Martyn Brown: Justin Trudeau’s TMX strip poker

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      So, Keaner (Kinder Morgan CEO Steven J. Kean), you up for a game of strip poker, Canadian-style?

      Rules are these.

      You win, I give you the shirt off my back, great wads of cash, and you get to revel in my limp-dick shame and walk away clean.

      I win, I still lose my shirt and my dignity, but you’ve gotta keep playing the game. Plus, I get to tattoo my name on your junk.

      Ready, then? You deal, Texas hold ‘em, of course.

      That’s one for me, two for you, one for me, one for you. Perfect. It’s all about trust.

      Say what? You want to fold and call it quits? But that was only the preflop—and you already won it!

      Look, how about I let you take one of my cards. I don’t mind showing them to you, if that’s what it takes. Which one do you want, the King of Hearts or the diamond-suited Joker?

      Wait a minute. How did that one get in there, anyway? Didn’t think Jokers were allowed in this game.

      Whatever. You can only play the hand you’re dealt, right?

      OK, then, so no bet? Me neither.

      But I’ll drop my drawers all the same, seeing as how it’s just the two of us.

      Can I get a sock? No? Alright, just thought I’d ask.

      Then let’s go for the flop. One. Two. Three. All three cards on the table, values-up.

      Man, I could really do something with that flop hand. It’s worth so much more than it looks, believe you me.

      Just like that pipeline you’re peddling. Did I mention I’ll pay anything for it?

      Anyway, don’t know what you’re holding, apart from that face card I gave you, but those three sweet spotters look pretty tough to beat. All black as bitumen. Almost make two pairs for me. They would if Jokers were wild in this game. Damn.

      Still, lucky eights! And a club six.

      Add a billion to either number and I’ll give it to you right now if you will only stay in the game long enough to let me win in my own way.

      Ain’t my money, anyhow. Never is. So losing to win is no object, if you know what I mean.

      But first, let me get this straight. If I call and win on that flop hand, the worst I can do is tie you, right? Great. I’m feeling lucky.

      I’ll raise you my father’s Rolex for your trusty Timex Expedition. Strip poker, baby, I love it.

      Still in? Good. Your bank will thank you. Now go fish!

      Oops. I’m sorry. So Canadian, I know. But really, I just got momentarily confused.

      Fish, poker, euchre, blackjack—so many games to remember—and I sometimes just lose track, like in cabinet, when Morneau starts coming at me with those figures.

      Speaking of which, if I go all-in on this last community card, will you take a cheque?

      Not certified, I’m afraid, but just name your price, if you’re foolish enough to match my bet.

      Alrighty, you’ve made your bed, now I’ll lie in it – and probably also about it, like I have from Day One about your pipeline from hell.

      Now let’s do this, one last card. Time to show and tell, for me at least. Deal away, Texas, I’m anxious to see what you got.

      Ouch! A full house? You’ve gotta be kidding me! And to think I gave it to you with my Suicide King? So stupid. You won’t tell anyone, right? RIGHT?

      Shoot. Thank God no one but you will get to see my dirty laundry.

      Wait a minute, where you going? Keaner, come back! We’re just getting started.

      Whaddya say? Double or nothing? Another round, maybe?

      What’s that? You don’t want to see me get nekkid? Too late. I’m already exposed.

      Though if you think I can’t embarrass myself any more than I already have, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

      They don’t call me Mr. Dress-up for nothing.

      Every morning, this is how I get that way: buck naked, wondering what I should put on that won’t make me look more foolish than I did the day before.

      Sometimes it’s the cover-up that kills you more than the undressing. Humiliation, thy name is Kinder Morgan!

      What shall we wear for the presser, anyway? Houston bolos? The 10-gallons? The snake leather boots? With or without chaps? Want to be sure I get this right for our selfies.

      You will be there with me, right? Keaner? And maybe Richy-K and the Enron gang? We got this. Win-ning!

      Martyn Brown was former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff, the top strategic adviser to three provincial party leaders, and a former deputy minister of tourism, trade, and investment. He also served as the B.C. Liberals' public campaign director in 2001, 2005, and 2009, and in addition to his other extensive campaign experience, he was the principal author of four election platforms. Contact him via email at