Did you hear the one about the porn store told to take down their sandwich board? Wilde's, on Bank at Gilmour, was paid a visit by a by-law officer because the sign out front of his store was apparently 'offensive'. Turns out seeing the sign reminds somebody of a bad childhood experience, and that somebody wants by-law officers to censor it.
So what's the sign a picture of? An older man eyeing a young boy? Some crazy BDSM nightmare fetish? A big white van (which would trouble him if he's an asthmatic like me, because it would remind him of the onset of rampant gas-guzzlers, prior to which air was fresh)?
Nope. No picture at all, just words. You can read them yourself, all you have to do is list the bristol board cover that says "This covered sign has been Censored by the City of Ottawa ANAL By-law #2004-239."
And lift it is what a number of people did when I was in the area recently. Young couples, middle-age couples, individuals. Universally, they read the sign and had a giggle:
"Put a smile in your ass with our anal douches :*)"
Of course, the by-law officers mindlessly followed this guy's complaint--you know, 'just doing their job to enforce by-laws'--and forced Wilde's owner, Robert Giacobbi, to cover the sign.
Of course, had they really been doing their job, they would have noticed the boobies on display across the street at Wicked Wanda's. (Then again, maybe they did notice, but aren't quite so hard on Wanda)
Quoted in Capital Xtra, the complainer, Richard Cormier, says that "children don't have to see that."
Also on the list of things children don't have to see is grown adults breaking shop windows to keep them from speaking freely. Which must be why Cormier smashed the window in the middle of night, while children are asleep.
Now if only we can get them to stop advertising those white vans...