they saw Rob Ford, P.I., come out with his fedora held over the lower part of his face.

Rob looked at the crowd. The crowd looked at Rob. Then, one woman stepped forward from the crowd and spoke.

“Why won’t you take cases from the LGBT community?” she shouted.

“Ah do not know wha’ you mean,” replied Ford in an outrageous French accent. “I am, ‘ow you say, zee ‘orse docteur. I only treat ze ‘orses.”

There was a moment of silence. Then, the crowd roared, but Ford was already running, a football evasion pattern he had learned as a youth guiding his feet, propelling him towards his Esplanade, while he cried out as he ran.

“‘Alp!” he cried out. “Zese people wiz zair colourfool clothings are trying to assassinate me!”

Ford made it to his Esplanade and locked all the doors from the inside with moments to spare. The crowd surrounded it, shouting. He honked his horn while inching the beast of an SUV forward. Slowly, reluctantly, the crowd parted to let him go.

Inside, Ford raised his hand up and put the fedora back on his head. Victory, he thought. The master detective triumphs again!

His next stop was city hall. Vile place full of bureaucrats and whining left wingers who didn’t understand how a P.I. had to work. The red tape and gravy there made Rob feel like he was swimming in cement. He made his way to the help desk, keen eyes darting left and right, looking for anyone who would interfere with him.

No one did. He asked for, and received, directions to the P.I. Ombudsman’s office. Then he went across the street for a Tim Hortons coffee, because it wasn’t two p.m. yet.

Two coffees, one grilled ham and cheese panini, and seven unanswered phone calls later, he made his way back to city hall and to the Ombudsman’s office. Two p.m. on the nose.

“Mr. Ford,” the Ombudsman said as she stood up, “thank you for…”

“Rob Ford, P.I.,” he replied, ignoring her outstretched hand, sitting down in the chair opposite her desk, putting his feet on her desk, and placing the fedora at tough P.I. guy angle #3 (eyes just peeking out from under the brim, pencil dangling from mouth), “what’s this all about, sweetheart? I’m a busy man and don’t have time for crazy dames taking me off the mean streets of Toronto.”

She looked at him, then, still standing, spoke.

“Rob Ford, P.I.,” she said, “you have an impressive list of complaints about your behaviour.” She opened a file folder on her desk. “Nine right now that have been verified. Three that are pending further investigation. What do you have to say for yourself?”

“Look doll,” Ford said, shifting the pencil from the right hand side of his mouth to the left, “being a P.I. in this town is like making an omelette, you have to break a few yeggs.” And he laughed heartily. She did not. Finally, laughter dying down, wiping his eyes and reaching down for the pencil that had fallen on the ground, then giving up, continued.

“I can’t be some kind of gentleman P.I. out there, toots. If you’d seen half the things I’ve seen on this job, your hair would turn white. I’m not at liberty to discuss any of it, because these are ongoing cases, but I can’t be pussyfooting around holding hands with some of these criminal types. They are bloodsuckers and leeches draining the life force of this town, and right now, there’s only one man standing between you and total chaos.”

Rob tried to elegantly stand up in one swift motion, but had to settle for getting one foot down at a time and then standing, then putting his fedora back on properly so he could see.

“You see, sugar,” he continued, his voice muffled because his head was under his chair now, looking for his pencil, “there’s the type that sits in offices, and the type that goes out and gets things done, and,” his voice clearing as he emerged from under the chair, holding his pencil triumphantly, “I guess we know which one of us is which.” And he replaced the pencil in his shirt pocket.

“Rob Ford, P.I.,” she said. “All these complainants want from you is an apology for your rudeness and your behaviour. That’s all I want you to give them. Will you–”

The closing of her office door was her only answer. Rob Ford, P.I. was on the road again. After a brief pit stop to the men’s room to relieve himself of some of those Tim Hortons coffees.

The final stop on Rob’s itinerary for the day was Toronto Courthouse 8. He strode in and went to the third floor, whistling as he did. Two down, one to go, he thought. A piece of cake. Judges in town respected the P.I., not like some made up title like P.I. Ombudsman.

He was ushered into the judge’s office almost immediately, the judge’s secretary closing the door behind him.

Rob advanced across the office, hand held out. “Hiya judgie wudgie. How’s tricks?”

“Sit down and shut up!” Rob’s senses reeled, but when he came to, he was sitting down. The judge was leaning forward on his desk, an odd light of satisfaction in his eyes.

“Ford,” the judge said, “this is the end for you.”

***

Is this the end of Rob Ford, P.I.? Or is judgie wudgie just toying with Rob Ford’s emotions? Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure, unless the series gets cancelled.

