THE BEWILDERING BALLAD/BIO OF THE BOMBASTIC BRIAN GODZILLA SALMI

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WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP IT’S BEEN

 

1982

 

After watching If You Love This Planet – which won the 1982 Oscar for Best Documentary Short, and was labelled political propaganda from a foreign country by the Ronald Reagan administration – Salmi dedicates himself to the cause of nuclear disarmament.

1983
  • Salmi attends a committee meeting of Thunder Bay City Council that is debating the merits of a motion to declare the city a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. Salmi, wearing only a pair of gym shorts, and, “looking like Jesus himself,” is told by security that he will not be allowed into council chambers.

Salmi ignores the security officer and goes into the meeting.

Police are called. The officers tell City Hall security that there is no bylaw regarding a dress code for attending council meetings.

After Salmi leaves the meeting, councilors quickly pass a motion to establish a minimum dress code.[1]

The incident is front-page news in the city’s daily newspaper. Having not been asked for his side of the story, Salmi approaches the newspaper and asks for a proper hearing from the journal. The paper agrees and runs a follow-up story four days later.

“Salmi contends council does not have a right to set a dress code for those attending meetings. ‘After all, they are elected to serve the people, not rule them,’ he said. ‘It is an infringement of my human rights to tell me what I should or should not wear. After all, I don’t like some of the clothes they (council members) wear but what right have I to tell them what they should wear?’” [2]

This will not be the last time Salmi challenges dress codes set by public institutions.

  • Despite the fact that he did not graduate high school, Salmi is accepted into the Print Journalism program at Niagara College, in Welland, Ontario.
1984

 

Austin Jelbert told Salmi that he was not welcome back for a 2nd year of journalism school.
  • When the print journalism program’s Dean threatens to run the headline, “Your Vote, a Privilege, Not a Right,” on top of Salmi’s front-page story about the student union election, Salmi protests vehemently. The Dean asks the college’s leading political scientist to weigh in on the issue.

The poli-sci professor sides with Salmi, pointing out that Canada’s constitution Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms enshrined voting as the most fundamental right a citizen has. Humiliated in front of his students and peers, the Dean of the journalism program tells Salmi not to bother trying to register for the second year.

  • Salmi moves to Vancouver, British Columbia, chasing after the crazy, red-headed, rock n roll cherry bomb he fell in love with while they were attending Niagara College.
  • Salmi is arrested for the first time (for an act of civil disobedience, that is). Along with a handful of other anti-militarists, Salmi is dragged out of a Vancouver hotel where the US government is hosting an event in which it makes Canadian companies aware of opportunities to win contracts for the Pentagon. When a police officer notifies the protesters that they are risking arrest for, “assault by trespass,” Salmi laughs, “Is that like arson by smoking?”

Al charges are dropped

1985
  • Salmi enrolls at Langara College (at the time known as Vancouver Community College). Langri-la, as it is affectionately known by students and staff, is a hornets’ nest of political activism.

After spending several days hanging out at the Students’ union office, Salmi is reminded of one of his favourite lines in Hollywood history. The Wild One (1953), which is the first outlaw biker film, stars Marlon Brando who plays gang leader Johnny Stabler. When a female character asks Johnny what he’s rebelling against, Johnny answers, “Whad’ya got?”

At Langri-la, they are rebelling against everything. Salmi eschews book learning for hands–on politicking.

1986

 

Salmi and co. did support work for Vaclav Havel’s Charter 77
  • Vancouver has invited the world to attend Expo 86. When Salmi’s landlord announces a substantial rent increase in order to force him out so he can cash in on the tourist stampede, Salmi heads back to the Regional Municipality of Niagara for the summer.

In St. Catharines, he falls in with ACT for Disarmament, a group that has put hundreds of thousands of people on the streets in protest of American nuclear capable cruise missiles being tested in Canada. ACT (Against Cruise Testing), is a member of the international non-aligned peace movement, and as such does support work for dissident groups behind the Iron Curtain.

  • National media report that US nuclear armed warships have been greeted with a protest flotilla of peace activists in Vancouver, something Salmi and friends had been attempting to organize before his departure. Salmi makes a few quick calls to find out more, then stands on the side of the highway, sticks his thumb in the air, and makes his way back to Canada’s left coast.

While tabling at Langri-la, Salmi meets Ananda Lee Tan, who has just arrived from India. Like Salmi, Tan prefers hands-on politicking to book learning, and the two become brothers from very different mothers.

1987

 

Minister of International Trade Pat Carney: the BIG one that got away
  • The agreement which allows the US Air Force to test nuclear capable cruise missiles in Canadian air space is up for renewal in 1988. Unless one side gives notice that they wish to end the agreement one year ahead of time, it automatically renews for another five years.

Salmi and Tan descend on a constituency meeting being hosted by Pat Carney, the most powerful cabinet minister in western Canada, to press her on the mater.

Carney publicly states that she is firmly against renewing the agreement. By tradition, this is a breach of cabinet solidarity on a matter of great import (cruise testing has been deeply divisive issue in Canada, with millions of people marching in the streets to protest the tests). Protocol dictates that Carney must resign her place in cabinet, or be asked to step aside.

Salmi and Tan rush back to the office to notify the media. When, after a couple days, no media report the story, Salmi, Tan and a redheaded Rastafari occupy Carney’s office.

While the troika sit quietly in Carney’s office a reporter from Vancouver’s CKNW radio enters, and heads straight to a back room to consult with the minister’s staff. Ten minutes later the reporter emerges, and exits the office, but not before opining that the protectors need to come up with a more creative tactic if they want to get any attention. Salmi never forgets the words.

Carney, the Minister of International Trade, is in charge of negotiating a free trade agreement with the United States, which will become the largest issue in the 1988 federal election. Carney neither resigns her position, nor is she asked to. Nor do the media pay any attention to the breach of cabinet solidarity.

However, Carney does not contest the 1988 election, making way for future Prime Minister Kim Campbell to capture her Vancouver Centre seat.

  • ACT for Disarmament has a strict policy of protesting in the streets every day a cruise missile is tested in Canada. The authorities have a strict policy of only announcing the tests a day in advance, and the tests are often cancelled for various reasons, even after they have been announced.

After a long night of leafletting in various Vancouver watering holes where young people who disagree with the tests can be found, Salmi and Tan head home. A test has been announced, and cancelled several times, and the media are not updating after midnighht, when news rooms have skeleton staffs. Half drunk, the activists decide to get the goods straight from the horse’s mouth.

Tan places a call to Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, where the missiles come crashing back to Earth upon completion of the tests. He informs the officer who answers that he is calling on behalf of General (name no longer remembered) at Canadian Forces Base Comox (the General’s name had been in the media). Tan demands that Major Jan Martinsen be woken up to answer the General.

When a dazed and confused Martinsen comes on the line, Tan hands the phone to Salmi, who bamboozles the Major into admitting that an American B-52 bomber is in the air and the test will begin in a matter of hours.

Mission accomplished, Salmi concludes the call by telling Martinsen that he will be in Edmonton (the nearest big city to CFB Cold Lake) the following week, where he has booked an executive hotel suite with a hot tub, and hopes that she will report for a full, private debriefing.

  • Salmi and Tan lead a couple hundred college students protesting cruise missile testing in Canada. The students march on the downtown Vancouver office of Pat Carney,.
USAF General Salmi, Canadian PM Brian Mulroney (Ananda Tan, and their master outside the US Consulate in Vancouver

The students are carrying a full size model of a cruise missile. Carney is out to lunch when the protesters arrive. Salmi tells the press, “Pat Carney heard we were coming and did the typical thing – closed up shop and refused to meet the people.” [3]

1988

 

Salmi got 20 days in the hoosegow for hugging trees and pissing off a judge
  • Salmi and Tan are arrested for violating a court injunction forbidding anyone from attempting to impede the construction of a logging road into the old growth, virgin forests of Clayoquot Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Salmi tells the police that his name is Ford Prefect, and Tan says his is Zaphod Beeblebrox. Hours later, after giving their legal names, the two are released. The following day, Salmi heads cross island to join a Greenpeace anti-nuke protest at Nanoose Bay. Tan, however, goes back to Clayoquot Sound where is again arrested. This time Tan goes directly to jail.

  • Salmi joins Canada’s Parti Rhinoceros Party, known for their hilarious satirical mocking of political parties and politicians. Salmi runs in Vancouver South, under the name Brian Godzilla Salmi, explaining that, “After the last film, I came to BC to retire at the bottom of Nanoose Bay. But I’ve become extremely annoyed by all the nuclear warships buzzing around above me, so I am seeking revenge, this time by running for office, rather than destroying everything and everyone I see.”

Salmi is also the campaign manager for the Rhino’s star candidate, a young skateboarder named John C Turner. Turner is contesting the riding of Vancouver Quadra, which is held by opposition leader (Liberal Party) John N Turner.

Aghast, and fearful that their leader may lose his seat if enough of Quadra’s elderly voters confuse Rhino Turner for Liberal Turner (C comes before N, and thus the Rhino will appear above the Liberal on the ballot), the ‘natural ruling party’ of Canada contests the Rhono’s nomination papers, alleging that many of the names were taken from headstones in cemeteries. At a hearing before the riding’s returning officer, Salmi convinces the official that their nominators are legitimate. The Liberals will get their revenge five years later, when they conspire with Canada’s other mainstream parties to exterminate the Rhinos.

  • Salmi appears in court to contest the charge stemming from his arrest in Clayoquot Sound. The trial is scheduled to be held for five days, during the last week of the in-progress election.

Salmi is one of dozens who were arrested for contempt of court, and they are to be tried together, in what critics call a Soviet-style show trial.

Salmi argues that his trial should be severed from the others, and rescheduled for after the election, in which he is a candidate. Salmi informs the judge that voting, and being a candidate in an election, is the most sacred right Canadians have, and is enshrined in Section 3 of the country’s constitution.

Unimpressed, the judge asks Salmi what party he is representing. Salmi tells the judge that his query is irrelevant, asking if he would grant his request if he were running for the ruling Progressive Conservative Party.

The judge ignores Salmi’s constitutional lesson, and tells the Rhino that his trial will not be severed, or rescheduled. Faced with a decision between pleading guilty, in order to return to the campaign, or foregoing his opportunity to continue to his offer of service to his fellow Canadians, Salmi tells the judge, “Given that you’re forcing me to plead guilty, it’s true; I have nothing but contempt for you and your stinking court.”

  • Salmi does not appear to be sentenced. Sheriffs are dispatched to Salmi’s abode, where they arrest him, and bring him before the judge.

In sentencing Salmi to 20 days in jail (the others all got 5 days each), the judge states that, given Salmi’s actions during the aborted trial, it is, “obvious that he has no respect for the law . . . . He seems to think he’s a law unto himself.” [4]

1989
  • Salmi and three other Greenpeace activists are arrested while protesting the arrival of nuclear armed American warships in Vancouver. The four are jailed after occupying the offices of the Vancouver Sea Festival, which invited the US Navy to join in the festivities. When asked if he had any regrets about the protest, Salmi answers, “My only regret is that we didn’t get the assurance that Vancouver would never again have these nuclear warships here.” [5]
  • Later in the year, when the US Navy sends an aircraft carrier (armed with 100 or so nuclear weapons) to Vancouver, Salmi, Tan, and a half-dozen other activists occupy the offices of Federal cabinet minister Mary Collins to protest.

