Prepositions are very small words but they're really quite important.
A preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence to help the reader or listener understand the relationship between the object of the sentence and the rest of it.
To, from, at, with and a whole host of other little words can make a massive difference to the meaning of a sentence.
If you sit NEAR the fire, it's a lot different than sitting IN the fire.
Spitting AT someone can have markedly different consequences than spitting ON them.
Which brings me to Rob Ford's appearance on tonight's episode of Jimmy Kimmel's talk show.
Ford appears to be a victim of a grammatical mistake of some sort, unaware he's being laughed AT, not WITH.
Toronto's Mayor he has been the butt of Kimmel's jokes for several months. OK, he's been the butt of most of our jokes for months now, but Kimmel has been particularly eloquent and persistent. He had Chris Daughtry write and perform a particularly well-researched song, in addition to hiring a look-alike for fake interviews. The jokes Kimmel has been telling at Ford's expense are actually the cornerstone of one of Toronto's Mayoral contestants' campaigns. David Socknacki's posters read: 'Never heard of me? Neither has Jimmy Kimmel.'
Kimmel showing up at the airport, taking Ford to an Oscars after party? It's for the footage, for the 'get'; not because he admires, likes or supports Ford. It's a hideous real-life version of the movies Dogfight or Carrie, where meanies take the ugliest girl to the dance, the girl not realizing she is fodder for a bet.
Ford appears oblivious, too, and not just in this case. He mistakes gawkers for supporters, taking selfies with anyone who wants to, seemingly unable to tell that in a lot of cases, it's not admiration that motivates the photo-taker, at least, that's not the expression on their face. I have been puzzling over this one and I can't quite figure out the reason people want pictures with Ford. Maybe those selfies are being taken by people who, like Ford, don't know there is a difference between celebrity and infamy.
Part of me hopes that if and when the crack smoking, drunk driving Mayor of Toronto finally figures it out, that it happens live on air, so we at least we can watch the epiphany unfold on his red and sweaty face, and maybe something might be learned from this long and ugly escapade.