Rob Ford, P.I. and The Missing Apology, part 4

November 25th, 2012 No comments

Next morning, refreshed after an extra large Tim Hortons double double, Rob Ford put his feet up on his office desk and opened the Toronto Sun. Then, his phone rang.

He sighed and looked at it. Someone named J. Leaper was showing up on the call display. He pondered his options.

First, he was a busy man and had many cases on the go, each of which he needed to devote 100% of his focus to. He needed to finish his double double and head out in his Esplanade, out on the mean streets, the dirty streets packed with trade unionists and cyclist and incense burning hippies and other vermin, see what was what, who was who, where was where, and why was he.

But, there was the other principle he operated from. Rob Ford returned all calls. No matter who. Maybe not immediately, but still.

He sighed again. The cream and sugar and caffeine coursing through his veins made his mind up for him. He answered.

“Rob Ford, P.I. of Toronto here. Who are you?”

“Mr. Ford…”

“Rob Ford, P.I.”

“Mr. Ford…”

“Rob Ford, P.I.”

“Yes, I know you are Rob Ford, P.I. Mr. Ford, I wanted…”

“Rob Ford, P.I.”

There was a moment of silence. “You want me to address you as Rob Ford P.I.?”

“Only when you want to say my name.”

There was a long breath in on the other side, then they continued.

“Rob Ford, P.I., I am the P.I. Ombudsman for Toronto. I have a matter I’d like to discuss with you today. Can you come in right now?”

Rob Ford, P.I., looked at his office clock. Eleven-twenty.

“It’s kind of early. I have a lot of case work to go through. Can we say two p.m.?”

“Yes, fine, two p.m. Do you have a pen and paper for my address?”

“Sure.” Rob Ford didn’t move, beyond taking another sip from his takeout coffee cup. “Go ahead.”

She gave him the address, which he did not write down. He prided himself on his photographic memory. Also, there was a big help desk at City Hall, and that’s where she was.

“Two p.m., Mr–Rob Ford, P.I. Please make an effort to be there on time.”

“When Rob Ford, P.I. makes an appointment, it’s solid. I will see you there.”

He hung up, put the BlackBerry on his desk, and picked up his office calendar. No football practices today, so he would be at this 2 p.m. appointment with no problem.

He put his calendar down and was about to take another sip from his takeout cup, when his BlackBerry rang again. Sighing, he picked it up. His brother.

He grabbed his phone. “Dewey, Squeezem, and Howe.”

“Bro, this is no time for joking. When are you going to see that judge?”

“Hey, I am just finishing up some vital paperwork here! I can’t be running off to see every judge who phones up to chat! I will head over there right now!”

“Bro, you’d better! This is serious!”

“When Rob Ford, P.I. makes an appointment, it’s solid. I will head over there right now.” He hung his phone up, sighed, slipped it into his shoulder holster, and stood up. He picked his fedora up off his desk and adjusted it on his head. Looked in the mirror beside his office door. Made a forefinger and thumb pistol and pointed it at his reflection.

“Who loves ya, baby?” Then he opened his office door, walked out, closed and locked it behind him. Whistling, he walked down the hall to the elevator, his steps echoing off the drywall.

He punched the down button. Waited. The doors opened, and he stepped in. Smiled at the man and woman already on there. Pressed the already lit main floor button.

The elevator descended. Rob hummed quietly to himself. The doors opened, and a sound of some kind of chanting.

Rob Ford slowed as he approached the front doors to his office building, then stopped. Through the glass doors, he could see a mob dressed in brightly-coloured clothing, holding placards up. The man and woman from the elevator passed him, and went out.

When they opened the doors, Ford could hear the chant clearly. “Our P.I. is anti-Bi.” Repeated. And repeated. As the doors glided slowly to a close, Rob Ford blinked. It was the people that hated putting their wangdoodles in the other person’s yoo-hoos, like God had intended! They were outside his building! What to do?

To be concluded in Rob Ford and The Missing Apology, part 5

Rob Ford, P. I., and The Missing Apology, part 3

November 16th, 2012 No comments

Rob Ford took a thoughtful bite out of his turkey chipotle panini. Who should he call back first? His brother? His personal assistant? This weirdo Ombudsman?

He decided to call his admin assistant first. Fortunately, he also had the home number for the City Manager. The other answered on the first ring.

“Rob, where have you been? There’s been a big development in the city today, and…”

“Been on a case, buddy,” Rob said. “You know how it is with us P.I.s. We have to be out there on the mean streets looking for clues, talking to the scumbags and the saints. Keeping ourselves current with what is happening now.”

“Are you in Toronto right now?”

Rob pursed his lips. “Almost. My investigations took me out to a new place today. Now, what’s up?”

“There was a visit from a group complaining about how you refuse to take any cases from the LGBT community. They said if they don’t hear from you by the morning, they are going to protest outside your office and invite the media.”

LGBT? LGBT…Let’s Get Blasted Together. No, that wasn’t it. Rob took his fedora off with his free hand and scratched his head deeply. The cabin of his Esplanade was filled with a sound like sandpaper on a piece of paper. Then he remembered!

“Oh! Those people! The ones who don’t like to put their wangdoodles in the other person’s yoo-hoos!”

There was a silence on the other end of the line, then the City Manager said, “Yes. Those people.”

Rob Ford smiled. “Listen, they can protest all they want. I’m not going to budge an inch. In fact, I hope they call every T.V. and radio station and newspaper in town. Except for the Star,” he finished, putting his fedora back on.

“Rob, I don’t think you know how serious this is,” the City Manager said.

“Relax! That’s an order! I appreciate your concerns, but I don’t think I need to act on them at this time! I will see you tomorrow!” Rob immediately hung up before the City Manager could say anything else.

Well, if these calls are all that unimportant, I’m sitting pretty, he thought.

Next on the call list was his brother.

“Bro!” Doug cried. “Where the hell have you been all day?”

“On a case. A pretty complex one, at that. Had to head out of town a short ways away to really work on it.”

“Did this case involve football?” When the resulting silence became deafening, Doug continued. “Bro, that pub owner you accused of being in the pocket of the last P.I. in town wants to sue you!”

“What? I never said anything like that! I may have called him a guttersnipe weasel head who took more bribes than an NDP  trade union leader, but I don’t recall saying anything about how his crappy pub was being shored up by illicit grants from the former P.I. in this town.”

Doug sighed. “Anyway, he’s suing you, and it’s not being thrown out of court. You need to get your butt in town tomorrow and appear before the judge.”

“Is that all? No problem. I will be there bright and early. Talk to you then!” And he hung up before Doug could say anything else.

“This is a piece of cake!” he exclaimed out loud in the cab of his Esplanade. Then he finished off the turkey chipotle sandwich, humming “When A Man Loves A Woman”. He took a big sip from his coffee before dialling the number of the P.I. Ombudsman.

It went straight to voicemail. “Ford here,” he said. “I don’t know what kind of scam you’re trying to pull in my town, but from the way I see things, we don’t need any kind of P.I. Ombudsman, if that’s what you really are. Have a nice day.” And he hung up.

Whistling a nameless tune, he backed out his Esplanade and turned its nose towards the eastward 401. A great day, he thought. A great day.

To be continued

Rob Ford, P. I., and The Missing Apology, part 2

November 7th, 2012 No comments

Rob Ford was driving home after the 3 hour practice, whistling “You Shook Me All Night Long”, when his BlackBerry vibrated. He ignored it, and then it stopped.

“Well,” he said to himself, pulling into the line at a Tim Horton’s drive-thru, “no harm in checking the old voicemail.”

Thirty-seven messages? Thirty-seven people had phoned him in three hours? What kind of city was this? He was in charge, roaming the mean streets, keeping it real in the best way he knew how, by connecting with the people of the city. Couldn’t others handle the simple grunt work of the uncreative type that Rob hated so much? Didn’t they understand that he needed to fly free, to investigate cases in his own way, to get to the truth as he saw it as quickly as possible? Didn’t they understand how busy he was?

Speaking of busy, he checked his watch. He had to get to Kitchener for an important investigation into a case of his. Rob Ford rolled down the driver’s side window, leaned his head out, and shouted. “Hey, buddy! I’m the P.I. of Toronto, and I’m on a case, so let’s see some hustle, OK?”

The line moved a bit faster after that, and Rob put his BlackBerry back in his shoulder holster. Time enough to listen to my messages in Kitchener, he thought. He ordered his extra large double double and two sour cream glazed, and then hit the mean streets on the way to Kitchener.

Five hours later, when the sun was just setting, Rob Ford was in his Esplanade, heading back to Toronto. He had congratulated the prime witness to his case on the beauty of Kitchener.

“Not only is your football team playing real sharp, but there’s not a sign of  a streetcar anywhere!” Then he had pumped the arm of his key witness in Kitchener a few times and strode off to his Esplanade, humming “Disco Duck”.

On the highway, he remembered to turn on his BlackBerry, and laid it in the well between him and the passenger’s seat. After a couple of minutes, it buzzed furiously. Ford reached down, picked it up, and looked at the screen. Sixty-two messages?

