TORONTO – In a scene worthy of The Simpsons, several fake speakers with vulgar sounding names were signed up to speak to the Toronto Public Health board meeting Monday — and health board chairman John Filion read them out loud.
"I was trying to be very careful in my pronunciation," Filion, a Toronto councillor, said Monday.
Registered speakers Anita Dick-Smith, Haywood Yablome, Isaac Cox and Anita Hoare were no where to be seen when Filion read out their names at City Hall on Monday.
Fu King of the "Fu King Fitness Gym" and "Ayma Moron-Mihevichana" of the Mihevichana Bakery — a not-so-subtle jab at Coun. Joe Mihevc — was also a no-show.
After Filion read the names and no one turned up, some people in the room could be heard quietly giggling, but he kept a straight face and addressed the remainder of his committee's business.
Filion said later he noticed the strange names while going over the speakers' list before the meeting but city staff assured him all had registered through what appeared to be legitimate e-mail addresses. Home addresses were also provided.
"I asked the clerk, 'Are these real names?'" Filion said. "I can't conclude we're being pranked just because I think so. I have to call out the names."
Although it was a day after April 1, Filion assumed it was a "fairly well carried out" April Fool's Day prank. He doesn't want city officials to investigate.
Fans of the The Simpsons will recall Bart Simpson calling Moe's Tavern, asking Moe the bartender to pass along calls for a variety of hilarious names including Al Coholic, Seymour Butz and I.P. Freely.
Asked if he saw the humour in the prank, Filion said it was "mildly funny in a juvenile sort of way."
City staff say the same speakers have already tried to contact clerks to sign up for Tuesday's public works meeting. It is doubtful those names will be on the speakers' list.