Instead of having the protesters arrested, Collins agrees to a meeting. Following the meeting, Salmi tells the media, “’What we wanted is a more open, honest dialogue between the government and the people, which is a function of democracy.’” [6]

1990
  • Along with a half-dozen other Vancouver Greenpeace activists, Salmi and Tan are arrested for spray painting a radiation symbol on an American aircraft carrier. When the paddy wagon door is opened at the lock-up, Salmi is the last one out. He smiles at the cop who is holding the door and hands him a Get Out of Jail Free card from the board game Monopoly (Salmi had added the Greenpeace logo to the bottom of the card). The cop laughs hysterically, and goes to show his fellow officers the joke.

As soon as the c turns his back, Salmi disappears around the corner. When the cops do a headcount they notice they are short one prisoner. They open the cell and ask Tan, “Where’s Salmi?”

Tan chuckles, “Don’t you know?” The cop tells Tan that escaping custody is a serious offence, and the courts will not be amused. Tan chuckles again and replies, “C’mon Sherlock. It’s Salmi. Where would you be if you were Salmi?”

Sherlock finds Salmi sitting at the bar, drinking a beer, in the tavern whose back door is ten metres away from where the paddy wagon was unloaded.

Laughing, the cops says, “C’mon, time to go.” Salmi pleads for a minute to finish his beer, offering to buy one for the cop. The still laughing cop says, “Wish I could, Brian, but I can’t drink on the job.”

Salmi guzzles his beer, belches, and says, “Shitty job, You should quit.”

1991
  • Salmi is tasked by Greenpeace to organize a Canadian contingent to be part of global protest at the Nevada nuclear weapons test site. Greenpeace is campaigning for a comprehensive nuclear test ban.

Two busses filled with dirty hippies, stinky commies, raging grannies, and giggling funarchists from Canada join a 5000 strong rabble from around the world for a day of protest that sees more than 800 people arrested.

As he watches protesters arrested almost as soon as they go over the fence that surrounds the test site, Salmi scratches his head, and says to Tan, “There’s gotta be a better way to do this.”

  • When the rabble return to Vancouver, the first Gulf War is about to erupt. When Desert Shield turns into Desert Storm, Salmi and Tan organize a protest at Vancouver’e Peace Flame, where he burns a Canadian flag, an American flag, an Iraqi flag, and a UN flag. One of the protesters scurries across the street and steals a company flag from the Petro Canada gas station, and it, too, goes up in flames. Salmi proceeds to snuff out the flame with a fire extinguisher.

Later that day, BCTV reports that an American flag was burned at the protest. There is no mention of the other flags that were torched. Salmi contemplates a protest at the BCTV headquarters, where he would steal and burn a BCTV flag. Tan laughs and says, “There’s no point. They’d just report that an American flag was burned.”

1992
  • Salmi and one of his activist friends attempt to extricate themselves from poverty by creating a lottery. The Whole–Lotto-Work gambit, in which the pair sell 120 tickets for $10 a piece, and pick a winner for whom they will work for one week, garners Canada-wide media attention.

Just as the pair are completing their first week of work, the bubble bursts. Media reports state that the make work scheme is being investigated by police. Alarmed, Salmi makes some calls to the authorities, “We asked the RCMP about it and they advised us to cease and desist because the lottery is illegal.” [7]

  • Salmi is one of several disaffected Greenpeacers who establish the short-lived environmental group Earth Action.

Earth Action’s first campaign is to stop the proposed round-up and slaughter of wild horses on the Alberta prairie. The Canadian military claim that the horses are destroying an environmentally sensitive section of Canadian Forces Base Suffield, which is primarily used as a chemical weapons test range.

As the group’s chief propagandist, Salmi pens an op/ed denouncing the ill-advised plan. The piece runs in numerous Canadian daily newspapers. In the piece, Salmi provides an alternative:

“If, indeed, the wild horses are overgrazing the Sand Hills, then why not supplement their diet by dropping bails of hay? Or, if necessary, fence off the Sand Hills and let the area rejuvenate.” [8]

The story generates a storm of opposition across the country, and the military abandons the idea.

Earth Action retires, undefeated.

  • Salmi’s college friend, Darren Atwater, asks him to be the environmental columnist for his magazine, AF. Salmi agrees. After penning couple earnest columns, Salmi embraces the Jonathon Swift inside him, and writes his first piece of satire, The Environmental Necessity of Cannibalism.[9]
1993
  • Atwater buries AF, and fires up Terminal City. Salmi becomes the paper’s political columnist.

In Salmi’s first piece, he says it’s time for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to move along, opining that someone should, “stab that Irish drunk in the throat, and twist, until he drops the keys to 24 Sussex”.[10]

  • The Dalai Lama is coming to Vancouver. Given his well known hatred of communism, Salmi figures the Dalai Lama would applaud his entrepreneurial acumen, and hatches a bold plan to cash in. Vancouver is full of spiritual truth seekers, and every one of them wants a chance to see his Holiness when he makes an appearance. But tickets are hard to come by, in part because Salmi gambles his rent money and buys 100 of the $5 tickets. In true Vancouver fashion, Salmi scalps the tickets to the city’s namaste yuppies for $50 to $75 a piece.[11]

  • After initially being granted press accreditation for the Bill Clinton / Boris Yeltsin summit taking place in Vancouver, Salmi has his press lanyard ripped from his neck while making notes and swilling beer in the bar at the Pan Pacific Hotel with a Russian journalist named Oleg Kalashnikov. The RCMP can find no reason to arrest Salmi, but march him off the premises anyway.[12]
  • With all party support, the Brian Mulroney government passes Bill C-114, which requires wannabe candidates to submit a $1000 deposit if they want to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to run for office. C-114 also requires a political party to run a minimum of 50 candidates in order to be gain official party status.

Salmi sees this as an attempt to destroy the Rhinos, and raises the alarm.

Canada’s ‘national newspaper’, The Globe and Mail, makes a veiled threat from Salmi its quote of the day, “C-114 will leave poor Canadians with two options if they want to run for office in this country: rob a bank or mug a Tory bagman.” [13]

Undeterred by the federal government’s economic means test, Salmi vows the Rhinos will roar in the pending federal election, telling the media that notorious stripper Blondie Butler will carry the party’s flag in Vancouver Centre, the riding held by Prime Minister Kim Campbell (Mulroney resigned after C-114 was passed into law, and Campbell had become the Conservative Party’s new leader).

In Montreal, where the Rhinos were founded and hindquartered, the reaction to Salmi’s announcement is one of dismay.

The Montreal Rhinos tell media that they no longer recognize Salmi as a Rhino. Salmi responds by denouncing the Montreal Rhinos as a bunch of hash-dumb, brain-dead, politically correct, communist hippies, and closet case separatists, and announces that the Lotuslanders will form a new party, to be known as the Gnu Democratic Rhino Reform Party.

The in-house humourist at Vancouver’s daily tabloid mocks the Montreal Rhinos, writing:

“it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the mainstream Rhinos are caving in to indignant mutterings from PC types, especially feminists, who disapprove of strippers. And as if a stripper was just too much, the cheeky B.C. Rhinos also spoke of adding to the ticket Mistress Elle, a buxom dominatrix who would, naturally, be named party whip.” [14]

Because Blondie Butler is an American citizen, she can’t run in the election, and Salmi replaces her as the Gnu Rhino candidate in Vancouver Centre. He bills the contest as a Godzilla vs Kim Kong fight to the death. When asked, live on CBC radio, to assess his chances against the Prime Minister, Salmi laughs, “I’m gonna kick her big, fat, hairy ass!”

Salmi raises his $1000 deposit the hard way. “Salmi donned a blonde wig, and Kim Campbell mask Thursday, strapped a pillow to his butt, and gave pub patrons the opportunity to ‘Kick Kim Campbell’s ass for $1.’” [15]

  • When Elections Canada tells the Gnus that their 6’ 6” candidate in Delta will not have his nickname printed on the ballot, Salmi goes Godzilla on them:

“Desperate to get his nickname on the ballot, Gnu Democratic Rhino Reform candidate Ryan (Really Effin’) Bigge went ballistic yesterday. Accompanied by his pal Brian (Godzilla) Salmi and armed with a ‘50 mega-pun gnuclear warhead,’ Bigge occupied the Elections Canada office in Delta.” [16]

Elections Canada cries ‘Uncle,’ and Bigge’s nickname is printed on ballots.

  • On Election night, when Canadians have rejected Campbell and reduced the once mighty Conservatives to just two seats (Campbell lost hers, but not to Salmi), Salmi and a small horde of giddy, drunken Gnu Rhinos crash the Tories’ wake.

Patrick Kinsella, Campbell’s campaign manager, corners Salmi and introduces himself.

Salmi assures Kinsella that the nose-thumbers, who have mercilessly mocked Campbell and the Tories for months, will be cool, “We’re not here to dance on your graves. We just want to be here on this historic night.”

Kinsella smiles nervously, and warns, “Good. Because there are a lot of people here who really don’t like you guys, and I can’t guarentee your safety.”

When Kinsella moves on to cry into his beer, Salmi tells the Gnu Rhinos, “That’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever been paid.”

  • When the federal election is done and dusted, Salmi and the Gnu Rhinos turn their attention to the Vancouver municipal election.

The provincial government has recently amended election legislation to make it easier for citizens to become candidates. The new rules state that anyone who gets the signatures of two eligible voters can become a candidate in a municipal election. No financial deposit is required.

Salmi agrees that ordinary people should be more involved in politics, and does his part. Terminal City prints the nomination forms in its centrespread, and 20,000 copies hit the streets of Vancouver. Salmi hopes to have 1000 people running for mayor of Vancouver.

When city hall’s deputy returning officer learns of the plan, he tells the Vancouver Sun, “This is the first I’ve heard of it. It hasn’t materialized yet, but if it does, uh, we’ve got a problem.” [17]

In an editorial, the Vancouver Sun opines, “Mr. Salmi has proved that he is not really a political activist, not even a humorist, merely a vandal, attacking Canada’s democratic institutions for no purpose.” [18]

The Gnu gambit falls far short of the hoped for 1000 mayoral candidates, but 23 people place themselves in front of their fellow Vancouverites and ask for their vote for the office of mayor.

  • Salmi is one of the Greenpeace organisers of a three front, three-day protest against logging old growth forest in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island (during the summer more than 800 people have been arrested in an attempt to do the same).

Greenpeace strategists from across Western Europe and North America are gathered to discuss the final plans of execution. When it comes his time to introduce himself, and say what his role is, Salmi says, “Hi. My name is Brian. I’m an alcoholic, and… I think I’m in the wrong meeting.”

  • Salmi’s father dies the day of the municipal election. Two days later, Salmi applies to change his name to Ronald F McDonald.
1994
  • On September 11, 1993 the former mayor of Vancouver, and future Canadian Ambassador to the UK, Gordon Campbell wins the leadership of the British Columbia Liberal Party. Liberal MLA Art Cowie resigns his seat in Vancouver-Quilchena to make way for Campbell to enter the provincial legislature after winning what is certain to be an easy by-election victory.

When the by-election is set down for February 17, Salmi introduces the heretofore unknown concept of Black Rhinocerosism to BC politicos:

“With a Marlboro in hand and a bottle of B.C. rot-gut in his mouth, grease-painted horror show Ronald F. McDonald staggered into the Quilchena by-election Wednesday.

“Like his more famous namesake, McDonald sports a nuclear-meltdown-yellow jumpsuit with candy-cane-stripped arms. His skin is a sickly, corpse-like white, his hair the colour of outlawed food dye, red number 2.

“Where hamburger huckster Ronald McDonald is a happy, corporate-minded clown, Ronald F. McDonald is not.

