Smells like diss-spirit

Like all canines, we coyotes are connoisseurs of the aromatic. And the strong whiff we whiffed in the environs of Hizzoner-the-mayor yesterday was the reek of sweaty failure.

The mayor had lurched off the high road he claimed he would stick to when he started campaigning, to diss 77-year-old opponent Andrew Haydon with the jibe that he was "past his best-before date".

Them darned gotcha media picked up on it, and by the evening news, His Nibs was making like a Maytag, trying to respin that infelicitous turn of phrase to mean only Haydon's ideas, not the man himself.

That the mayor was pissed about looking like a jerk (again) was self-evident. Whether he accepted that he authored his own misfortune was less so. He tried to force a smile as he twisted in the wind - but the TV interviews betrayed a flat, clipped voice, a hard glare and gritted teeth behind perfunctorily-curved lips.

With about two weeks left to campaign, he's transitioned from his usual baseless confidence into a muted desperation hallmarked, in about equal parts, by abortive Hail Mary passes and highly defensive-sounding damage control.

He still struggles to project a self-confident visual, but the invisible bouquet that cascades from him belies it. Somebody else, I might feel sorry for. Since it's Larry 0'Brien, I'm snappin' a clothes peg over my snout to block the growing odour of flop sweat. And as has been my habit for four years, rolling my eyes heavenward until election day and trusting in the, ummm, wisdom of crowds.

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