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tabatha southey

One would have to have a heart of stone not to feel some sympathy for Mike Duffy, whose personal diaries have been entered into evidence at his trial. Mr. Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 counts of fraud, bribery and breach of trust related to expenses he claimed, contracts he signed, and money he received from the Prime Minister's former chief of staff while a senator.

All of this has cast a bright light on the one-time media star, who refers to himself in the third person as "MD" in his diaries – a journaling effort he seems to have undertaken with a devotion that would have made Anaïs Nin blush.

Yet there they are, for all to see. And so, in solidarity with the discomfiture this may be causing Mr. Duffy – who we've leaned begins his days with some version of a chipper "6 a.m. to 6:05 a.m., MD up & at 'em" – I've decided to publish my own diaries from the date of the onset of the trial.

Duffy Trial Day 1

8 a.m. to 8:05 a.m.

TS up & at 'em.

9 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.

TS reads the paper, learns a few things about the Duffy trial. Of course Ezra Levant was getting money from Mike Duffy – she feels certain this has something to do with the fact that it's National Poetry Month.

9:25 a.m.

TS begins work – as TS has begun work at every job TS has ever had – that is, with one clear objective: Whatever else TS may actually accomplish today, TS will try not to do anything that might cause a massive public outcry leading to demands that the institution for which she has been labouring be dismantled.

9:05 a.m. to 7:08 p.m.

Succeeds at that. Was not that hard, really.

Duffy Trial Day 2

9 a.m. to 9:25 a.m.

TS up & at 'em.

1 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.

Walked to neighbourhood deli to purchase loaf of bread.

1:25 p.m. to 1:25:12 p.m.

Ate piece of cheese from cheese-sample tray at deli. Just one piece of cheese. Did not eat entire plate of cheese because, while doing so would technically not be a crime, TS is aware that if even a few people took to consuming all the cheese on a cheese-sample tray, the worthy institution of the cheese-sample tray would not be long for this world.

Duffy Trial Day 3

9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

TS up & at 'em!

10:25 a.m.

TS to Tim Hortons for apple fritter. (Used cash.)

10:35 a.m.

TS leaves Timmy's confident that her engagement with that establishment has not left thousands of people cynical about a Canadian institution that, while not beyond reproach, has traditionally had its uses.

10:50 a.m.

TS walks dog in park. Manages to get dog home – using carefully honed skill of knowing where she lives.

11:30 a.m. to 11:55 p.m.

TS despondently wonders if this honed skill disqualifies TS from sitting in the Senate. Also, TS does her own makeup. Damn.

11:55 p.m.

TS goes to bed, in TS's house – the building in which she primarily resides and has for many years. Nestling into her pillow, TS reflects that she would not feel comfortable suddenly claiming a per diem for every diem she reposed on that pillow.

Duffy Trial Day 4

9:45 a.m.

TS up & at 'em!

9:45 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.

TS wonders whether her rumination from last night was uncharitable. After all, Mr. Duffy, as his lawyer would have us believe, was only "a rookie senator with no parliamentary background."

Old Duff, senatorial ingenue, was but a humble journalist, fresh off the turnip truck, who'd only been covering Parliament in Ottawa, from his home in Ottawa, for a scant few decades – a fact that may have escaped the Prime Minister who appointed Mr. Duffy as Senator from PEI.

10:05 a.m. to 10:25 a.m.

TS attempts to believe that Mr. Duffy is a ninja and the PM never saw him around Ottawa.

10:25 a.m. to eternity

TS believes PM thinks PEI stands for Person Ethically Indifferent, and thus found him ideally suited for a place in the Senate. "Oh, yes, we need a PEI senator," Mr. Harper said. "By the way, what does Saskatchewan stand for?"

Duffy Trial Day 5

9:55 a.m.

TS up & at 'em!

10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

TS listens to CBC Radio.

10:30 a.m.

TS turns off CBC Radio, confident that her contact with that Canadian institution has left its reputation untarnished.

4:07 p.m.

TS hires window washer – to wash windows. Keeping it simple. No picture framers will be subcontracted.

9:07 p.m. to 11:35 p.m.

TS indulges in less-than-sober first thoughts about how her country ended up with what appears to be appointed royalty – a fairly miscellaneous collection of ribbon cutters and speech givers whose eccentricities, fascinations and foibles we're somehow obliged to indulge.

11:35 p.m. to hangover breakfast

TS has increasingly sober second thought: Congratulations, senators, you've managed to make yourself appear less useful and more anachronistic than a monarchy in the 21st century.

Duffy Trial Day 6

11 a.m.

TS up & at 'em!

1:20 p.m.

TS considers going through 12-items-or-less checkout line at grocery store with 14 items because everyone does it and the rules are vague.

1:20:03 p.m.

TS engages in moment of sober second thought, and does not proceed with her disreputable plan because, in doing so, she would would risk undermining the integrity of the 12-items-or-less line to the detriment of all.

3:30 p.m.

TS watches friend's 22-month-old twins for her.

4:37 p.m. to 4:47 p.m.

TS seriously considers taking candy from a baby because, again, the rules are ill-defined. (Baby never told me not to.)

4:47 p.m.

TS engages in moment of sober second thought and decides against it because she wants to be able to sleep at night. (Notes Mr. Duffy's diaries report difficulty in the sleeping-at-night area.)

Duffy Trial Day 7

9:30 a.m. to 11:47 a.m.

TS up and at 'em!

3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Haircut. (It's okay, taxpayers of Canada, I got this one.)

Duffy Trial Day 8

10:33 a.m. to 11:47 a.m.

TS up & at 'em!

12:30 p.m. to 1:35 p.m.

TS leafs through years of diary entries feeling a certain kinship with Conservative Party show pony cum cash cow, Mike Duffy. After all, both of them appear to have spent about the same amount of time at committee hearings, studying complex legislation, or otherwise engaged in Senate business. High-five, Mr. Duffy, the man Stephen Harper called "Duff" and "a great journalist and a great senator" in a personal note, adding, "Thanks for being one of my best, hardest-working appointments ever!"

So I end this as I began it – on the subject of embarrassing things now entered into evidence.

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