News of a $22-million lottery windfall for Paul Hindo, honourary colonel of Ottawa’s Cameron Highlanders (Frank 91) puts me in mind of my other favourite Col. Dressup, JR “Party Col.” Cox of 41 Service Battalion in Calgary.
Unlike so many other hobbyists who’ve taken an ego-burnishing turn as regimental tailor’s dummy (Tubby Black, Pam Wallin, Sass Jordan, Wayne Roasthead, Rick Mercer, et. al.) Cox is an actual vet, a retired Master Corporal called up from the reserves to the PPCLI, with which he served two tours of Bosnia (he claims ‘countersniper,’ whatever that is; service record says ‘clerk’.)
JR’s also the proprietor of The Shooting Edge, the renowned Calgary gun shop and shootin’ range. It’s a popular fundraising venue for gun nut politicos, a veritable Chuck E. Cheese for Tory punters to blast away at targets whilst fulminating over the latest Liberal plot to take away our constitutional ballistic rights.
Col. Cox was, incidentally nominated as honourary colonel by his MP, one Stephen J. Harper, who, despite his tough-on-crime predilections, was willing to overlook JR’s unfortunate misunderstanding at the Canada-U.S. border in 2005.
JR was caught attempting to move a payload that included some 7,000 rounds of ammo – undeclared to customs — across the border into the U.S. In the event, the munitions, valued at $12,000, were confiscated, and Cox got off with a suspended sentence and paid a $100 fine, plus $5,000 administrative penalty.
Generous JR could most years be counted on to donate the legal maximum to the Conservatives, and was no doubt surprised and delighted just days before the 2015 election call when the government kiboshed a 2014 RCMP ban on certain Swiss Arms rifles that had landed JR’s gun shop in yet another spot of red tape and legal bother.
Alas, much like fickle Col. Hindo, whose donations to the Conservatives ceased with 2015’s regime change, JR also seems to have adopted a new Trudeau-era austerity policy. He’s made zero contributions, save for a $35 donation to the leadership campaign of Maxime Bernier, who campaigned not just on freeing the cheese, but also legalizing more fun killtoys like the AR-15, au courant modern sporting rifle of U.S. mass shooters (AR-15: School’s Out Forever™).
Of course, JR’s newfound frugality may have to do with financial pressures at home. Imagine my surprise and dismay when my courtesy call to the battalion is met with the news that Col. Cox is no longer in honourable harness, having retired earlier this year.
Wha’ happened? It seems the avid heterosexualist discovered he and another much-married officer with 41 Service were exerting themselves with the same horizontal marching partner, and JR (jokingly no doubt) threatened to tell his rival’s wife. The officer, whose name escapes me, reported the entire mess to the commanding officer, LCol. Dave Sweeney. JR went for the high jump soon after. Or so the story goes.
In a completely unrelated revoltin’ development, I understand JR’s long-suffering spouse Linda has filed for divorce, much to his potential financial discomfort, as various assets have been placed at certain times in her name for tax and other purposes, and her parents, who own shares in The Shooting Edge, are now demanding (quel horreur!) an audit of the company books.
Also among the household finance mysteries discovered by Mrs. Cox were massive credit card billings JR rang up, including monthly wads of $1000-$1500 blown at Little Shop of Pleasures, the renowned Calgary sex toy, BDSM and adult lifestyle superstore. (Home of the No Fucking Around 90-day return.)
Frank wishes the delightful couple nothing but the best as they strap on for what may be a bumpy postmarital ride. The safe word is “mediation.”