Hello, my fellow ex-Americans! In preparation for our migration (or should I say "exodus"?) to our oh-so-friendly neighbor to the North, I am doing a series with Ken Burns on PBS about Canadian culture and history! Twelve episodes that will help us as Americans and grateful immigrants acclimate smoothly and courteously to our new hosts and their splendid nation! Tonight's episode is "Famous Canadians In Fact & Fiction".
Seen here is the notorious, the mysterious, the provocative, the insatiable, but the always polite "Poutine Sulque, Ecdysiast Extraordinaire du Québec"! Poutine (born Gerbyline Frieberger of Powahattan City, Saskatchewan) built her career on her amazing "hour-glass figure" which drove men wild with rapturous desire during her strip-tease performances involving a string quartet (plus oboe and bassoon), an assortment of thoughtfully recited poems (usually haikus and Italian sonnets), and Monsieur LaPoot, a myna bird of indeterminate age (kept securely in his cage due to an unfortunate eye-pecking tragedy to the mayor of Vancouver.) She was hailed from coast to coast and fabulously wealthy. Her notoriety was so great and her talent and beauty such a source of pride (though modestly expressed) that she was received by His Majesty King George V and given some sort of Order or Dame-hood during a capricious weekend with various theatre and music hall persons at Kensington Palace while Queen Mary was away at a Ladies-Only spa in Baden Baden.
Poutine's career was long and extremely successful until, sadly, she made a joke about a third grade geography teacher named Winifred O'Hevlin of Winnipeg who had been in a train wreck as a teen-ager. She had lost her left leg in the tragedy, but had triumphed over her affliction with great aplomb and was an inspiration to her neighbors and war veterans coming back from the front. Unfortunately, Poutine made a meant-to-be-harmless joke during one of her “strip-teasettes” about Winnie-Peg-Leg sitting in the front row. The audience members were too kind to scream or even gasp, but management (regretfully!) informed Poutine after the third show that her services “would no longer be required”.
Poutine was devastated and later informed the public through the newspapers in her full-page apologies, that she herself had been a young victim of a railway accident. It seems when she was an eleven-year old Canadienne Girl Guide (First Class!) she was hit by the Grand Trunk Railway express during its 3:15 run from Hescotte Heights to Consultanacusca. She was demonstrating elaborate knot-tying in front of her entire troop for her merit badge and somehow found herself on the rails during the Peril’s-Of-Pauline-Half-Hitch-Back-And-Under-Wrap-Around-Noodler! The train broke 13 of her ribs, but the doctors didn’t have to reset anything since she was already encased in 40’ of rope. It took her six months to recover, but “How do you think I got my gorgeous 17 inch waistline?”, she stated defiantly. Interestingly, after she retired from the hurly-burly of the burlesque, she created a line of luxury corsets and “ladies’ dainties”. Her big money came from the line of hernia trusses that she provided to the Canadian Men’s Rugby Association.
(This program was produced in part by generous grants from the Maple Syrup Corporation of North America, the Purline Trudeau Charitable Trust, the Gabriella and Hiram Smoot Family, and by viewers like you!.... Thank you!)
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