That's it? That's the best Canadian death hoax we could come up with? And at a time when the whole world is watching us?
With all due respect Lightfoot, who's one of a slew of famous Canadian Gordies alongside Howe, Downie and Sinclair among others, the guy hasn't had a hit record since the 1970s. Ask most people beyond our borders who or what Gordon Lightfoot is, and the most likely responses are a native actor or a brand of Canadian rye whiskey.
At the risk of being appallingly insensitive, the obvious candidate for a Canadian death hoax is actor Michael J. Fox. He's got an international profile and it's well-known that he's suffering from Parkinson's Disease. I'm not making light of Fox's condition - I'm just coming at it from the perspective of a would-be hoaxer. Celine Dion is another Canadian with a global presence whose rumoured passing would mobilize media from Manhattan to Melbourne, as opposed to Gordon Lightfoot, whose reported demise created shockwaves from Markham to Maniwaki.
Another classically Canadian element in the Gordon Lightfoot death hoax is that it was perpetrated on Ronnie Hawkins, who's even more obscure than Lightfoot, and says he received a call from someone claiming to be Lightfoot's grandson, telling him Lightfoot had died. Who plans something like that, and how does the conversation go?
"OK, here's what we do. We call Ronnie Hawkins and tell him Gordon Lightfoot is dead. If anybody's gonna get the word out, it's the Hawk, 'specially if he's been drinkin'."
I'm no propagandist or fomenter of social unrest, but if I'm trying to generate false but interesting publicity, that's not even Plan C.