“His middle initial stands for a word that rhymes with ‘clucking.’ He gets drunk in public, ingests illegal mind-altering substances, and hands out leaflets with pictures of convicted murderer Karla Teale on them. The handouts feature the words: “Vote for the Clown or I’ll Kill You.” Flip them over, and you’ll find banned information from Teale’s trial, including graphic descriptions of how Karla and Paul Teale allegedly killed their victims.” [19]

Until Ronald F makes his first appearance, outside the McDonald’s in the middle of the riding where Vancouver’s crème de la crème live, no one knows for certain who he is. When the media ask Salmi, he is evasive, saying only, “I’ve known him all my life. He’s a real asshole.” [20]

When police threaten to arrest Salmi for his campaign flyers – not the one described above, but another with a graphic of Mother Teresa spanking Ronald McDonald while the bad clown fists the Pope, and the Pope yells, “Spank him again, Mother Teresa, he’s a BAD clown!” – Salmi laughs.

“You’re gonna bust me for this, but not for breaking the publication ban?” Then he laughs again, and says, “Go away. Leave me alone. I’m campaigning.” The cops do as they’re told.

When the media ask if he’s worried about being arrested, Salmi laughs, “I’ve been to jail before.”

Salmi is the only Canadian journalist to break the publication ban and not be arrested.

  • Salmi falls under the spell of a dirty, little Jewish sexwitch. When he overhears her telling a friend, “Yes, I’m totally in love with him. No, I would only ever marry the devil himself,” he changes his name to Sa Tan, and proposes. The sexwitch, who comes to be known as Yummy Girl, turns down his offer of matrimony.
  • Salmi’s Terminal City column, “…or Brian will hit you!” is short-listed for a Western Magazine Award.
… or brian will hit you!
  • When the Vancouver Canucks make it to the semi-finals of the NHL’s annual Stanley Cup tournament, Salmi predicts they will go all the way and win the championship. He also predicts – or, depending on who you ask, incites – a riot.

His column features the headline, “Canuckmania? Booze up and Riot!”. The cover of the most infamous issue of Terminal City shows a silhouette of Vancouver’s skyline burning, underneath a screaming headline that reads, “HOCKEY NIGHT IN VANCOUVER”: Show your team spirit!.”

The Canucks lose game 7 of the finals against the New York Rangers, but the 100,000 plus mob that assembles downtown riots, anyway.

The Vancouver Police open an investigation to determine if they can charge Salmi, and Terminal City publisher Darren Atwater, with inciting the riot.

The cover of the next issue of Terminal City features an alluring teaser, “WESTERN MAGAZINE AWARD LOSER BRIAN GODZILLA SALMI: RIOT SCHMIOT I DENY IT!”

In his column, Salmi writes about his participation in the riot, but denies having anything to do with inciting it:

“Well, Hammer and I were down there chanting, ‘We’re number 2! We’re number 2!’, and selling fist sized rocks and ski masks (shopping aids, if you will) but, hey, what the fuck, we deny it too.”

He actually denies writing the piece, claiming that another journalist, whom he had mocked the year before, had written the piece and faxed it in to an unknowing Atwater:

“And while I’m at it, I didn’t write that riot advocacy piece that appeared in the May 25 issue of Terminal City, either. I suspect that red-nosed, green-liveried, braindead, alcoholic, Mongoloid Brian Kieran, from The Province, wrote that and faxed it in with my name in order to get me in trouble for revealing some of his ugly secrets in a previous issue.”

Vancouver police wanted to know if Salmi incited the 1994 Stanley Cup riot, or merely predicted it

When police question Atwater about the piece, he informs them that if they attempt to say that Salmi wrote it, Salmi will sue for defamation.

Less than a year after denouncing Salmi as a vandal, the Vancouver Sun’s editorail writers jump to Terminal City’s defence, and mock the police for investigating the insolent little rag.

The Sun calls the investigation, “riotous silliness,” and gives some advice to the cops.

“Rather than laying charges, perhaps they would do better to contact the paper’s delightfully named editor, Rev. L. Ron Moonbeam, with a view to taking out a subscription.” [21]

  • Salmi tells the new owner of an empty, run down, B-grade strip bar in the Niagara Hotel that he can transform the place into a money-making rock n roll joint. The owner asks his brother if he’s ever heard of Salmi. The brother laughs, “Well, if he can start a riot, I bet he can fill your club. Hire him.” In less than a month, The Mighty Niagara is the hottest bar in Vancouver.

The “Bender on Pender” was the hottest rock n roll Hellhole in Vancouver within a month of Satan taking over

  • When Bloc Québécois leader Lucien Bouchardloses a leg to flesh-eating disease, Salmi ignites a furore in La Belle Province by creating a game. Terminal City runs the game as his column, and Salmi packs The Mighty Niagara with black humour enthusiasts who line up for a chance to win a jug of beer if they manage to “Pin the Leg on the Separatist.” [22]

The Vancouver Sun dispatches a reporter and photographer to interview Salmi and Atwater at the Terminal City office. But the story never appears in the paper.

A Sun insider tells Atwater that when he and Salmi refused to say that they have any animosity towards Bouchard, or the Quebecois, and instead say that they’d rather the tragedy had befallen right-wing, Western populist Reform Party leader Preston Manning, the Sun’s editors spiked the story.

But the bar stunt is covered by CTV National News. The owner of the Mighty Niagara receives a call from a politico friend, who is a fixer for the governing Liberal Party of Canada. Salmi is told that powerful people in Ottawa will be very displeased if the prank runs a second night.

Every issue of Terminal City disappears from the streets of Vancouver within three days. The Terminal City office gets death threat phone calls from people with Quebecois accents for a week, or so. And then everyone moves on.

1995
  • The Globe and Mail files an access to information request regarding the Vancouver Police Department’s investigation into Salmii’s role in the Stanley Cup riot. The paper tells its readers that Constable R. Reece, of the terrorist/extremist section of the department’s intelligence unit, reported that Salmi is a, “’person with extreme views, a high intellect but a non-violent and a bark worse than his bite.’”

Reece continues with the flattery by writing that Salmi, “’has never been a lover of the Police or any type of authority.’” However, Reece also concedes that Salmi was fair to the police in his follow-up column (RIOT SCHMIOT I DENY IT).

Then the Globe reveals that the police held more than one investigation into the incident:

“A second police report added that, ‘given the ridiculous nature of the entire article,’ it would be difficult to treat the offending passage seriously. Crown prosecutors ended the silliness by determining there was no chance of conviction.” [23]

  • When Quebecers vote to remain in Canada in a sovereignty referendum, Salmi writes that Bloc Quebecois leader Lucien Bouchard should have his other leg cut off for attempted treason.

The cover of Terminal City features one of the most iconic photos in Canadian history, but it is doctored to reflect Salmi’s call for revenge. When the last spike was driven to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 photographers captured the moment for posterity. Terminal City’s art department puts Bouchard into the pic. He is tied to the track, and it appears that the last spiker is about to cut the separatist’s remaining leg off.[24]

1996
  • Despite his infamy, Salmi manages to pull off a minor miracle by convincing Vancouver’s crusty and conservative City Council to extend the Mighty Niagara’s hours. He does so by sitting in City Hall’s lobby and picking off councillors one by one until he has all the support he needs. Councilors simply cannot deny the fact that the bar’s success has attracted businesses to a nasty part of town. The Province calls it, “a rare display of common sense and decency,[25]

The Mighty Niagara continues to be the most bizarre bar in Vancouver, especially on Tuesday nights, when Salmi hosts Metal de Fromage.

 

When Def Leppard and their one-armed drummermake a tour stop in Vancouver, Metal de Fromage holds a one arm drum solo contest, which Salmi dubs the one arm beat off.

The Province reports:

“You thought a one-armed drum solo competition was tasteless? Oh no, wet-T-shirt contest . . . swear to God. And a free lemon-gin shot for every pair of knickers handed over to the bar. I’m telling you, too much.

“Underwear to the Underprivileged was the cause.

‘So those women in the Third World don’t have to run around naked any more,’ hollered Salmi from the stage as two pairs of skivvies floated forward. (Salmi told me later he’s got a contract with a vending-machine company in Japan. At that point, I could have believed anything.)” [26]

When the Mighty Niagara’s female patrons demand some sort of quid pro quo for the wildly popular wet t-shirt contests, Salmi gives them exactly what they are begging for: a contest to find the biggest cock in Vancouver.

Likely drooling at the prospect of Salmi being arrested for the event, The Province calls the provincial Attorney General’s off ice:

“’You’re kidding,’ Brent Thompson with the ministry of the attorney-general, said yesterday. ‘Actual penises were shown? Good grief. Actual naked flesh was shown? Wow. I’ll get back to you.’”

The tabloid tells its readers what Salmi already knew, “Turns out there is no prohibition against full male nudity in a licensed establishment.” [27]

Metal de Fromage gets even stranger when Salmi adds a new act to the multi ring circus: Hit a Hippie. The Vancouver Sun cannot resist:

“The first time Salmi did this he went to Granville Street, found a hippie (the definition is unclear), tore a $50 bill in half and promised him the other half if he showed up at the Niagara that night.

“When he showed, Salmi says he covered him in hockey gear and for a dollar allowed patrons to take a whack at him with dried-out children’s hockey sticks (if they hit too hard the sticks broke). After 20 minutes the hippie was unharmed and got his full $50 plus several pints of beer.

“Tonight they’ll be using sponge whiffle bats. Now for the really big question: Why?

‘I hate hippies,’ growls Salmi.’” [28]

  • Salmi’s next strange gambit is to build a beach in the middle of Vancouver’s downtown core. He covers a huge vacant lot in 10,000 tons of sand and screens old, classic films on Saturday nights.

When Salmi can’t pay the $1000 per night rent as the summer long festival gets started, the landlord’s agent threatens to pull the plug. Salmi trumps the eviction notice with a press conference that he holds at the agent’s office. The day after the presser Terminal City features his struggle on its cover with the headline, The Battle for Granville Beach.[29]

The Vancouver Sun sings Salmi’s praises for trying to make the city a better place. Referring to Salmi’s Terminal City account of fighting the good fight, the Sun’s municipal affairs reporter writes:

“My favorite, for the week, is Brian (Godzilla) Salmi’s hyperbolic account in Terminal City of his battle with the forces of darkness (property owners, city hall, police) so that he and his group of co-conspirators can show classic movies against the wall of a building next to an empty lot in the heart of downtown Vancouver (a subject covered in more detail by Elizabeth Aird on page 6 of today’s Saturday Review).

There is Salmi, taking them all on, for what? A belief that the city would be a better place (and a vacant lot could perform a useful function) if people got together to watch movies outdoors after dusk at Georgia and Granville. That’s the kind of obscure and monomaniacal passion that does make the world a better place.” [30]

Snowed under by an avalanche of criticism, the landlord, rumoured to be the Sultan of Brunei, retracts the eviction notice.

  • Having failed to get 1000 people to run for the mayor’s office in 1993, Salmi tries the stunt again three years later. But this time, there’s a difference. Salmi offers FREE BEER to anyone who runs for mayor.

BCTV calls the Terminal City office and tells Salmi they want to put him on the air, live, during their evening newscast. Salmi smiles and asks, “You want to put me on live?”

When the anchor asks Salmi why anyone would want to participate in his stunt, he laughs maniacally and says, “Because it will be more fun (at that point he thrusts his hand up next to his face) than having your prostate examined by a fat fingered dyke!”

