Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 09.30.02


Imagine a Quebec without Law 101 -- it's easy if you try

I was in my local Societé des alcools du Quebec (SAQ) store the other day. I should be getting frequent flyer points.

Imagine if they did have a 'frequent sips' program. They'd get you to sign up by tantalizing you with the promise of bottles of vintage wine and then when you actually tried to use your points, you would find out the cold reality of these programs.

"I'm sorry, M'sieu, but all we have is a screw-top bottle of Caballero. And you will have to drive to Repentigny at 3 a.m. to pick it up."

But I digress.

I was partaking of a free sample of wine when a nice lady came up to me and said, "Aren't you, er, somebody?"

How to respond to that question?

Because I've had my mug on television quite often people think that they recognize me. But I remembered what Dave Broadfoot once said: American celebrities need bodyguards, Canadian celebrities need nametags.

I said, "Yes, I am somebody very important. At least to my wife and children. And to several bartenders."

The man who was giving out the free samples of Italian red wine eyed me suspiciously.

"I read your columns," he announced.

"Oh," I replied, grateful that someone did.

"I don't agree with them," he thundered.

Oh, oh.

"You engage in an odious pastime I call Quebec bashing."

I knew where this was headed.

He was polite, sophisticated, and probably considered himself quite tolerant. He just did not like the fact that I dared to satirize the Motherland and its Sacred Law. So he gave the classic pure laine reaction to anglophones like me.

"You know, there are many planes and trains and buses that you can get on if you don't like it here."

Now, I am not naturally a confrontational guy and prefer just to go through my life with a live-and-let-live attitude.

Plus, I didn't think it was fair to begin a battle of wits with a possibly unarmed man.

Plus, he was actually getting paid to stand there while I was not. So I did not argue. I was there to purchase a bottle of wine for dinner.

But now that I think about it. And now that I am consumed with 'pensées des escaliers.' I know what I should have said.

Animosity usually comes from a failure of imagination.

So imagine this: Imagine that English-speaking Canadians decided that we were the majority within Canada and came to the conclusion that having two languages is too dangerous for national unity.

Imagine that we then proclaimed that French-speaking Canadians should assimilate into the majority for the good of all. And to aid in this process we passed a law.

Imagine that this law made it illegal to put up a sign in French or to work in French in a company that had over 50 employees.

And imagine that you were not allowed to send your children to French school. Imagine that the Canadian government enforced this policy with language police.

Then imagine that you had dared to make fun of this law.

And I came up to you in a liquor store and said, 'I know who you are. Hey, if you don't like it you can always leave. Why don't you go back to France?'

Now, I would never do that. And Canadians would never pass such a law. But just imagine…