I have a friend, a small businessman. He lives in a second floor apartment over his store. That’s an old school thing to do, living over the store, but my friend figures it’s as good a place as any to live and he figures if someone breaks into the store, he’ll hear. Besides, he likes the commute.
I have a friend, a small businessman. He lives in a second floor apartment over his store.
That’s an old school thing to do, living over the store, but my friend figures it’s as good a place as any to live and he figures if someone breaks into the store, he’ll hear. Besides, he likes the commute.
Right now, a number of people are trying to open a strip club in Fall River. One of them lives in Somerset. One lives in Swansea. Two are from Rhode Island. One, Paul Viveros, lives in Fall River, or at least he did the last time he ran for office here.
All of these people tell us that THEIR strip club will be clean, well-run and safe. There might be drugs and prostitution in SOME strip clubs, but not in the one they’re going to run. No, the strip club they’re going to run will be more like a public library with naked women walking around. They’re going to run a real "gentlemen’s club."
By the way, if hearing the phrase "gentlemen’s club" applied to a strip joint doesn’t make you laugh, it’s because you’re stupid.
So, all these guys (and one woman), it’s not like they’re running some kind of dirty business, or some kind of sleazy skin joint aimed at separating dullards from their dollar bills. Hell, no! These guys are practically doing Fall River a favor by locating their nude-ateria in our midst.
So here’s my idea.
Pass a city ordinance saying strip club owners have to live over the store.
I’m sure these folks won’t mind living over a clean "high class," well-policed "gentlemen’s club."
Why would they? It’s going to be safe, right? No drugs or whores, right? If these guys (and one woman) are telling us the truth, then there is no better place to live than over a neat, quiet, safe club frequented only by gentlemen.
Maybe some of these people even have families. Great! What better place to raise their kids than over a clean, quiet no-prostitution, no-drugs "gentlemen’s club?"
Even Paul Viveros, perpetual Fall River candidate and hopeful King of Strip, doesn’t want to live OVER his "gentlemen’s club." Still, I don’t doubt Viveros is the strip-wannabe most likely to cheerfully comply with any ordinance requiring him to live over the store. Paul is a colorful guy, and he strikes me as the kind of guy who wouldn’t mind cooking on a hot plate for the next 20 years if he could just make a dump truck full of money.
Maybe I’m making my point with a sledgehammer, but I’m known for that and some things don’t deserve subtlety.
Some cities have laws requiring their cops and other city workers to live in the city limits. What’s wrong with a law making nudie tycoons live over their "gentlemen’s clubs?"
I say this even though I don’t live in The Herald News building. Still, I only live a few blocks away and, if I owned The Herald News building, I’d live on the top floor. Then, if there was a downtown Renaissance, I’d see it first.
The moral of the story?
I often hear people who talk about Fall River saying we need to be more "business friendly."
That always makes me laugh, since I’ve never lived anywhere as business friendly as Fall River. Over the decades, we’ve hosted every kind of low-wage industry, from cotton mills to sewing shops. We’ve artificially depressed water rates to benefit industrial users. We unofficially calibrated our educational system to the needs of the factories that once abounded here. If we were just a little more "business friendly," we’d have starved to death years ago.
When it comes to strip clubs, though, we ain’t business friendly, and we insist that a strip club would help to "ruin" Fall River.
Nice to know we draw the line somewhere, although, as I said before, it’s curious that nude dancing is where we draw the line, having failed for so long to draw the line at poverty, illiteracy and the out-migration of our smartest people.
Oh yes. We’ve been let down many times.
So, this is the shot, the chance for well-heeled, professional owners of "gentlemen’s clubs" to move to Fall River, live over the store, increase property values and show us the way out of our long night.
In my lifetime, I’ve known people who lived over bars, over hot dog joints, over liquor stores and auto parts stores. I’ve known people who lived in refrigerator cartons under bridges.
I have never known anyone to live over a strip club, particularly not the guy who owned the place.
Which oughta tell you something.
Marc Munroe Dion can be reached at email@example.com.