“What the hell?” he said out loud. A car behind him honked, and Ford instinctively flipped the bird to the rear window. Then he looked out the front window and saw he was near the exit for Hespeler Road in Cambridge. He cut across to the exit lane, receiving more honks, and made his way to the Tim Hortons just south of Highway 401.

Chewing on a turkey chipotle panini, Rob Ford, P.I., looked at his BlackBerry. He took a long sip from his double double and started listening to his voicemails.

“Kook.” Delete. “Leftie whiner.” Delete. “Irrelevant. What an idiot.” Delete. By the end of it, he had only saved three messages.

The first was from his brother, Doug. “Bro,” the voicemail went, “you need to call me soonest, the dung has hit the windmill, if you know what I’m saying here.” It was sent thirty minutes ago.

The second was from his personal assistant (or, as the rest of Toronto called him, the City Manager): “Mr. Ford, there have been some concerns raised over statements you made last week on your radio program, can you please contact me as soon as possible. Thank you.” It came in about three hours before.

The last was from someone calling themselves a “P.I. Ombudsman”, with a terse message: “Mr. Rob Ford, this is Charles Delacroix, P.I. Ombudsman for the City of Toronto. I’ve had several complaints about your behaviour, please call me as soon as possible.” This one had come in at nine o’clock a.m. precisely.

Rob Ford sneered. How am I supposed to phone back someone who doesn’t leave their phone number? What am I, a detective? Then he sat back in the plush, black-leather covered, heated seat of his Esplanade and began to think of who he would respond to, and when, and how.

Rob Ford, P. I., and The Missing Apology, part 1

November 4th, 2012 No comments

Rob Ford quickly dove down behind the counter, breathing heavily. He clutched his BlackBerry (Israel Idonije model) in his right hand. On the other side of the counter, he heard doors slamming and voices shouting loudly.

Although he could not make out what they were saying, he knew they sounded angry. He raised his BlackBerry up to see two things happen: no signal bars, and then the empty battery signal as it shut itself down.

Ford cursed and hit his phone with the palm of his hand, but to no avail. Breathing heavily, he took his fedora off and wiped the sweat streaming down his forehead with the sleeve of his navy blue blazer.

What happened, he thought. Where did it all go wrong? Is this the end of Rob Ford?

***

The day had started off normally enough. A light meal of toaster pastries and microwaved “Brown-Em(TM)” pork sausages, a small carafe of coffee, some toast and butter, and then it was into the Esplanade to go to football practice.

“Look,” Ford said into his BlackBerry as he drove in the opposite direction of his office, “I know I have three clients coming in with life and death cases. But they will be waiting for when I get back, because I have more important things to do. No, I can’t tell you what those things are. Look, I have to go, alright?”

Ford was humming “My Milkshake Brings the Boys to the Yard” as he pulled into Dan Bambo High School. In addition to his busy life as the sole private investigator of Toronto, he also coached a high school football team. The Albion Anvils were well-placed to win the championship this year, and Ford was doing everything in his power to make that dream a reality.

If asked which he loved more, Mickey Spillane or coaching football, Rob Ford would just look at you and then go back to whatever it is he was doing before you rudely asked him such a stupid question. Some people said he loved coaching more than he loved being the P.I. of Toronto, but Ford routinely shrugged off such talk. “People can say anything they want about me, I’m a big guy, I can take it,” he would reply.

Still humming, Ford walked into the high school and made his way to the gym and the locker room. The smell of industrial disinfectant and sweat slapped him across the nostrils as he entered the locker room. He inhaled deeply. Ah, the smell of victory!

“Coach!” “Coach!” “Hey, coach!” “Yo, coach.” And so on, and so on. Ford strode through the room, beaming, giving back a high five here and there, until he got to the locker with the brass plaque on it reading “Coach Ford”.

He unlocked his locker, took off and hung up his suit jacket, and pulled out his gold and blue team jacket. The golden embroidered lettering over his heart read “Coach Ford”. He shrugged his way into the team jacket and headed out for the field.

“Come on, ladies, let’s see some hustle! The field isn’t going to be there all day!” And with assorted good-natured calls behind him, he strode out beneath the open blue sky and looked over the empty field. Painters had their blank canvases, and Rob Ford had this field. And, like painters, he had to work a lot with his raw materials to create his masterpiece.

Rob Ford reached into his right-hand jacket pocket and pulled out a whistle on a looped cord, and placed the loop over his head. Then he raised the whistle to his lips, turned to the team entrance to the field, and blew a long, loud whistle. Dropping the whistle, he yelled, “I said hustle! Last one on the field does 50 push ups!”

And with that, the current practice of the Albion Anvils got officially under way.