It will come as no surprise that a haircut is not something I do very often, even though it’s one of life’s quiet moments of relaxation.
Earlier this year I broke in a new barber, and I shall be sorry to lose him so soon as I move east in a matter of days.
Craig Zamonsky did a number of things before opening up a traditional barbershop in Yellowknife. It was located on Ragged Ass Road, so he and his partner decided to call it Ragged Ass Barbers. That is perhaps where his troubles began.
Such a name does not even raise an eyebrow in the rough and tumble mining country of Yellowknife, nor is it considered strange in those parts to sip a brew while Craig takes a load off your head. But in Regina it’s a different story.
Craig moved his operation to the Queen City partly so that he and his wife Marianne could both be closer to family. He found a great location in the Cathedral area and business has been good. But Craig got some strange looks and pointed questions when he went to register his business name. My word, what might people think?
That may have also done him in when he approached Saskatchewan liquor regulators about getting a license to serve beer in the barbershop. “Absolutely not” came the reply, but Craig may have been caught in the crossfire of a much larger and older fight involving alcohol in Rider Nation.
Some of my friends and co-workers say I’m moving to Manitoba so I can watch women take their clothes off and enjoy a barley sandwich at the same time. Truth be told I gave up strip bars when I still had hair.
I’ve never seen it as a big deal, but some who live in Saskatchewan are embarrassed by the archaic law that says you can’t drink and watch exotic entertainment at the same time.
They think it makes the province look like a Sunday school class or something. I’m not sure about that, but there is quite a history of rigid attitudes towards liquor in the Land of Living Skies.
Back in the Tommy Douglas era you could be fined for daring to drink a beer in your back yard. In the late 1970’s, Saskatchewan was almost the last place on earth to get cable TV. One of the reasons was a fight over those evil American beer commercials that would suddenly be washing over us without warning.
Aside from those ludicrous examples, other Canadian provinces, including Manitoba, have had just as much difficulty dealing with the demon rum as Saskatchewan has. It’s truly hard to believe in 2012.
Roger Currie is a writer, broadcaster and blogger.
He currently hosts Talk of the Town every weekday at Noon, 4pm and 10pm on Access channel 7.
He will be relocating to Winnipeg in May.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org