That night, The Mighty Niagara is packed with thirsty wannabe mayors who swill enough free beer to fill a swimming pool. Salmi, who refers to the slobbering mob as genetic mistakes and mental mutants, is not surprised to learn that only 58 people manage to file proper nomination packages.

Salmi does not get the 50 foot long ballot he has dreamed of, but there will be a lot of hahaha packed onto the slate. Legislation governing municipal elections in BC stipulates that a candidate can run under any name they are commonly known as, even if it is not their legal name. So, the incumbent mayor will be pitted against the likes of Sage Advice, A. Red Hot Pepper, the Stainer, Figgg Freud, Buzz, Frank the Moose, Lupo the Butcher, L. Ron Moonbeam, Zippy the Circus Chimp, the Trash Terminator, Mr. X, Barb E. Doll, and Yummy Girl.

The incumbent mayor is not pleased that he has so much competition for his job. When a Seattle TV crew treks north of the border to report on the hilarity they accept Salmi’s offer to drop by the bar for a cold one. The chuckling Yankees tell Salmi that they had just interviewed the mayor, and report that His Worship was apoplectic, almost frothing at the mouth about the prank. Surprised, Salmi says, “Really? I didn’t even know that wooden dullard has a pulse.”

When the Vancouver Sun asks Salmi if he would, please, be serious, for just a minute, and address the mayor’s statement that the prank is not funny, because people have fought and died for democracy, Salmi shakes his head. The stunt, he says, is:

“partially taking a kick at the whole farcical nature of a system where you get 30 per cent of the people who vote and basically put the aristocracy back in. It’s not a democracy, it’s an oligarchy where everybody in Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale and Dunbar and the west side anoint a mayor and city council.’” [31]

1997
  • When a federal election is called, Ryan Really Effin Bigge is ready. But he is no longer known as Ryan Really Effin Bigge. He is now known as Ryan Bloc Quebecois Bigge.

Bigge is running in Vancouver East, but Elections Canada again attempts to disallow his bid to have his nickname printed on official ballots. Salmi, Bigge’s campaigbn manager, threatens to seek an injunction to stop the election unless the nickname is included.

The Gnu Rhinos say that Canadians outside of Quebec should have a say on whether or not the country is to lose its French minority. Thus, Bigge’s candidacy gives a voice to voters who would like to kick Quebec out of Canada.

Elections Canada once again capitulates to the Bigge man, but Bloc leader Giles Duceppe does not answer Bigge’s request to be recognised as a candidate for the separatist party.[32]

  • While Bigge bangs on doors in Vancouver East, Salmi, still legally named Sa Tan, decides to run in BC’s Bible Belt, 90 kilometres east of Vancouver. He makes the announcement in a press release that alerts the Bible Belters to his coming out party:

“The time has come, the battle is on, the lost tribes of Israel have gathered in the parking lot of a 7-11 in Clearbrook and the Beast is loose … Satan and his 14-year-old virgin bride will kick off the campaign this evening with a Bible burning that will cleanse the putrid earth in the Christian-infested area and make it safe for him to campaign.” [33]

Salmi, in this election incarnation, recycles his Ronald F McDonald costume, and acts as the Dark Lord’s spokeclown, because Satan does not speak to mortals. The role of Satan is played by Salmi’s childhood friend, who looks the part more so than the slightly Rubenesque Gnu Rhino leader. The 14 year old virgin bride, Lucy Fur, makes all campaign appearances wearing nothing more than lingerie and handcuffs.

The d=Dark Lord, his 14 year old virgin bride, and his spokesclown decompressing after a Hellish night on the hustings

The Abbotsford News reports on the devilry:

“He and his minions set up a barbeque to burn Bibles and roast marshmallows on a pitchfork. If that’s not offensive enough, his campaign literature features a blindfolded woman – purported to be a virgin bride – whose arms are tied with a rope. He mocks abortion, promising to make Abbotsford an “Abort-sford” where abortion clinics would be on every street corner.” [34]

The editor of the Chilliwack Times urges his readers to file complaints with the BC Human Rights Commission.[35]

The local RCMP open an investigation,. Workers employed by the district are sent out to tear down Satan’s posters.[36]

Two of the posters feature photos of Satan’s 14 year old virgin bride and advise people to, “VOTE FOR SATAN… or the virgin gets it.” The third advertises an election night orgy/victory party with a photo of an in-prgress group sex party underneath the words, “BECAUSE I KNOW YOU’D RATHER FUCK THAN VOTE.”

Salmi informs the RCMP that destruction of a candidate’s election materials is a violation of the Elections Act, and demands that the vandals be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Satan’s campaign is followed very closely by the riding’s youth. When the devil’s minions hand out his campaign material in their high schools, the chairman of the school board demands criminal charges be laid against the candidate.

One school board trustee tells local media how she reacted when she heard about the election materials, “’It was described to me what was on them and I didn’t even look,’ she said. ‘I didn’t want to violate my mind.’” [37]

The SATAN ’97 DRINK FUCK VOTE hotline gets scores of death threats. Salmi plays the recordings for the RCMP, and demands police protection for campaign appearances.

Satan’s spokesclown replaces the pentagram that is painted on his face with a target.

As the campaign enters its final weekend, one astute journalist calls the furor in the Bible Belt, “Much ado about nothing,” [38] and goes on to admit that the Dark Lord added a great deal of life to what would have been a yawner of an election, which was a foregone conclusion, anyway.

  • The Vancouver Police Department raid Salmi’s basement marijuana plantation. Forty-eight hours later, Salmi is in London.
The party came to a screeching halt for Salmi when the cops kicked down the door of his grow show
1998
  • Salmi quickly tires of hearing Brits yammering on about how boring Canadians are. When he sees an ad for Tanqueray Gin that states, “Bores come in two categories: those without conversation and Canadians,” he schemes up two pranks to set them straight.

First, he drafts, “An urgent Message to all Canadians Regarding our Imminent Declaration of War on the Country of Great Britain.”

The pamphlet demands an apology from Her Majesty the Queen. When Elizabeth II issues the demanded apology, an armistice will be signed at the Maple Leaf Pub on Canada Day. Reparations for the egregious insult will come in the form of alcohol. “We will settle for nothing less than a ridiculous amount of free martinis to be served to all Canadian citizens present.”

Salmi then dresses up in his comical idea of a Captain Canada costume, and sets off to deliver the pamphlet to the British powers-that-be, hockey stick in hand to show the limeys that he means business.

Captain Canada declares war on Great Britain in the CBC studios in London

Salmi is followed by a CBC TV news crew as he rollerblades to the middle of the Westminster Bridge, where he symbolically pours a bottle of Tanqueray gin into the Thames. He deadpans to the CBC crew, “You know a Canuck is pissed off when he pours a perfectly good bottle of gin into a river,” and then hurls the bottle in the direction of the House of Parliament.

Then he delivers his pamphlet to bewildered guards at 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

All of which is completely ignored by London media outlets.

The Globe and Mail’s intrepid reporter in London, who initially loves the idea, and uses it as the basis of an uncharacteristically interesting piece, can’t be bothered to attend and report on the stunt, “I have no idea whether he followed through on his plans.”

But, she does show a bit of prescience by opining, after the fact, “Even if he threw a truckload of Tanqueray off the bridge, the English media probably would ignore him. After all, he’s just another boring Canadian.” [39]

  • When Salmi and his flatmate are watching the British media fall all over themselves reporting on Viagra’s legal entry into the UK market, the Canuck who is not the exiled Rhino leader laughs, “Wow! Now women can rape men.”

Salmi smiles and says, “And so they shall!”

Salmi creates The Viagra Rape Squad, a band of beautiful, blond, demented, militant feminists who are out to avenge all the women who have ever been raped.

Knowing that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, he plays the role of the first man to be victimized.

After scouring London for one section that does not have CCTV cameras, Salmi and two unknown females check into The Aquarius Hotel, a scuzzy little flophouse in Earl’s Court. Eight hours later, long after the girls have snuck out a backdoor, the manager hears Salmi’s screams for help.

The first victim of the Viagra Rape Squad

Opening the door, the manager sees Salmi, naked from the waist down and chained to the bed, a vibrator buzzing between his legs. Shocked, the manager says, “I call the police!”

The police take a professional interest in several stickers in the room. The stickers have a graphic with the logo from the 70’s TV show Charlie’s Angels on them – three women in silhouettes with guns in their hands, But, instead of guns, the women are holding dildos.The stickers read, VIAGRA RAPE SQUAD STRIKES AGAIN – NOW YOU’RE FUCKED LADS.

The constables also find two tablets of Viagra, and an empty vodka bottle.

After Salmi says he does not want to file a complaint, the police let him go.

Posing as a reporter for the Daily Mirror, Salmi’s partner in the hoax calls the local police station the following day, asking if they can confirm the rumours he is hearing. Understanding that he can make a quick quid, the bobby who answers the call says he hasn’t heard a thing. Then the cop calls a contact at The Sun.

The following day The Sun breaks the story with a screaming headline: FORCE-FED VIAGRA THEN RAVISHED BY TWO BLONDES [40]

On the same day, The Daily Sport runs a two-page story that includes the complete press release that Salmi had mailed to more than 50 media outlets before getting down and dirty in Earl’s Court.

The following Monday Salmi appears at the office of Max Clifford, the man celebrities go to if they want their names in the news, or if they don’t want their dirty secrets in the tabloids.

Salmi spins Clifford his absolutely plausible fairy tale. When Salmi goes back to see Clifford the next day, the publicist tells him that the News of the World is offering 25000 pounds for his exclusive interview.

Unfortunately for Salmi, the News of the Worldonly publishes on Sunday, and the paper’s Christmas party is on Thursday night.

Without getting his permission, Salmi’s partner brought in a freelance journalist whom he had used to feed his own lucrative hoaxes into the London tabloids in the past. That journalist is on the invite list for the party.

On Thursday night, when Salmi takes a phone call from the hack, whom he never trusted, he knows he’s been sold out.

The News of the World runs a two-page spread claiming credit for their journalistic diligence:

“All Britain knew him as just a handsome young businessman, after reports of his ordeal hit the headlines. But the TRUTH is he’s a scruffy furniture mover called Brian Salmi. And the Viagra attack that became the talk of every office Christmas party was an elaborate HOAX to cash in on interviews about his ‘fate’.” [41]

The piece goes on to implore the police to arrest Salmi for filing a false police report. But Scotland Yard can do no such thing, because Salmi neither asked for the police to be called, nor filed a complaint.

  • Back in Vancouver, Terminal City is teetering on the brink of insolvency. Atwater asks Salmi if he wants to contribute anything to what may be the paper’s last issue. Salmi grinds out a 5000 word, tell-all about his times as a marijuana miner, and his mysterious disappearance from Vancouver. The cover features a photo of Salmi in his grow show. with the headline; BRAIN SALMI: ACTIVIST, JOURNALIST, IMPRESARIO, FUGITIVE.
1999
  • Salmi returns to Vancouver and is introduced to the Vancouver Sun’s new hotshot from the States. The hotshot is the editor of paper’s Saturday magazine. Salmi pitches the American a piece on his reflections on his life in jolly old England. The editor suggests they pretend Salmi is still in London, and run it as a letter home. Salmi says, “Sure. Whatever. Just pay me.”

The piece runs under the headline, IT’S TIME TO TAKE THE BRITISH OUT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, and opens with an alluring lead:

“Wrong. There simply is no other one-word description that sums up the state of England, today. Every day brings another baffling array of incomprehensible absurdities and I am constantly amazed at how much wrong can be crammed in one small country.” [42]

The rest of the piece explains, in great detail, exactly why Canada’s left coast province should change its name to something more appropriate (Lotusland, perhaps), because there’s nothing great about Great Britain, and associating with such a backwards, second world country is bad branding.

