Who knows what puritanical bureaucrats will ban next?
I see myself as a cosmopolitan fellow, having travelled much of the world and having friends of many cultures.
Not a government-funded multicultural type, of course, since I oppose using taxpayers’ money to put newcomers into ghettos from which they will find it harder and harder to make it into the Canadian mainstream.
Now, every year or so, I head back to London, England, and delight in seeing just by Marble Arch, hundreds of foreign restaurants, grocery and newspaper stores selling the products of publications of many lands, and accompanied by many open-air “shisha bars” with men puffing away on shisha pipes and playing strange card games.
I find this atmosphere exhilarating and exciting, reminiscent of a scene out of my favourite movie Casablanca (1942).
Yes, London is an open society, run by municipal leaders who are also open-minded, believing in live and let live.
Not so Calgary city aldermen—with rare exceptions—and with their puritanical bureaucrats.
A ‘world-class’ city? Give me a break.
So we have the case of Ice Classics shisha bar owner Faisal Alharji hounded and fined $1,000 for operating his bar in which customers smoke exotic flavoured-leaves through a bowl of water.
Other shisha bar operators in the city are being similarly hunted down and hounded. All in the name of the city’s campaign against tobacco on the basis it poses a health risk.
A campaign against restaurants catering to Scots because they sell haggis?
Threatening restaurants that appeal to Brits because they offer steak and kidney pie, liver and onions, and tripe.
Or against Chinese outlets listing chicken feet on their menus.
And there may still be some people in our community who eat “chitlins”—short for chitterlings—several kinds of unmentionables stuffed into a portion of a pig’s intestine.
Cod roe is another.
Most of the above, many people find revolting and unhealthy.
And most of the items are known as “offal” which can sound pretty much like “awful” and which to many are awful.
Haggis consists of chopped heart, lungs and liver cooked in a sheep’s stomach.
Liver and kidneys process urine.
Tripe, English-style served with a creamy sauce and onions, is the lining of an animal’s stomach. You know what passes through a stomach.
Cod roe are huge mounds of glistening fish eggs.
Many of the items above I have frequently enjoyed, even though others gag at the thought.
Yet, I’ll bet there is some pettifogging bureaucrat somewhere who finds such edibles both offensive and unhealthy and would like to see them banned and the restaurants that serve them fined.
Ice Classic and Alharjri has solved his problem by turning his outlet into a private club.
But why did he have to?
Oh, I also love a good helping of testicles, especially ram’s testicles, and you know what they produce don’t you?
I’ll await the knock on my door.