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FAITH: Inspecteur Cloiseaux of the Values Police
“Inspecteur Cloiseaux! Let me introduce your new partner — Etienne Thibodeau. It’s his first day, so I expect you to show him the ropes.”
“Oui, capitaine. It’ll be my pleasure.
“So, Etienne, first day on the job, eh? Ready to make sure those ethniques don’t get away with flaunting our pur laine values? You can call me Jacques.”
“Thanks, Jacques. I admit I’m a little nervous, but I know we have an important job to do.”
“Certainement. I was one of the first ones hired here and my citation record is second to none. You are lucky to be assigned to me. So, are you ready, got your camera, your ruler?”
“Mon Dieu, you are such a rookie!
“Your ruler, your ruler! So you can measure the crosses and Star of Davids to make sure they aren’t too big.”
“Oh right. I thought I would get one here.”
“Unbelievable! Here, I have a few spares. Don’t go anywhere without it.”
“So, where is our first assignment today?
“There’s a day care on Rue Tremblay.
“We’ve received a report of a large crucifix being worn by one of the workers.
“Rookies ride in the passenger seat.”
“Hey, Jacques. Look at that guy on the back of the city garbage truck. Isn’t that a big cross on the back of his vest?”
“Tabernac! Good eye, Etienne. Put on the siren! Tell you what, you can make your first collar.”
“Gee, thanks, Jacques.
“Monsieur! It seems you are in violation of the new Charter of Values law.”
“Your vest. ‘Bikers for Jesus’ with the big cross in the centre.
“It must be at least 14 centimetres high.
“That is unacceptable. You are a public employee and not permitted to wear large religious symbols. I’ve taken your picture and one of your vest. You will receive a citation by mail shortly.
“And take that thing off immediately!”
“Good work, Etienne. I’m impressed. I think you’ll fit in well here.”
“Thanks, Jacques. We just can’t have garbage collectors wearing stuff like that where everyone can see it.”
“For sure, for sure. Just last week I gave a citation to a Sikh guy X-ray technician at the hospital. Imagine thinking he can give X-rays wearing that turban.
“He refused to take it off, so the hospital fired him. Pretty soon we’ll get rid of all of them — and not a moment too soon.”
“It looks like this is the day care. You want I should do this one, too?”
“No, no. My turn. Ah, there she is over by the swing set. Madame, a moment please. Your crucifix — a bit large, wouldn’t you say?”
“Well, perhaps, monsieur. But it was my grandmother’s.
“She wore it every day and willed it to me when she passed. I wear it to honour her memory.”
“Hmm. A touching story, but my little ruler here says it is one centimetre too large.
“Completely unacceptable. If you wish, I have some metal snips to bring it into compliance.”
“What?! But, there are four rubies on the ends. That would ruin it!”
“Madame, you have three choices: Keep on wearing it and look for another job; take it off and leave it in your drawer; or submit to the snip.
“Oh, madame, stop your snivelling. Tears do not move Inspecteur Cloiseaux.
“Well? Ah, taking it off. A good choice, madame. Let’s not see this happen again.
“See how it’s done?
“You can’t let the sentimental stories and tears get to you.”
“Say, Jacques. Look at that janitor over there — his arm.”
“Sacre bleu! That tattoo of the virgin Mary is huge! Monsieur! Monsieur!
“A moment, please. Your tattoo. Are you aware that is a violation of the Values Charter?”
“Violation? But it’s my skin! I prayed to the Virgin when my mother was dying and the doctors say it was a miracle she recovered. That’s when I got the tattoo.”
“Well, well. You see, Inspecteur Thibodeau. Another touching story.
“You’re going to have to cover that thing up. Much too large for a worker in a public institution, even a janitor in a day care. Long sleeves or unemployment. Take your pick, monsieur.”
“But ,it’s 30 degrees. I always work in a T-shirt when it’s this hot.”
“We’ll be back — and you won’t know when. That tattoo had better be covered up or it’s EI for you.
“But, I’m a fair man. Here’s a list of facilities offering laser-tattoo removal. A la prochaine, monsieur.”
“Wow. I didn’t think we’d be going after tattoos.”
“No exceptions, my rookie friend, no exceptions.”
(Attention! Attention! All units respond. Public demonstration at the universite. Two-dozen professeurs with large yellow Stars of David sewn to their jackets marching down the street.)
“Sacrement! Hit the lights and siren, Etienne. Today is your lucky day!”
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