The Sun gets piles of hate mail for the piece. The naïve, rookie editor from south of the border is stunned by the blowback he gets from readers, and his bosses.

When Salmi pitches the new boy in town with a couple of his other bright ideas, the two disagree on what constitutes a good story. Salmi continues to pitch story ideas until the exasperated editor tells the frustrated writer, “Never darken my doorstep again.”

  • Atwater is no longer able to keep Terminal City on life support, and pulls the plug. Despite Salmi’s warning, the publisher decides to put himself into semi-voluntary exile in London, leaving Salmi without a bully pulpit.

The Westender, a mainstream Vancouver weekly, is looking to get a little edgier. When The Westender’s in-house humourist goes on vacation its courageous editor offers the empty space to Salmi.

The first target for Salmi’s ire is the Vancouver Police Department’s spokeperson. The cops have arbitrarily decided that they have the right to search people coming into the downtown core for the annual four night fireworks festival. The cops claim that intercepting people carrying alcohol is necessary to prevent a repeat of the 1994 Stanley Cup riot.

Salmi leads his first Westender piece in a manner that consumers of mainstream media organs are unaccustomed to reading:

“There is a very strong body of circumstantial evidence to suggest that Anne Drennan and the rest of the braintrust at the Vancouver Police Department have become a bunch of hopeless crackheads.” [43]

Salmi told readers that VPD mouthpiece Anne Drennan was babbling like a paranoid crackhead

The paper is flooded with hate mail. The editor informs Salmi that advertisers are threatening to break their contracts, but decides not to ask him to dial it down, anyway

Salmi files two more pieces that also result in hysterics from readers and advertisers before the paper’s urbane funny man returns to his duties.

  • With another municipal election just a couple months away, Vancouver’s mayor manages to convince the provincial government to amend the legislation governing elections.

Municipalities now have the right to violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution) by demanding a $100 deposit from prospective candidates, making it impossible for the thoroughly impoverished to run for office.

The Vancouver Sun invites Salmi to weigh in, in an op/ed.

Salmi concludes his scathing condemnation of the anti-democratic amendment by hoisting His Worship on his own petard:

“As for a candidate’s right to be listed by any name he chooses, Philip Owen explained his position in a very candid interview with Charlie Smith of the Georgia Straight by saying that a person could still list a nickname parenthetically beside his legal name: ‘You know, if I want to be known as Philip Owen, but I’m called `Idiot’ – so Philip (Idiot) Owen – I think that’s fair and reasonable.’”

To which Salmi gleefully writes, “Well, at least we agree on one thing.” [44]

2000
  • When David Icke, the man billed as the world’s greatest conspiracy theorist, announces a Vancouver lecture, Salmi writes a 5000 word cover story for the weekly Georgia Straight. The issue flies off the streets faster than any previous issue of the 30 year old publication. The piece, David icke and the Lizard People, is subsequently short-listed for a Western Magazine Award. Once again, Salmi is a loser.
  • When BC’s Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) institutes a ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants, Salmi meets an unlikely business partner, a political fixer who was once an executive assistant to a federal cabinet minister in the government of Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

The very odd couple put together a campaign to overturn the ban. With financial support from entrepreneurs in the provionce’s hospitality industry, Salmi and his partner stir the pot enough to convince the courts to overturn the ban, and order the WCB to do a proper consolation of the iindustry’s entrepreneurs and workers.

When the WCB organizes a dog and pony show, Salmi creates a superhero character called Smokeman, who defends the rights of smokers. Smokeman dogs the dog and pony show at every stop, garnering front-page headlines:

“Faster than a struck match. Stronger than the aroma of pipe tobacco. Able to leap a carton of Player’s in a single bound. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s someone from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

“No! Look! At the end of the bar — it’s Smokeman — complete in striped green tights and two-inch disco heels.

“Smokeman (a.k.a. Brian Salmi) — a self-described superhero — arrived in Prince George from Vancouver Tuesday to defend the rights of smokers against the ‘tyranny of the Workers’ Compensation Board.’” [45]

  • In London, Atwater experiments with this new Internet thing that all the kids are talking about, producing an online version of Terminal City. When former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau dies, Salmi pens an unflattering obit, in which he claims the Kennedy of Canada had delusions of divinity:

“Trudeau was, first and foremost, a narcissistic megalomaniac who, at several points in his life, seriously thought he was, not Jesus Christ, but God himself. How else can you explain the fact that he took an 18 year old virgin as his bride (when he was at the ripe old age of 71, no less) impregnated her, and induced her into labour on Christmas Day? Not to be outdone by the big guy in the sky, Trudeau performed this miracle, not once, but twice!” [46]

2001
  • With a provincial election due in the spring, Salmi announces that the Gnu Democratic Rhino Reform Party will, henceforth, usurp the name Rhino Party from the Montreal Rhinos. Vancouver media rejoice at the news:

“The Rhino Resurrection is coming just in time to save us from being bored to death during this spring’s provincial election. Vancouver will be renamed Funcouver — the new capital of Lalaland. The suburbs will be moved to Victoria, where they belong, in exchange for the legislature, which Salmi would put atop Grouse Mountain. The view’s better and you don’t have to go far to get there.” [47]

“Speaking of the Rhino Party, those political pranksters are back and running candidates in the election. ‘Whoops of cacophonous laughter will boom from voting booths as fed-up citizens by the hundreds of thousands pump their fists in the air and yell, Rhinos! Rhinos! Rhinos!’ pledges self-appointed Rhino leader Brian Godzilla Salmi.” [48]

The news hits the wires, and the Montreal Rhinos wig out. Sun scribes tell Salmi that the newsroom is flooded with emails, faxes and phone calls from Charlie ‘The Janitor’ McKenzie. The Montrealers are banging their shoes on their desks and screaming, ‘We will bury you!’

A Sun editorial reports:

“Friday’s e-mail brought an oppressive-sounding response from Charlie McKenzie, Interim Chef’ of the Parti Rhinoceros- Rhinoceros Party. ‘There are no plans to revive the party at anytime in the future, nor has the party sanctioned any provincial off-shoots,’ he says. ‘The name… is protected by copyright and history. Any attempts to use it without permission will result in legal action.’” [49]

  • When the Vancouver Parks Board threatens to ban Bobus the Clown from performing in Stanley Park, Salmi and the Rhinos rampage to the rescue:

“Dressed in a big red hat, polka-dot coveralls and giant black shoes, Bobus the Clown pleaded with the parks board Monday night to let him continue selling balloons in Stanley Park. He was backed by almost a dozen members of the Rhino Party in clown costumes, who chanted, ‘Leave the clown alone,’ and presented chairwoman Laura McDiarmid with a Jello brain and a box of paper hearts items they felt the board is lacking.” [50]

  • Vancouver is quickly becoming known as No Fun City. City Hall and the police routinely turn down permit applications for festivals. Hit particularly hard are the city’s young people, who have no idea what to do about the problem. Until they take notice of the Rhinos and contact them.

Brian Silverfish Bone, an earnest young art teacher and impresario, collaborates with the Rhinos to strike back against the forces of boredom and misery. The Vancouver Sun reports:

“Brian Godzilla Salmi has a vision… he sees 10,000 young people running through the streets of downtown Vancouver with cardboard toilet paper rolls stuck to their foreheads. Then they hit each other with cream pies. Salmi’s vision is scheduled to become reality on Saturday, in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery at 2 p.m.” [51]

  • Salmi is having fun, bu he’s not making any money. So bad is his financial state that he can’t even afford the unconstitutional $100 deposit required to run against Premier-in-waiting Gordon Campbell. When Salmi’s nomination is denied by Elections BC, he files for an injunction to stop the election until his name is placed on the ballot.

The Vancouver Sun coverage of the court case asks:

“Should poor people be denied the right to run for office? That’s the crux of the question raised in B.C. Supreme Court by Brian Godzilla Salmi, leader of the B.C. Rhino party, earlier this week.”

Next, the Sun asks readers to, “Leave aside the fact that Salmi filed the petition dressed in a green cape, white longjohns, green glitter boots with a five centimetre heel and a toilet paper roll strapped to his head.”

After giving a reasonable explanation of Salmi’s reasoned case, the Sun piece states, “In asking this, Salmi is dead serious. And in answering his questions, both we and the court should be as well.” [52]

The court denies Salmi’s injunction request. The Vancouver Sun reports:

“However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Frank Maczko acknowledged Friday that Salmi raised some fundamental democratic issues. Maczko went so far as agreeing that the long-haired Salmi might just have an argument that is eventually capable of overturning the results in the riding, where Liberal leader Gordon Campbell is expected to be elected next week in a landslide that will propel him into the premier’s office.” [53]

The judge says that if Salmi could win a judgment that financial deposits are unconstitutional, he could apply to the courts to have the election results overturned.

Salmi books another court date to do just that. The National Post reports that at least one person favours his chances, “’Based on the arguments that I have heard, I think the applicant has a very strong case,’ Justice Frank Maczko said in his ruling.”

Salmi, who has represented himself in court, tells the Post that he, too, would wager money on a victory, “After all, even poor anarchist scum like me are protected by the constitution.” [54]

  • On election night, Salmi and the two Rhinos who did manage to get on the ballot, Liar Liar and Helvis, crash the victory party. In the sea of suits, the clowns are soon spotted by Liberal Party goons. While sipping cocktails and schmoozing the few good-looking women in the room, the troika are pounced upon by brawny thugs who muscle the Rhinos up the escalator, and out the doors of the Wall Centre Hotel.

The Province reports on the mugging:

“Rhino Leader Brian Salmi said he’ll take legal action today against the Liberals for roughing him up while ejecting him from their election-night victory party in downtown Vancouver. ‘It’s interesting because they hadn’t been declared victors for more than an hour before they were already assaulting their political opponents,’ said Salmi.” [55]

  • Terminal City publisher Darren Atwater returns to Vancouver from London and resurrects the alt-weekly. Vancouver is paralyzed by a long and debilitating public transit strike. Salmi convinces the publisher that if Terminal City is to be taken seriously in its second incarnation, it must get the busses and trains running again. “And how are we going to do that?” asks an incredulous Atwater. Salmi laughs and says, “We tell our readers to bring us the head of George Puil.”
King George hated Salmi shining the spotlight on his Royal treason

The first cover of the new and improved Terminal City commands its readers to do exactly that. The issue features Salmi’s 2000 word centrespead piece, titled, “Skytrain and the Madness of King George,” detailing why Vancouverites must depose Puil. The piece concludes that if the work stoppage is to come to an end, “George Puil must die.” [56]

Puil, a feared and loathed city councilor for more than 30 years, is the head of Translink, the statutory authority responsible for the regional transportation network of Metro Vancouver.

Up until the time Terminal City hits the streets again, activists lack the focus they need to achieve their goal of getting the city moving again. Now they have a villain to aim their vitriol at.

At the first city council meeting following Terminal City’s resurrection, the sore-footed rabble storm city hall carrying placards bearing the magazine’s cover. Terrified, mayor and council flee from council chambers through a back door.

In the next issue of Terminal City, Salmi starts a series titled, ‘The Ongoing Assassination of King Georg’e, in which he digs into Puil’s political skeleton closet. That weekend someone dumps a ton of horseshit in front of Puil’s multi-million dollar, waterfront mansion. When the Georgia Straight asks Salmi if it was him, he denies it.

