A tip of the Frank tricorn to Kevin “Killer” Vickers, gentleman usher of terrorists to the afterlife, who seems to have adjusted with grace and aplomb to the ever-shifting narrative of Oct. 22.
On his June 4 toot to the University of Regina to pick up an honorary doctor of ballistics, our manly man in Dublin modestly insisted he was merely one of several awesome action heroes of our National Loss of InnocenceTM.
“There were many heroes that day,” quoth Kev’ in a gasbagger to the local Chamber of Commerce. “It was not about Kevin Vickers, October 22nd; it’s about Canada and the resiliency of Canadians.”
Indeed, as more info emerges, like the OPP report that counts some thirty bullets from diverse sources in Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s sorry ass, and a coup de grace delivered by RCMP Const. Curtis Barrett, the Vickers legend recedes apace.
It’s all rather different from the mythic early version of the day’s tragic events, retailed so credulously by CTV’s Craig “Ginger” Oliver, a Vickers compadre.
In that account, Kev, while performing a sweet John Woo dive, pops one in Mikey Z-B’s noggin and single-handedly saves the day. And who spun Ginger this stirring tale? Why, the reluctant hero himself!
While it may not have been all about Kev’, diplomatic appointments for his supporting cast have not been forthcoming. His reward, the ambassadorship to Ireland, is rated one of the plushest assignments for floaters that Fort Pearson has to offer, a no-experience-necessary sinecure oft bestowed on deserving party hacks like Ron Irwin, Pat Binns and Loyola Hearn.
The appointment also afforded the national hero a generous measure of financial security. It addition to his ambassadorial emolument ($169,400 to $198,200) Vickers, 58, is already the beneficiary of a fully-loaded RCMP pension from a grateful nation, plus a top-up for his nine years’ service as Defender of the Privy Closet.
Even more importantly, with Big Kev’ out of the House, President Steve is spared a constant visual reminder of his own ignominious yellow-trousered Heritage Moment amid the janitorial supplies.
The quality of the ambassadorial accommodations, it must be allowed, is somewhat reduced from the glory days. The Tories, in their ongoing yard sale of diplomatic silverware, unloaded Strathmore, the splendid eight-bedroom, 1860s mansion on nine waterfront acres next door to Bono on the outskirts of Dublin, back in ’08.
The hoped for $25-mil selling price sank disappointingly to $17.6 mil, most of which went into Glanmire, the new ambassadorial pile at 22 Oakley Road. The six-bedroom pied-a-terre, in the swish neighbourhood of Ranelagh, is more than adequate for Vickers, who lives only to serve his country, after all.
Glanmire is also a point of keen historical interest, having spent generations in the family of Padraig and Willie Pearse, leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. The house was for years a safe haven for Michael Collins and countless other republican conspirators.
The Pearses were executed following the failed insurrection, and with the centenary approaching next year, Glanmire is a likely site of pilgrimage by all manner of IRA fanboys.
So even if the 10/22 notch in Vickers’ mace comes with an ever-growing complement of asterisks, he’s potentially well-placed to bag himself another self-radicalized ne’er-do-well.