CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA
|Saturday, May 15, 2004||
After 82 years - The Calgary Eye Opener is Revived
Following an argument at the Alberta Hotel Bar last Saturday night between lawyers Paddy Nolan and Richard Buggy Bennett, two medical students exhumed hell-raising Calgary Eye Opener editor Bob Edwards from his 82-year-old grave. Nolan revived Edwards with five stiff libations of Glen Parker Single Malt scotch and Edwards, in turn, revived the Calgary Eye Opener. Edwards drank two more libations of Single Malt and researched and scribbled out a number of stories all contained in the current edition of the Calgary Eye Opener.
Edwards edited the Calgary Eye Opener from January 1, 1904 to November 14, 1922 when Edwards “died”. Edwards attacked and parodied Sir Clifford Sifton, the most powerful man in Canada, Lord Strathcona, the Darwinian capitalist who drove the last spike on the CPR and went on to have himself appointed High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Britain, every snob in Calgary, and every pretentious politician. He engaged Fifi D’Orsay, Calgary’s first prostitute, to write the Eye Opener’s regular society column, he exposed crooked real estate developers, a molesting dentist, philandering business moguls, and conflicts of interest wherever he spotted them. Edwards had not a materialistic bone in his body. He was incorruptible. He paid no heed to advertisers or governments. He set the tone for Calgary’s media and his spirit animated Calgary’s media for years after his death. Calgary’s media stopped Bible Bill Aberhart from shutting down Alberta’s newspapers, forced Don McKay out of office when he stole a bag of cement from the City of Calgary and suffered no shenanigans from businessmen and social climbers (in their salad days, Calgary’s media would not have tolerated Conrad Black).
Nolan and Bennett had vehemently argued over Canada’s freeloading prime minister; a golf club that doesn’t pay its taxes; a junk scientist environment minister; tobacco executives who are awarded the Order of Canada; the publicly funded gated community of Elbow Park; Conrad Black and an Alberta government that doesn’t get up till noon. Nolan blamed it all on Canada’s and Calgary’s lap dog media. “Nonsense, complete nonsense,” bellowed Bennett standing well back from the bar (he was and remains a teetotaler) but close enough to consume 18 free roast beef sandwiches. “Bob Edwards’d roll over in his grave,” mellowfied Nolan. “I’m not a betting man but I’ll bet fifty dollars he didn’t,” ranted Bennett. “Taken,” said Nolan.
Bennett and Nolan hired two medical students to accompany them to Union Cemetery. Directed to Bob Edward’s grave, the students, highly experienced in midnight grave digging and equipped with two sharp spades and a cold chisel, reached Edward’s coffin in five minutes. One student pried open Edward’s coffin. Edwards lay flat on his stomach. Bennett denied that Edwards being face down proved anything. “Purely circumstantial,” huffed he. Nolan rolled Edwards on his back and poured five generous libations of Glen Parker Scotch down Edward’s gullet. Edwards was immediately revived. “Now, did ya roll over in yer grave, Bob,” said Nolan. “You’re damn right I did Paddy.” “When?” “Midnight, January 1.” “Why?” “Don’t you remember, Paddy, 100 years ago to the minute, January 1, 1904, you and I drank ourselves into stupors - I woke up here in Calgary – I had a raging hangover - I founded the Eye Opener there and then. More important, Paddy, Calgary’s going to Hell in a hand basket. The only way to stop the decline and fall of our city, Paddy, is to revive the Eye Opener.” “Humbug,” said Bennett but he handed Nolan a $50 cheque drawn on the Home Bank of Canada.
The Bar at the Alberta Hotel is the longest bar between Winnipeg and Vancouver.
The Calgary Police Service reports that Edward’s grave at Union Cemetery
is dug up and empty. The Home Bank went bankrupt in 1922.
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