Just days after he was videoed drunkenly rambling away in Jamaican Patois in the middle of a fast food restaurant, illustrious Toronto mayor Rob Ford was at it again, this time leaving a waiting audience bewildered as to his whereabouts as he fought his way out of a hotel lift.
Ford became trapped in an elevator for over an hour as a restless room full of the city’s business elite muttered impatiently ahead of his scheduled appearance at the $89-a-plate lunch on Thursday.
By the time he was freed and finally made his way to the podium to make his speech, half of his audience had left. His staff had, apparently, made no explanation as to why he was so late. Or even shed any light on whether he was likely to turn up at all (for all they knew, he could have been in a bakery round the corner putting on a fake French accent and wielding a baguette like a bayonet).
“I want to thank the Economic Club for hosting this event and getting me stuck in an elevator for 45 minutes,” he finally told them (they'd been waiting 60 minutes plus by that point), before launching into a 20-minute speech trumpeting his own cost-cutting efforts at city hall and slamming the city council for limiting his powers following his crack smoking scandal.
Chief executive of the Economic Club of Canada Rhiannon Traill later confirmed that Ford had not been alone in his lift of hell – he was remanded in elevator custody alongside several members of his own staff and a handful of hotel employees without any mobile phone signal whatsoever.
However, Traill pointed out, using the glaringly obvious lift intercom system might have sped the whole process up a bit.
Ford declined to answer further questions following his speech.