Friday, April 01, 2011

Massage parlours and their big urban explosion

   Walked down to my ol' corner at Drummond and St. Catherine this week only to find that the massive TV screen in the window of the top floor of the building on the Southeast corner had been taken away. I recall that it was permitted to stay because it was installed prior to the loophole banning such things.
   The place had been taken over by a massage parlour. And right across the street, yet another recent rub'n'tug joint complete with new explicit sign. Saying that there's a lot of new massage parlours is like saying that Mayor Drapeau liked to creep around brothels in a chicken suit, it's just stating what everybody already knows.
   There's meanwhile been a decrease in the number of strip clubs around town. So it wouldn't be a massive leap to assume that massage parlours are rapidly supplanting strip clubs.
   I suppose that's a bit of a loss but they're surely a ton easier to run. All a massage parlour owner-guy or owner-gal has to do is put out his hand to take money and point to a room. No busboys, doormen, liquor board inspectors for the owner to pay off. It's pretty much the perfect business but it's a lot more antisocial than a strip club too, so the city is diminished by the switch.
   The province is also knocked for a loop because it have fewer things to send its bureaucrats to regulate and snoop in on. Buttinsky, power-tripping booze authorities even shut down sexy serveuse joints by classifying an unclad she-works-hard-for-her-money nudist waitress as a "spectacle" (show). So there! Coolopolis sees a dark day looming when the province tries to horn in on the burgeoning massage business, ergo the poster at left.

Photo of the day

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The 1963 robbery that led to the lash


   Roger Picotte might have been the last Quebec prisoner to be sentenced to the lash.
   On a bitterly cold Saturday February 2,1963 (scroll left for the article) Picotte then 38, went with an accomplice to rob a grocery store at 1392 Craig E. (now St. Antoine E). It has now been demolished for the Ville Marie Expressway.
   Picotte herded up the employees and cleared out the cash. But when he asked an employee to empty his pockets, the employee refused. So Picotte shot three times into the huddled group, which included owner Albert Corbeil, 47, who caught a bullet in the thigh. Corbeil was so angered that he rushed the thieves with a 9-inch butcher knife, stabbing Picotte's partner in the back while other employees jumped on Picotte. The robber with the knife wound got away bleeding badly but escaping with $730. Two other employees also received superficial gunshot wounds but they were ok.
   Cops kept Picotte behind bars for nine months before he faced a trial. The prosecutor noted that Picotte had started his career in crime in 1941 when he was involved in a gun battle with police in which his brother-in-law was shot dead. The prosecutor asked for at least 25 years in prison.
   Judge Andre Sabourin sentenced Picotte to 20 years plus four strokes of the lash.
   Picotte refused to reveal the identity of his accomplice in the robbery.
   Here's a three-part series on the use of the lash as an instrument of punishment in Canada. Apparently it was sometimes an effective attitude-changer but oftentimes it did nothing good.
   The judge who sentenced Picotte to punishment by cat 'o nine tails was Claude Wagner, 38. He rode his tough-on-crime rep into provincial politics and became a federal Conservative MP and lost a leadership bid to Brian Mulroney. He died in 1979 of cancer at age 54.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Moe Nadler and his wonderful, wonderful, Wonderbra

   It's the 70th anniversary of the Wonderbra which was launched in Montreal based on technology invented by a New York designer. Wartime meant there was no elastic around so the New York guy cut fabric to sorta imitate it and Moe Nadler used that patent and name. The New York guy went out of business but Montreal's Wonderbra folk thrived.
   Their Montreal office was in a third floor above a tavern at Mount Royal and St. Lawrence until the mid-60s. By 1973 it had 1,300 local employees on Cremazie and then moved to St. Leonard to an even bigger space. The founder was Moe Nadler and Lawrence Nadler, his son, now 78, took over.
   In the late 50s Moe took to visiting Europe to..umm.. research... new styles in bras. I couldn't find photos of his hard working trips so I created an image representing what I imagine that trip would look like if I was in charge.
Not Moe Nadler on his European research
trip looking into bras

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coolopolite of the year!

  We know it's a bit early to be naming the man...err.. person of the year for 2011 but Marie-Lynne Levesque (Marilyn Levesque? Marie-Line Levesque?) who ran the Gaiete Depanneur somewhere in Laval from 1978 to at least 1988 did it in style baby!
   She'd not just sell you a pack of smokes, she'd also give you a moment to admire her shapely female bod.
   They just don't give you that kind of service anymore at the corner store. She really brought customer satisfaction to a much higher level. Don't get me wrong, I love the local Koreans and Chinese, they're splendid and attentive but Marie! Marie! Marie!
   You'll never be forgotten! One day we'll be facebook friends no doubt Madame Levesque.
   This woman was featured in this profoundly-fulfilling TV report from the TQS program Camera 88. In 1989 it became Camera 89 and so on. By some coincidence I had a girlfriend at the time who worked for that show and I'd try to help her out with calls and ideas. We miss that program!