My first visit to Conrad Black’s house should’ve been my second.
Back in the previous century, my gang of Toronto anarcho-peacniks had talked about trekking up to his Bridle Path manse and pouring blood (or something like it) on his front steps.
I don’t recall the reason why. (It was 20+ years ago and I was drunk.)
No doubt one of the newspaper baron’s dailies in the Hollinger chain had printed something “offensive” again.
With his aristocratic bearing, conspicuous wealth, hollow-point vocabulary, and equally imposing wife – glamorous, fiery journalist Barbara Amiel – Black was an easy, all-purpose target.
Thanks to years of lazy misuse, his name had become a meaningless shorthand curse word for Canadian leftists.
Anyhow, I don’t think that nasty plan was ever carried out.
I do know that it was all I could think of many years later — 2006, to be exact — as I tottered up Lord Black’s long, dark driveway in my painfully new, too-high shoes, headed toward a party in honor of Mark Steyn and his then most recent book, America Alone.
I’d been sober for five years, I mused; did that mean I owed Black an “amends” for something I’d only half-thought about doing?
Was it too late to turn around and go back home?
It was. My husband had already driven off into the creepy, silent darkness that is “Millionaires’ Row” after sundown, with orders to rescue me three hours later.
As my heels clicked loudly along the asphalt, I tried to keep my pace steady by humming along to their taps: