Saturday, September 19, 2009

Salluit - Awash with the spirits of capitalism

This past week Salluit's finest summarily drained 160 seized mickeys of vodka, presumably Smirnoffs, the preferred stock in trade for the town's burgeoning bootleggers. Purchased in Montreal for under $12, its street value up here averages $15o, and has gone for as high as $500 when the town's citizenery received their individual $15K "profit sharing" from the mine last year. The illicit liquor was seized either at the airport or in residences, and represents a miniscule proportion of the booze shipped into this community.

The police were inforcing a local bylaw (about the only bylaw they actually do enforce - don't get me started about mufflerless vehicles cruising the streets at 3:00AM) which allows residents to bring in a maximum $75/month of alcohol/person. Moreover, only 10 orders are approved by municipal employees on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays if they are not too busy figuring out other ways to screw up the town. Predictably, this severe measure has resulted in perhaps has been the most successful job creation program ever up here, bootlegging.

I should mention that alcohol is not retailed legally in Salluit. However, with a population of only 1,200, Salluit has 15 - 30 bootleggers by my reckoning. These entrepreneurs range from the full-time vendor with regular supply lines to the south to the occasional dabbler, who takes advantage of being down south on vacation or medical leave to ship a box of mickeys northward and make a little money on the side. But with market prices so high, there is plenty of money to go around for all concerned. No need yet to get greedy and resort to the Roaring 20's style of highjacking and turf wars.

In my shack I have over 400 empty mickeys which I collected over a 3-week period around town this spring. I don't know what prompted me to do so - perhaps it was a reaction to the collosal stupidity of our municipal council who feel, despite all the evidence gathered around the world over history, that limiting or prohibiting consumption of alcohol is the answer to all the societal ills which alcohol can engender and does not actually promote criminal activity. Also, being more than a little on the Obsessive/Compulsive side, once I started picking them up I found it hard to stop.

Dear reader, I need your help. There is a municipal election coming this November, and I would like to create some mischief with the empty bottles while at the same time making a pertinent and noble socio-political statement. Any ideas?

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1 Comments:

Blogger lorna said...

So what did you do for a politico-social comment prior to election day?

Hey, I'm looking for people to contribute to a book I'm writng on work done by DYP. Don't get alarmed! I know what they do and how, I'm on your side. But since I'm in the south, I need some help to get testimonials of people who have seen their families taken apart. Can you help? Thanks, Lorraine

10:07 AM  

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