Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 02.13.06
Stanstead, Quebec


No sex please: we're English Townshippers

We moan and moan about the continuing decline of the English population in the Eastern Townships but maybe our problem is that there's not enough "moaning" going on, if you know what I mean. And if you don't know what I mean, look how I put "moaning" in quotation marks. Now do you get it?

I have no hard (tee-hee!) evidence to back this up, just a hunch based on stories in The Sherbrooke Record over the past month or so.

First there was the story of the link to the old Fleurimont website that now led to, if I recall correctly, a website for an erotic dating service/haberdashery. The link brought you to a photo of barely clad breasts. I know this because the breasts were on the front page of this paper.

I was surprised to see this in The Record<>/I> but not as surprised as I was to learn that someone was actually interested enough in Fleurimont to follow the link in the first place.

The French-language press didn't pick up this story, I think because a) they thought it was no big deal and b) see my thoughts on Fleurimont above.

Next came The Record's editorial denunciation of the Supreme Court's decision to allow swingers' clubs and the ensuing letters condemning both the decision and the now-abandoned plan to open such a club in Ascot Corner. (In preparing this, I originally thought this club was going to be in Dudswell, which I think is an ideal name for a town with a sex club. Ascot Corner's not so bad either. "Ascot." Tee-hee!)

Finally in Tuesday's paper there was the story of the Cookshire man whose 6-year-old daughter walked into a discount store and purchased a sponge penis that grows 600 times its size when immersed in water. Talk about bringing new meaning to the phrase "Supersize me."

I'm no legal expert but I believe the Federal Charter gives businesses the constitutional right to sell novelty genitalia.

I think the major beef (tee-hee!) was that the little girl was exposed to it. The father wondered how the store could be allowed to sell such trash to 6-year-olds, let alone leave them out on the counter.

I wondered why someone would let his 6-year-old go into a store on her own while he sat in the car. Heaven knows she could have come out with something far worse than a spongy penis, like a Mariah Carey CD or membership to the federal Liberal Party.

All these stories and our reactions to them lead me to believe that this is an Eastern Townships hangup, specifically an English ET thing.

If you go to Montreal, you'll find novelty penises (peni? penia?) every three stores and you never hear anyone complaining. In fact, I hear they hold a festival.

The question is, could this inherent prudishness be affecting our population growth?

For Townshippers, is sex like flossing - something we know we should be doing but such an unpleasant chore that we do it only on special occasions?

Is sex something performed for the sole purpose of populating the Empire, the whole "Close your eyes and think of England" thing?

Do we worry that if we accept overt sexuality and same-sex marriage, God will smite us, our fields will become barren and the Bloc will be elected in Compton-Stanstead? See? The prophecies are being fulfilled…

It's not just enough to say we need to loosen up. I think we need some help. Let's get Townshippers' Association on the case.

Instead of finding jobs for young people and lobbying for better health care, they could be educating people that it's okay to read the phrase "love monkey" in the daily paper without getting hot and bothered. And that it's okay to get "hot and bothered." (Did you notice the quotation marks?)

I think TA needs to set up a committee… as soon as everyone stops blushing.