Emoji Major No. 15: Emoji Major, Emoji Mayor Rob Ford

This week, Zoe Mendelson offers yet another revelation about The Crack Smoking Mayor Of Toronto: He is an emoji.

You can’t write this stuff. You really can’t. Rob Ford, now affectionately known as The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto, link-bait incarnate, is a gift to journalists, comics, Canada-mockers, and to the whole Internet, really.


In case you missed it, the elected official recently:

Got busted smoking crack on video. Denied smoking crack. Admitted to smoking crack because he was in “one of [his] drunken stupors.” Stumbled around trashed, violently, and incoherently ranting about killing an unknown person–on video. Consorted with prostitutes. Possibly did lines of coke in a restaurant. Gave an extremely sexually explicit press conference. Said he was sorry. Refused to take a leave of absence. Signed bobble head dolls of himself. AND has a “Hockey Night with Mayor Rob Ford” playlist on Songza featuring AC/DC, Kiss, and David Bowie.

Here’s what perhaps hasn’t yet come forth: Rob Ford, The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto, is an emoji. To begin with, he looks like an emoji: He has no neck, little hair, and his face is a circle and often red. This guy as the angry red face is one of the most accurate emoji castings conceivable.

And then there’s the fact that he’s not only a ridiculous person, but also a huge, pink sweaty person with a broad face and a round nose, which makes him all the more cartoonish and tempting to cast as a pig.

Plus, so many opportunities for symbolic expletive replacements! And so many incredible quotes! This guys is a well of quips that make you go:


If only he were so uncensored when tweeting, I’d have included him in last week’s emoji Twitter column. Luckily someone made @shitrobfordsays for when you just need to feel a little better about yourself.

Another reason I’m after Rob Ford, The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto this week: I wanted to try out a one-man show. I recently did an experiment where I traced Hamlet’s emotional state throughout the play in a line of emoji:

I almost always go for ensemble emoji pieces for the fun of the casting process, but this warmed me up to the one-character narrative. And where Rob Ford, The Crack Smoking Mayor of Toronto, may not have Hamlet’s ability to wax existential, he’s plenty dramatic. His epic, crazed drunken rant video could easily be a scene out of (sad) Shakespeare:

“I’m going to kill that [expletive] guy. I’m telling you it’s first-degree murder…he dies or I die, brother!… When he’s down, I’ll rip his (expletive) throat out” and “I’ll poke his eyes out” and “I’ll make sure that [expletive] is dead.”

See the slideshow above for a tormented 21st-century character who confirms that if anyone were ever to be or not to be an emoji, this guy is it.


About the author

Zoe Mendelson is a mushroom salesperson in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a weekly map column for UntappedCities.