Other Vancouver media outlets start referring to Puil as King George (Puil later admits that he hates the moniker, which he never shakes).

The following weekend an angry mob descends on Puil’s home, after Terminal City publishes a map disclosing its location. Police arrive to make sure the malice does not morph into mayhem.

Before another installment of the Ongoing assignation of King George can be written, Premier Gordon Campbell issues a back to work order. One hundred and twenty-three days after the strike started, and twenty-seven days after Terminal City called for Puil’s head, Vancouver is moving again.

  • Salmi appears in BC Supreme Court to make his case that election deposits are unconstitutional. Once again, he appears wearing a pair of longjohns, Mexican wrestling mask, superhero cape and a toilet paper roll (Rhino horn) attached to his forehead. But this time the judge is not having it, and tells the Rhino to go home and change his clothes if he wants to be heard.

Salmi informs the judge that his right to appear anywhere in public dressed exactly as he pleases is protected under Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (freedom of expression). He adds that if he were a Sikh he would not be ordered to remove his turban, or if he were a Haida he would not be ordered to remove his button blanket. Rhinocerosism, he says, is a unique and distinct philosophical movement, and the court has no business trying to strangle it in its infancy.

The judge tells Salmi, “I don’t care what the Charter says.”

Packing his bag, Salmi asks, “Why the fuck would I argue my case in front of a judge who doesn’t care about the supreme law of the country?”

The judge has no come back, and Salmi walks out shaking his head and chuckling.

  • Terminal City goes belly up, again.
2002
  • For the second time in less than a year, Terminal City rises from the grave. Salmi and Atwater decide that the paper should embark on a seek and destroy mission against the party that has ruled Vancouver for more than a decade.

Salmi starts a weekly column, The Ministry of Truth, focusing exclusively on city hall and the Vancouver Police Department. Week after week the Minister of Truth exposes the reprehensible conduct of Vancouver’s overlords.

Vancouver’s new police chief grants Salmi an interview. Salmi shows up with a congratulatory slice of cake from one of Vancouver’s best bakeries. The top cop looks at the offering suspiciously, laughs, says “Thank you,” and puts it aside.[57]

  • When the campaign period for the November election officially begins, Salmi announces that he will run for a council seat. He discovers that it is perfectly legal for a council candidate to also run for a seat on the school board, and throws another hat into that ring.

A Vancouver Sun scribe gives Salmi an endorsement:

“This time out, Brian (Godzilla) Salmi – a veteran campaigner who also once ran federally in Abbotsford as Sa Tan (“Mmmmm, could it be SATAN!!!) – is running a relatively straight campaign for council. He’s got ideas – dozens of them – on his Web site”

The veteran reporter explains Salmi’s school board run:

“He’s also running for school board for one simple reason — he wants our schools to adopt the successful Baby Think It Over program used in many schools across North America. The program gives high-tech infant simulators to teens to take home, and the kind of care the teen provides is monitored by the simulator. The objective is to both teach parenting skills and reduce teen pregnancy. Will Brian Salmi show up at a school board all-candidates meeting as a pregnant man? Don’t be surprised.”

After bemoaning the dearth of ideas being put forward by Salm’s opponents, the scribe concludes, “I know I’ll likely save a vote for Brian Salmi, for provoking us with both thoughtful and crazy ideas that are far beyond the ken of apparatchiks everywhere.” [58]

Students of journalistic ethics, who debate whether or not it is kosher for Salmi to be covering an election he is running in, would have been horrified to learn that he is also one of the masterminds behind a campaign being waged by Vancouver’s hospitality industry. Salmi has given them permission to use the name FUNcouver, and city hall’s war on fun becomes one of the three most important issues in the election.

When the Globe and Mail’s man in Vancouver calls Salmi, “a goof,” [59] the candidate delivers a coup de grace in the paper’s letters section:

“As for being a ‘goof’: Why, my old friend, would you want to pick a fight with an 80-foot lizard with radioactive breath, who writes better than you do? That’s worse than goofy — that’s stupid. But wait . . . am I wrong to assume that ‘goof’ is a derogatory term? I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ont., an isolated community, in the days before the dawning of the age of communication. Owing to our isolation from the rest of the world, we often incorrectly defined many terms. If that is the case, please accept my apology, Mr. Sullivan and carry on with your fine work. As Bob Dylan once told Barry Manilow, “You’re an inspiration to us all.” [60]

  • When Salmi is not drowning in politics, he is drinking, with both hands, and smoking crack.

  • Once again, voters reject Salmi’s offer to represent them. But it’s mission accomplished at Terminal City, as the party that has ruled Vancouver for more than a decade, sometimes with no official opposition, is turfed with a resounding, “and stay out!”
  • Atwater approves Salmi’s request to stand down from the City Desk, and move to the provincial capital where he will report on Gordon Campbell’s administration.

The chaos begins the minute Salmi sets foot in the Legislature building:

“Brian Godzilla Salmi, showed up at the legislature yesterday dressed in black-and-white striped tights and a ‘Hello, My Name Is Satan’ lapel sticker. He asked for a hallway press pass and was turned down by the sergeant-at-arms office.” [61]

Things escalate quickly when Atwater requests a face to face meeting with the Speaker of the House:

“Brian Salmi, a reporter for Vancouver’s Terminal City, was arrested along with editor Darren Atwater for obstructing a peace officer after refusing to leave the office of legislative Speaker Claude Richmond. Police let Atwater go after he signed an undertaking not to return to the legislative buildings. But Salmi refused to sign and was to spend the night in jail.” [62]

Mr. Speaker denies he is trying to censor the free press. But the Vancouver Sun’s Victoria bureau reports that there is a caveat, “Claude Richmond said Tuesday he will allow a reporter from an alternative Vancouver newspaper into the press gallery only if he agrees not to denigrate parliament.”

Richmond fires off a letter to Atwater. Atwater forwards it to all interested parties, and the Sun can’t resist reporting on it:

“’We are only interested in respect for the institution, which includes a minimal dress code and reporting that does not denigrate parliament or bring its officers into disrepute,’ says Richmond’s letter to Terminal City editor Darren Atwater.”

“Richmond and other legislature officers are annoyed about a satirical article Salmi wrote in 1994. In particular, the fictional article made references to deviant sexual acts made late at night by an officer of the legislature.” [63]

Victoria’s Times Colonist picks up the story:

“’My question to them was simply were they prepared to show some respect for the institution of parliament?’ They were also asked if they were prepared to meet the dress code observed by press gallery members, he said. Their answer was no to both, and when Salmi and Atwater refused to leave the office, it was treated as a sit-in and sergeant-at- arms staff were asked to remove them, Richmond said.” [64]

The Vancouver Sun’s provincial affairs columnist points out the Speaker’s own goal, “The Speaker says ‘show some respect for the institution of parliament.’ It is Mr. Richmond and his staff, with their nitwit overreaction, who have brought the institution into disrepute.” [65]

Another Province scribe reports that Salmi is not the first to break the dress code:

“In the early 1970s, the much-loved, late MLA Emery Barnes broke legislature rules. His crime was to wear a dashiki, a traditional Nigerian tunic, into the House.

“Barnes got away with his transgression, perhaps because the former B.C. Lions football player stood no less than six feet six inches tall. Nobody wanted to take him on.

“According to one account, a member of the Sergeant-at-Arms staff charged with enforcing the dress code, approached then-Speaker Gordon Dowding: ‘That man’s improperly dressed,’ he observed disgustedly.

“Dowding took one look at the towering Barnes and said to the official: ‘Are YOU going to tell him?’” [66]

Charges against Salmi and Atwater are dropped.

2003
  • When Premier Gordon Campbell is arrested for drunk driving while on an extended Christmas vacation in Hawaii, Terminal City is just wrapping up its own two-week drunken vacation.

When the Premier calls a mea-gulpa press conference in Vancouver, Salmi and Atwater are there. To the surprise of no one, Salmi and Atwater are not allowed inside the venue.

It has been widely reported that the presser falls on the Premier’s 55th birthday. Salmi’s hopes to wish Campbell a Happy Birthday in person, and give him a gift – a bottle of Kahlua – are thwarted. Not a fan of Kahlua, Salmi hands the gift to the highest ranking police officer he can find, and beseeches him to make sure the Premier receives the gift, “No, seriously,” says Salmi to the cop.

By the time Terminal City hits the streets for the first time in 2003, Campbell’s mug shot has been run in every newspaper in Canada, so Atwater does not want to run it. Salmi convinces the publisher to run the photo on the cover by adding the headline, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

In Salmi’s piece about Campbell’s arrest, he denounces the Premier for having the audacity to stand before the people of British Columbia and ask forgiveness, while at the same time lying his face off. When asked, at the presser, what the reading was when he was breathalyzed, Campbell answered, “I don’t know the answer to that… I don’t know the answer.”

Prior to that, the Premier had said, “What I’m trying to do today, is be forthright with you.”

In his piece, Salmi mocks Campbell: “No you’re not, you lying fucker. Everyone knows what they blow, you lying piece of shit.” [67]

As part of its investigation into Campbell’s drunk driving charge, the Vancouver Sun sends a reporter to the scene of the crime. The reporter tracks down and interviews one of the people who was in the drunk tank when the Premier stumbled in.

Senior management at the Sun spike the story. A disgruntled staff member leaks the piece to Terminal City. Salmi tells Terminal City readers what transpired at the Sun, and in the drunk tank.[68]

Salmi tells Atwater to nominate him for a Webster Award in the category of Investigative Reportage. Atwater pulls the last $100 out of his wallet and asks, “You wanna get nominated, or drunk?” It’s a rhetorical question. The pair head off to the pub.

  • Salmi and Atwater return to the Legislature to cover the Speech from the Throne. Although they have been told, on several occasions, that a tie is a must for any reporter hoping to be admitted into the Press gallery, no one has produced a copy of the alleged dress code, despite repeated requests.

When the pair check in at the office of the Sergeant at Arms to apply for accreditation, the room goes silent. Salmi is wearing a Nehru jacket over top a turtle neck. Atwater is wearing some kind of one piece Polynesian garb.

“You can’t seriously expect us to wear ties with these outfits,” Salmi mocks.

Atwater smiles and adds, “We’d be arrested for fashion crimes.”

Accreditation is granted without questions.[69]

  • As media outlets across the globe open War Desks to cover the American invasion of Iraq, Terminal City opens its Peace Desk. Every week Salmi tells readers what people in Vancouver and around the world are doing to stop the war.
  • Vancouver mayor and council announce that a job opening. The city is looking for someone to address Vancouver’s well deserved and growing reputation as No Fun City. The mayor says the hire will unofficially be known as the Sultan of Fun. Bureaucrats correct His Worship by clarifying that the official job title will be Social Planner II.

“Me!” says Salmi, and starts a public campaign for the position that he has helped create.

Salmi gets the support of at least one long time, prominent Vancouverite, The Province’s editorial cartoonist, Dan Murphy

Murphy tells Salmi he has one reservation:

“’My biggest personal nightmare not involving the cast of Friends is that this thing will end up with the Fun Police coming to my door late at night with a badminton racket and a beach ball.’

‘To force you to come out and have fun?’

‘Yeah.’

“Nobody’s gonna come in and unplug anybody’s TV,.’

‘We need to start to embrace and nurture the creative spirit that’s in this city. You can’t swing a cat without hitting somebody that’s got some beautiful, crazy idea in their head — but the various institutions have somehow combined forces, over the last decade particularly, to thwart that natural spirit.’”

Murphy points out that Salmi may not be qualified for the position, “City hall would like the Sultan of Fun job to go to someone with a master’s degree and 10 years in the festival racket.”

