Monday, January 19, 2004

The bestest sculpture in the whole damn town!


Today I had to go to the Regie du Logement (no, I'm not coughing up any details) and while hauling my butt out there is a humongous hassle, there is one super special thing that makes the whole trip worthwhile.

Being able to pass by, touch and take a long gander (made even better by the sunshine today) at the Maurice "Rocket" Richard sculpture at the corner of Viau and Pierre de Coubertin. Don't give me any nonsense about Lord Nelson, and while I really like the stuff that Armand Vaillancourt has made, Jules Lasalle & Annick Bourgeau have nailed the sucker smack dab on the head as to the collective conscious of Quebec in bronze.

Lemme explain, or give you the recipe. First you take one mythological figure who actually walked this earth, then you add one part of a hockey arena named after him. Take a ton or two of bronze, find yourself the most famous picture of the man (you know the one where his eyes are glaring at you as he threatens to shove that puck down your throat) and create a variation that appears to be about three times life-size. You know, your standard issue 18-foot tall god. Then (as if that wasn't enough) place it in a part of town that isn't frequented too much, so that the folks [sorry Taher] who show up can gaze upon it in serenity and with a complete sense of calm. And you have your standard issue recipe for a kick-ass statue.

But this ain't no stinkin' standard issue kick-ass statue. This is the bestest most thoroughly awesome tribute to a savior that I have ever seen. For stuff like this we gotta delve deep into the top-secret files of Sculpture Inc.

First off, you gotta understand that here in Quebec, Maurice "Rocket" Richard (ever wonder why "Mom" Boucher was named Maurice?) was as close to a God as you can ever get. You've heard of Babe Ruth, right? Well he was bigger than the Bambino. You've heard of Jonas Salk? Bigger again by at least half. Linus Pauling (ok, you might not have heard of him, but he is the only person ever to win two Nobel Prizes) Way bigger. Pet Rocks? Y2K? Hula Hoops? They ain't got nothin' on the Rocket. Trust me on this, he was big. When I said that he was a mythological figure, I wasn't lying (even if the pictures here think I am).

Second off, Quebec still is Catholic up the wazoo. Although back in the day you neighborhood priest was not somebody to be messed with - today you listen politely, but he doesn't carry the same power that he used to. Way back then if your priest didn't want you doing something, you weren't doing it. 50 years ago when your priest said "jump." You didn't ask "when?" You asked "how high?"

And those two things combined are what makes the Maurice "Rocket" Richard statue so great. M. Lasalle and Mme. Bourgeau added one thing to it that you would never see on the man (even if he was 18-feet tall). On his right calf is a palm print. That's right, right smack dab in the middle of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve you can lay your hands on the Rocket so as to get cured of whatever ails you. Although I am not a believer, I have laid my hands on the Rcoket, and sure as shooting I felt better (unfortunately I was just draggin' my ass to the Regie, but it still worked) I'd betcha a nickel to a dime that it works on headaches, leprosy, aneurisms, and anything else that you could think of, as well as it works on the blahs.

Statue Maurice Richard, originally uploaded by Serge_qc.

Get thee to the Viau metro now! Sayeth he.

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