Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

One of the weirdest nights out ever

It was Wednesday and I'd be in Montreal for a few days and Dave and I decided we should do something. Dave invited his buddy Louis over and he turned up at around 4:30pm. We started smoking and drinking, playing a few games and pretty soon the case of beer was gone. We decided to go out and play some pool at Fats (where else?). So, at around 1am after a couple of hours of pool and some more beers we left the joint and tried to work out what to do.

Louis really wanted to go to a strip club (seemingly inspired by Octopussy upstairs from Fats), Dave and I weren't too keen, but being stoned and not being able to think of anything better to do we relented. It then took us a while to choose which club to go to - there's no shortage in Montreal - and we ended up choosing one close by, no idea what it was called, but it's next to "Downtown."

So we get in the door and it's 5 bucks entry fee or rather 'compulsory coat check'. I've noticed they do this a lot:
"is it free to get in?"
"yes, but it's a two-dollar coatcheck"
"it's ok, i'll keep my coat with me"
"no, you have to check it"
"ok, so then it's really two dollars entry"
"no it's free, but you have to check your coat"

Anyway, we pay and then the 'doorman' shows us to our table, which is all of 5 metres away and as we sit down he leans forward and says "at this point it is usually customary to tip the doorman a dollar or two." Huh, for doing what exactly? Ok, whatever, so we pay the guy and he goes away. Meanwhile there is some fat girl dancing on stage.

The barmaid comes across and we decide on the 'special': 2 beers for 9 bucks - wow, great value. So we sit there drinking our beer, the fat dancer goes off and is replaced by another chunky lass. woohoo. So I'm sitting there fairly bored when all of a sudden there's a camera flash off to the right. I don't think anything of it until I notice the bouncer walking over.

I'm sitting with my elbows on the table and he comes up and pushes them
off the table and says:
"Give me your camera and get out" WTF!?
"I don't have a camera."
"Yes you do, my friends over there saw you, now give it to me and get out"
"Listen guy, i don't have a camera"
"What's that in your pockets?"
"Nothing," as I pat down my pockets

So he goes back to talk to the supposed witnesses and then returns and is even more convinced than before. This time I stand up and say 'Look, search me, I don't have a camera'. So now he starts checking under the table to see if we've dropped it and makes Dave and Louis pat down their pockets as well. Eventually he gives up and mutters a pretty lame apology and leaves us alone.

We're pretty mystified by all this and decide to finish our beers and leave. By this point the standard of dancer has improved - but that wasn't very hard - except I then notice that the girl on stage is wearing a wedding ring. Such a classy place.

So we go to leave and get our jackets and the doorman is standing there, and you know he's been thinking all this time of a way to catch us out. Thus as we're getting out coats he springs his trap and says 'before you guys leave, take a photo of me and the coat-check girl.' At first I thought it was a joke - but he's being serious. He actually thought that we'd reach in to our pockets for a camera and not realising his cunning plan and we'd be caught red-handed after being tricked by a man of unequalled intellect. Idiot.

We just ignore him and leave and we walk down the stairs out on the street. As we get outside I say 'man, that was weird' and we start joking about the guy trying to trick us. We then hear a voice behind us saying "what's so funny guys?" We turn round and there's this big guy standing there in a red velour tracksuit who'd obviously followed us out the club. we said we were laughing at the situation and he says 'you're not laughing cos you just get away with it' and we said no and then he started rumbling on about it being a serious offence and all that.

I bit back from saying that I wouldn't want to take pictures of any of the girls in there cos I think they were spoiling for a fight - it was probably a good thing we were all stoned and very passive in our denials. They were just looking for an excuse to start with us. We just said sure and walked away.

It was really, really weird and confirms my suspicions that strip clubs are really, really lame.

I told this story to Doug and he suggested that it might be scam to try and nick drunken tourists' cameras. It's possible I guess, they figured they weren't gonna make any money out of private lapdances so maybe tried something else.