To which Salmi points out, “Neither P.T Barnum, nor Walt Disney would make the cut,” [70]

  • Salmi does not make the cut. Sulking, the bitter clown who has made Vancouver his home for almost 20 years, packs up his circus tent and moves across the Rocky Mountains, to Calgary.
2004
  • When Alberta is hit with a few cases of Mad Cow Disease, threatening its highly lucrative beef industry, Salmi writes a 2000 word cover story for Cowtown’s alt-weekly. In the piece, Salmi focuses on the exhaustive work of an Englishman named Mark Purdy. Purdy is convinced that the conventional wisdom about the cause of mad cow disease is all wrong.

Knowing that Albertans have been flooded with reportage on the matter, and further knowing that an alt-weekly’s readers are searching for something new and unusual, Salmi hooks them with an unorthodox lead:

“Me and my friends, Hammer and Tigger, once won a girl infected with mad cow disease in a pool game. We were on our way from Vancouver to Nelson when Tigger decided it was time to start getting his drink on as we rolled into Grand Forks early on a Friday night. This was the third day of a bender and the three of us looked like some kind of alcoholic beasts from the Island of Dr. Moreau.” [71]

  • When former Terminal City contributor Ben Mahony decides he wants to contest the Yukon riding in the federal election, he conscripts Salmi as his campaign manager. Salmi gives Mahony his Rhino name, dubbing him BIG Ben Mahony. Instead of presenting Mahony with the customary toilet paper roll Rhino horn to wear on his forehead, Salmi gives BIG Ben a paper towel roll.

But Mahony’s desire to be the first Rhino to run in a federal election since 1988 goes off the tracks when he fails to find an accountant. The Election Act requires a prospective candidate to have a certified accountant sign on for financial accountability. The Constitution, which enshrines the right of every citizen to stand for office, supersedes all other laws of the land, says nothing about accountants Mahony names Salmi his legal representative and the pair go to court.

BIG Ben and his beast of burden battled the borg in the Yukon Supreme Court

Salmi again opts to ask the court for an injunction to stop the election. But this time he feels his case is much stronger. “Not only have the rights of Big Ben Mahony been violated, but the rights of all Yukoners have been violated because they will not have the choice to vote for him.” [72]

The Rhinos file affidavits from Canadian citizens who want to vote for the BIG Rhino. The affidavits say the rejection of Mahony’s candidacy is akin to elections in the former Soviet Union, where the state decided who could, and who could not stand in an election.

Moreover, Salmi explains that if they so desired, accountants could completely thwart Canadian democracy. Parliament is dissolved when an election is called. The country has no government until a new one is sworn in. If the accountants conspired to not sign on to the campaigns of any candidates, there are no candidates, and therefore no election. No election means no government. So, as the Head of State, her Majesty the Queen has complete control.

Or, if the accountants will only sign on with candidates from the Communist Party, Canada becomes a communist state by default. An accountant/communist coup d’état.

In refusing Mahony’s candidacy, Elections Canada has deprived Yukoners of the economic development genius that only Rhinos have.

The Rhinos tell the media that their pledges include:

“genetically modifying exotic animals so that they can live in the Yukon and battle it out on the streets of Whitehorse to increase tourism. ‘This will also give us an opportunity to answer that age old question: Can a polar bear kick a lion’s ass?’ said Brian Godzilla Salmi. ‘Every day, five o’clock, lion versus a polar bear, tiger versus a grizzly bear, kangaroo versus a moose. So that will increase tourism absolutely.’” [73]

The Whitehorse Star reports that, in addition to an injunction to halt the election, the Rhinos also ask the court for:

“An order for the Chief Electoral Officer to surrender five flats (twenty six-packs, 120 bottles) of Arctic Red Beer and five flats (twenty six-packs, 120 bottles) of Yukon Gold beer to the applicant (Mahony). Salmi said the pair would be willing to settle out of court on the beer request for 10 cases of Chilkoot lager.” [74]

The Whitehorse Star reports the ruling of the court:

“As wannabe Rhino candidate Big Ben Mahony sat in the courtroom in a long, silver dress, another man in a gown, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower, said he would not shut down the election and start a new one to permit Mahony’s name to go on the ballot.”

After listening to both sides in the dispute, the judge took time to ponder their respective cases. After adjourning for two hours:

“Gower came back and, without any reasons, promptly rejected the Rhinos’ request.

“Upon hearing the rejection, Mahony slapped the clear, plastic cup in his hand down on the table and loudly said: ‘Pathetic.’

“He and Salmi then picked up the bags and left the courtroom while Gower was still delivering his decision. After the pair were out of the cour room, Gower put it on the record that the pair, ‘quite rudely walked out on me as I was pronouncing my order.’

“Gower also told the court he would have his reasons for the decision written and available as close to 9 am today as possible.

“But by noon today, no reasons were given. Without reasons, the livid Rhine cannot appeal the decision.” [75]

When the judge finally gets around to giving reasons for his decision, he tells Mahony the same thing the BC Supreme Court judge told Salmi, three years earlier: get a decision from the courts that the Election Act requirements for candidacy are unconstitutional, then apply to have the election overturned.

On polling day, Salmi makes his final protest. When the sore loser arrives at a polling station inside the Holy Family church, police are called:

“Next thing, he was standing behind cardboard voting station No. 23 ripping his ballot into bite-size morsels and washing them down with water.’You might want to know that this is illegal,’ Salmi told the two officers.”

The officers took it upon themselves to ignore the illegal act, leaving one reporter to ask, “What does a Rhinoceros have to do to get arrested in this town, anyway?” [76]

2005
  • Salmi is hired as a communications officer for the Yukon Territorial Government’s Department of Economic Development. Before he is on the payroll, his boss asks him to write speeches for Premier Dennis Fentie. The Premier is soon to travel to Washington DC to lobby for a railroad that would run through the Yukon and Alaska to the lower 48 states via Canada’s rail system. Salmi says he understands the urgency and writes the speeches. Salmi’s boss is very pleased with his work. On the Friday before the Monday when he is to officially go on the payroll, Salmi informs his boss’s administrative assistant that cheques will have to be made payable to his legal name. He produces his ID and hands it to the woman.

Aghast, the bureaucrat asks, “How do you pronounce that?”

Salmi pulls out his best possessed-by-a-demon voice and answers, “SATAN!”

On Monday morning Salmi awakens to the news that the infamous gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson has blown his own head off. Salmi knows it is going to be a bad day.

When Salmi arrives for work his boss pulls him into her office, and asks why the Hell he didn’t tell her his name is Sa Tan? Salmi says that he thought everyone in the Yukon knew that, given that he and BIG Ben Mahony’s aborted campaign and legal action had been the most interesting story in the Yukon since the 1898 gold rush, and had been covered, in great detail, for weeks.

Salmi’s boss tells him to go back to his grungy hotel and wait for a call. Salmi goes to the bar to knock back a couple Wild Turkeys in honour of the man he considers the best journalist and wordsmith of the 20th century. Then, knowing what is about to come, Salmi heads to the law library to start putting together his breach of contract lawsuit.

When the Yukon Territorial Government denies Salmi was ever hired, Salmi adds defamation to his suit.

Amused, the Whitehorse Star splashes the story on page 1

“A man who used to call himself Godzilla then later legally changed his name to Sa Tan to sound like “Satan” is accusing the Yukon government of defaming his character.” [77]

The Star reporter understands the breach of contract charge, given the emails between Salmi and his former boss, which the plaintiff has filed as evidence. But the journalist is a bit hazy on the defamation claim. Salmi explains that, by denying that he was ever hired the government is calling him a liar.

  • Knowing that he has a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning a suit in a court that he has publicly maligned, Salmi opens another front in the war.

In order to write the Premier’s speeches, Salmi was given confidential documents which thoroughly detail the railroad scheme. The Yukon and Alaska governments are claiming the scheme is primarily about economic development, but one of the studies in Salmi’s possession concludes the gambit is driven by the Pentagon. A rail connector would make it easier for the Pentagon to guard against a feared nuclear missile attack from North Korea by making it more cost-effective to home port warships in Alaska.

Salmi leaks the documents to a journalist colleague, who files the story for the Associated Press.

  • When the story runs in various North American newspapers, Salmi finds it increasingly uncomfortable, possibly even dangerous, to remain in the Yukon, and moves to Ottawa.

In Canada’s capital, Salmi reveals that the Pentagon wants the rail link so badly that Washington has turned a blind eye to Yukon Premier Fentie’s criminal background, and allowed him into the US. That juicy fact proves to be too good to resist for Time magazine, which reports:

“Premier Fentie, who was convicted in the 1970s of dealing heroin in Alberta, served 17 months in prison and was later pardoned. He has received visas to enter the US for business and politics. ‘It’s interesting that the Americans are off their high horses in the war on drugs to let a known, convicted heroin dealer in,’ Salmi says.” [78]

Salmi makes daily trips to Parliament Hill and does everything he can to scuttle the rail scheme. He tells anyone who will listen that building a railroad connection to Alaska will, more than anything, enable a north of 60 (degrees) ecocide.

2006
  • Salmi settles his lawsuit against the Yukon Territorial Government out of court for an undisclosed sum.
2007
  • Salmi moves to the cradle of Rhinocerosism, Montreal. When a by-election is called in the Montreal riding of Outremont, Salmi announces that he will contest it as a Rhino. The Globe and Mail is so delighted by the fact that a Rhino will rampage in Montreal that it, again, awards Salmi its highly coveted Quote of the Day:

“We have a grave concern that Canada is seen as a deadly dull country in the rest of the world. We seek to correct that misconception by changing the name to Nantucket.” [79]

  • Salmi will, simultaneously, finally get down to the serious business of having the courts rule that every citizen has the right to stand before his, or her, fellow citizens and offer to represent them in an election, regardless of whether they have money, or an accountant.

This time Salmi does not only ask the court to award him 10 cases of beer, he wants $50 million.

“In his claim, Sa Tan is also asking that a $50-million fund be set up to help political parties that were deregistered after 1993 amendments to the Election Act that aimed to get rid of fringe parties, like the Rhinoceros Party.”

Understanding that Canadians should not be on the hook for crimes committed against them by their government, Salmi asks the court to claw the money back from:

“the pensions of members of Parliament (who voted for the 1993 amendment to the Election Act) as a punishment for voting for this malicious attack on the most sacred right a Canadian citizen has, and from the salaries of all members of Parliament, present and future, as a deterrent against ever again attempting to violate the most sacred right a Canadian citizen has.” [80]

Having not bothered to extend an olive branch to the Montreal Rhinos, who have been extinct since 1993, Salmi is completely ignorant to the fact the home team nose-tumbers have also decided to contest the by-election:

“In a separate initiative, another Rhino group in Quebec announced its revival yesterday. The group, led by Montreal artist and former Rhino candidate François Gourd, went to a game park near Montreal and posed in front of a penned, real-life rhinoceros to announce its return to the federal scene.

“The two groups say they were unaware of one another’s initiatives, as befitting a ‘disorganized and anarchic’ movement, but they plan to meet in a Montreal bar tomorrow to discuss a merger.” [81]

After meeting with the Montreal Rhinos, Salmi decides to abandon his plan to run in the by-election.

  • Publishers and literary agents reject Salmi’s first book, Booze Up and Riot, so he self publishes it online. The book is a kind of diary of his life during Terminal City’s 2002 effort to remove the trash from Vancouver City Hall.

