I'm a little grumpy this morning for a number of reasons that I won't go into. I feel like Claire Hoy (Ontario journalist, grouch) on a morning when
he got out of bed, bumped his head, stubbed his toe, stepped on the cat and slipped on a bar of soap in the shower, spraining his right thoracic
Mr. Hoy said once that, during the time he was writing for the Toronto Sun, he got up every morning angry. It showed. He was a terrific columnist. I
don't read him any more. He went to the Ottawa Sun and I went my own way here in Fog Town.
Anyway, moving on to the reason for this post, as happens so often around here, my morning coffee was marred by a glance at the The Toronto Star,
where the front page is usually full of lies about what is going on in Syria, smears of well known Russian kleptocrat Vladimir Putin and vain attempts
at representing Justin Trudeau as someone of significance on the world stage.
I bypassed all of that by flipping through to the usually safe but sometimes disturbing Business section. I don't bother with Sports any more and
business is like "the sports of money" and often quite interesting.
At the top of the page I read Corner Stores, LCBO left high and dry
. The sub head was New federal task force report nixes idea of selling
pot at businesses where tobacco or booze are sold
Reading the article, I learned that the federal government favors restricting pot sales to dedicated stores. Corner stores want to sell it and the
LCBO wants to sell it, being sellers of tobacco and booze and expert at sizing up teenagers trying to fool their elders and betters. Pharmacies don't
want to sell it, for some reason. Maybe deciphering the handwriting on prescriptions is already a demanding specialty in itself and vetting the age of
customers is asking too much.
In Quebec customers can buy beer in the local 7/11, which is very convenient, particularly for people who don't own cars and in France they can buy
wine in the grocery stores.
Those places still function, so it must be some other consideration that leads to Ontario's quirky regulatory regime. In Ontario "the fix" is always
in and nothing is as straight forward as common sense would lead one to assume it would be in a jurisdiction that wasn't being run by schemers and
plotters and game players in "gubmint".
Being of an older generation I am nostalgic for the days when everything was forbidden and sneaking around to do it, whatever it was, was part of the
enjoyment of it.
I first came to Toronto in the early 1970s and I have a vivid memory of wandering into the St. Charles and Parkside taverns on Yonge St., into a
wonderful dimly lit atmosphere of furtive liquor consumption and gay dalliance.
I'm not gay and, realizing where I was, I exited quickly, but I still have the visual impression of a really cool atmosphere of dark, anonymous
complicity. It was like spending a moment in a film noir or a novel noir. It was annoiring in some way that is hard to define, but it was neat.
The last time I had marijuana was when I went to Jilly's strip club in the east end with a vaguely mob connected friend of mine and we were regarded
suspiciously by the bartender there, so much that when I went outside for a cigarette break a very cute and leggy stripper came out to join me in the
bus shelter where I was smoking and offered me a drag on her joint.
Being a security professional, I realized that she was vetting me. If I refused the joint, I must be "square", a cop, or there on "business" of some
sort that the management would like to know more about. All was normalized when I accepted her offer.
Jilly's was another place I will miss. I only went there twice but it was a great, seedy, probably biker owned bar, that had a wonderful atmosphere of
authentic, slow, circular slippage toward the drain pipe of humanity. It was a perfect place to get stoned, lap danced, extorted, photographed in the
back room and filed in the biker registry of future blackmail possibilities.
That's why I was the model of decorum in the back room with the upper level surveillance overlook, when I had my lap dance with Miss Legs later. I
will always treasure the evening, all the more because it was spent with my mob wannabe/maybebe friend, sadly no longer with us, but a wonderful fun
person to spend time with.
He was a guy who never let a rule or requirement get between him and the joy of life. In the words of Charlie Murphy, talking about Rick James, "He
was a serial line stepper.", but in a good way. I could go on about it, but just let me say that the guy was always fun to be around. I've never met
anyone who had more fun being in the world.
So, summing up, it is unlikely that corner stores or the LCBO will be selling pot in Ontario. The drug stores won't even be selling it. It will
probably wind up being the preserve of "head shops" and be sold alongside the usual bongs, incense, candles, beads, pouches, seeds, etc.
Getting back to sleeze and kink and perversion and Yonge St. in the 1970s before the shoeshine boy was murdered, when The Brown Derby and the Coq d'Or
and the Bermuda Tavern and the Kit Kat Klub and peep shows and massage parlors and topless strippers on break stood on the sidewalk outside the
Zanzibar, getting back to all of the things I used to love about Toronto, like forests of quart sized beer bottles on tables in strip clubs, as a guy
in my 20s; the regulation of fun in Ontario, smoking, drinking, selling the substances, reminds me of one of those Brazilian "specialty" movies and
the government, the kinkster at the top, whether federal or provincial, takes up the position sitting on everyone else's face.
15-12-2016 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)