The only thing Salmi learned from journalism school that has been any use to him is the absolute necessity of opening with an attention grabbing lead. Thus, Booze Up and Riot opens with a blistering paragraph:

“It was a nine month orgy of chaos and comedy, frustration and funarchy, depravity and despair. There were days when we would sit in The Bourbon plotting out the week’s paper, pouring cheap grog down our boozeholes and laughing like gas-huffing retards as I’d regale the assembled cast of conspirators with the tales of incompetence, duplicity, treachery and almost unbelievable stupidity uncovered at city hall in the past week. And there were days when we thought we could slit the throat of every corrupt motherfucker in town and get away with it simply because it was the right thing to do – that it was, in fact, our job to do so. But there were also dark, awful, never-ending, soot covered days when the only thing that stopped me from putting a gun in my mouth was the knowledge that I didn’t deserve to die, the feeling that things would, eventually, get better and the pure love of a ** **** *** girl I’d never met.”

The Province is the first to give the book some attention, “Are parts harrowing and heart-breaking? Yeah. And parts just soaring, as Salmi grabs this town by the scruff of its neck to hector us about its incredible potential – and all of those sparkling possibilities.” [82]

The Yukon News is impressed with Salmi’s offering:

“Through a series of loosely strung but deeply related events, Salmi provokes sadness, laughter and outrage.

“Salmi’s observations, perversely amusing, sometimes nausea-inducing, are easier to swallow than those of the cops and politicians.

“In a world of factoids and data, Salmi’s information stands apart. Ideas fertilize thought, emotion and discourse. And few can write about municipal politics and elections with his double-edged mastery of call-to-action and high entertainment.

The Yukon News loved Booze Up and Riot

“No reader will accuse Salmi of disingenuousness, and the juicy narrative tidbits of his raw and deeply personal confessions are astonishing.” [83]

But that is all the love Booze Up and Riot gets from the mainstream media. Salmi, a self-confessed techno-feeb, has no idea how to work the Internet. Less than ten copies of the book are sold.

2008
  • Increasingly disgusted with his government for strangling his constitutional court case with procedural red tape, bored with his country, and frustrated by his inability to earn a decent living without risking incarceration, Salmi looks for a ticket out of Canada.

That ticket comes in the form of an offer to edit the first two English language newspapers in the world’s two newest countries. The Montenegro Times and the Kosovo Post go out of business within six months of Salmi’s arrival in the Balkans, but by then he has fallen madly in love with his brilliant and beautiful, 19-year-old editorial assistant. He tells friends, “I can’t say she’s my dream girl, because I could never have imagined that a girl like her could exist. She’s pure love!”

Salmi does the math and understands that it is better to be in love in Montenegro, than alone in Canada.

Lord and Lady Tan stroll hand in hand down I LOVE YOU Boulevard

After a quarter century of raging against, and laughing at the machine, Salmi is ready to settle down with, “The Best Girl in the World,” and disappears from the public eye.

    1.  “Going to a council meeting? Dress for it”. Chronicle Journal. 1983-06-24.
    2. ^ “Ban Bomb, Not Shorts?”. Chronicle Journal. 1983-06-28.
    3. ^ “New Cruise test planned for Friday”. Vancouver Sun. 1987-02-25.
    4. ^ “Environmentalist must go to jail on contempt count”. Vancouver Sun. 1988-12-07.
    5. ^ “Protest marks warship’s arrival”. Vancouver Sun. 1989-07-13.
    6. ^ “Warship sparks spate of peace pleas”. Vancouver Sun. 1989-10-14.
    7. ^ “Work plan hits legal obstacle”. Vancouver Sun. 1992-05-21.
    8. ^ “Slaughtering wild horses unnecessary and inhumane”. Toronto Star. 1992-08-25.
    9. ^ “The Environmental Necessity of Cannibalism”. AF. 1992-10-30.
    10. ^ “Stop Whining and fry some chicken, man”. Terminal City. 1993-01-14.
    11. ^ “Ringing in the Gnus”. Vancouver Sun. 1993-09-14.
    12. ^ “On the Street Again”. Terminal City. 1993-04-07.
    13. ^ “Quote of the day”. The Globe & Mail. 1993-03-19.
    14. ^ “Bad gnus, folks: Party’s over for Rhinos”. The Province. 1993-07-12.
    15. ^ “Gnu Rhinos, same old tricks: Putting fun in fund-raising”. Vancouver Courier. 1993-09-19.
    16. ^ “(Really Effin’) really frustrated”. The Province. 1993-10-04.
    17. ^ “Rhinos seeking 1,000 candidates for mayor”. Vancouver Sun. 1993-10-06.
    18. ^ “Vandalizing democracy”. Vancouver Sun. 1993-10-07.
    19. ^ “Dark Clown ‘McEnters’ Race”. Vancouver Courier. 1994-02-13.
    20. ^ “RONALD F. MCDONALD RUNS”. Calgary Herald. 1994-02-10.
    21. ^ “Riotous silliness”. Vancouver Sun. 1994-08-02.
    22. ^ “Pin the Leg on the Separatist”. Terminal City. 1994-12-08.
    23. ^ “Vancouver Where the pen is mightier than the spray paint”. The Globe and Mail. 1994-07-01.
    24. ^ “The Last Straw/Spike”. Terminal City. 1995-07-01.
    25. ^ “Wise city councillors extend Niagara’s hours”. The Province. 1996-01-18.
    26. ^ “Metal lives, seriously”. The Province. 1996-04-11.
    27. ^ “Shock but the flip side’s a bit much”. The Province. 1996-05-09.
    28. ^ “Scene and Heard”. Vancouver Sun. 1996-12-14.
    29. ^ “How Yummy Girl and Lizard Boy Won the Street for Classic Movies”. Terminal City. 1996-07-11.
    30. ^ “Be grateful for these annoying, passionate people”. Vancouver Sun. 1996-07-13.
    31. ^ “Godzilla strikes back: Funster Brian Salmi is happy creating a bit of chaos in the mayoral elections, his mischief as monstrous as his nickname”. Vancouver Sun. 1996-11-02.
    32. ^ “BLOCKING THE `BLOC’: The prank never ends for Vancouver alternative newspaper Terminal City”. Vancouver Sun. 1996-05-13.
    33. ^ “Election Countdown: Christians taunted”. Vancouver Sun. 1996-05-16.
    34. ^ “One helluva sick stunt”. Abbotsford News. 1996-05-20.
    35. ^ “Silence Satan with one quick phone call”. Chilliwack Times. 1996-05-20.
    36. ^ Satan’ no joke to Christian voters”. Chilliwack Progess. 1996-05-27.
    37. ^ School chairman calls for criminal charges against Sa Tan”. Abbotsford News. 1996-05-29.
    38. ^ “Devilish deeds on campaign trail only broadens appeal”. Chilliwack Progess. 1996-05-30.
    39. ^ “Boring, eh? You must be Canadian”. The Globe & Mail. 1998-07-18.
    40. ^ “Force-fed Viagra Then Ravished by Two Blondes”. The Sun. 1996-12-10.
    41. ^ “Man ‘raped’ by Viagra girls is a sick hoaxer”. News of the World. 1996-12-20.
    42. ^ “It’s time to take the British out of British Columbia”. News of the World. 1999-07-03.
    43. ^ “What’s the Vancouver Police Department smoking?”. Westender. 1999-08-19.
    44. ^ “Reaction to prank spawns threat to candidacy rights”. Westender. 1999-07-30.
    45. ^ “Holy smokes, it’s… SMOKEMAN!”. Prince George Citizen. 2000-06-14.
    46. ^ “The Philosopher King Trudeau is Dead”. terminalcity.ca. 2000-09-29.
    47. ^ “Rhinos vow to restore deMOCKracy”. Vancouver Sun. 2001-02-08.
    48. ^ “Return of the Rhinos”. The Province. 2001-03-08.
    49. ^ “Rhinos on their high horse”. Vancouver Sun. 2001-02-10.
    50. ^ “Bobus loses licence to perform”. Vancouver Courier. 2001-03-01.
    51. ^ “Endangered `fun’ the spark for giant street party”. Vancouver Sun. 2001-03-12.
    52. ^ “He’s mad for social justice”. Vancouver Sun. 2001-05-11.
    53. ^ “Court rejects Rhino plea to halt election”. Vancouver Sun. 2001-05-12.
    54. ^ “Caped crusader takes election law battle to Supreme Court”. National Post. 2001-05-15.
    55. ^ “Rhino plans to sue Liberals”. The Province. 2001-06-04.
    56. ^ “Skytrain and the Madness of King George”. Terminal City. 2001-07-05.
    57. ^ “Inquisition of the New Chief”. Terminal City. 2002-08-29.
    58. ^ “Guy who ran as a Rhino looks good”. Vancouver Sun. 2002-10-23.
    59. ^ “Getting a buzz in Vancouver”. Globe and Mail. 2002-11-02.
    60. ^ “Angry Rhino”. Globe and Mail. 2002-11-11.
    61. ^ “SORRY, NO RHINOS”. The Province. 2002-11-19.
    62. ^ “Ruckus at legislature over letting reporter in”. Vancouver Sun. 2002-11-26.
    63. ^ “Reporter ban an issue of respect, not censorship, Speaker says”. Vancouver Sun. 2002-11-27.
    64. ^ “Speaker defends arrest of journalists”. Times Colonist. 2002-11-28.
    65. ^ “Deviant sexual nature’? Aw, c’mon, Mr. Speaker”. Vancouver Sun. 2002-11-30.
    66. ^ “It’s time Legislature’s dress code got a dressing down”. The Province. 2002-12-02.
    67. ^ “Shamed lying drunken Premier is toast”. Terminal City. 2003-01-16.
    68. ^ “Gordo’s night in jail: Story killed by Sun Publisher leaked to TC”. Terminal City. 2003-02-06.
    69. ^ “Is THIS Dress Code Enough for You?”. Terminal City. 2003-02-13.
    70. ^ “The Fun Police are here, better smile”. The Province. 2003-09-07.
    71. ^ “Mad cows, manganese and mystery”. Fast Forward. 2004-03-15.
    72. ^ “Rhinos work to horn in on ballot space”. Whitehorse Star. 2004-06-10.
    73. ^ “Ever fancied seeing a polar bear kick a lion’s butt? Then vote Rhino”. Vancouver Sun. 2004-06-12.
    74. ^ “Rhinos plod on in push for ballot status, more beer”. Whitehorse Star. 2004-06-17.
    75. ^ Pathetic” Rhino says of court rejection”. Whitehorse Star. 2004-06-24.
    76. ^ “Sa Tan fails to get exorcized at Holy Family”. Yukon News. 2004-06-30.
    77. ^ “Sa Tan, otherwise known as Brian Salmi, sues Yukon government for defamation”. Whitehorse Star. 2005-04-13.
    78. ^ “On track for a battle”. Time Magazine. 2005-08-29.
    79. ^ “Quote of the day”. Globe and Mail. 2007-08-08.
    80. ^ “Clown prince of federal politics takes a run at electoral rules”. Montreal Gazette. 2007-08-08.
    81. ^ “After years of near-extinction, the whacky Rhino party is back”. Globe and Mail. 2007-08-08.
    82. ^ “Thirteen questions with Brian Godzilla Salmi”. The Province. 2007-07-08.
    83. ^ “Booze Up and Riot incites and insights”. Yukon News. 2007-10-18.
Brian Godzilla Salmi

Brian Godzilla Salmi

brian godzilla salmi BOY GENIUS smart ass philosopher BUDHA OF THE MUTANTS clownus horribilus INSUFFERABLE MEGALOMANIAC ...you're welcome .

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