Sunday, January 31, 2010

Five Guys

Five guys identifying themselves as "Five Guys," have caused quite a stir in Toronto, Ontario this week.

Claiming to be followers of the "Visageban" religion, Five Guys have been seen around Toronto businesses and public areas clad in black ski masks and wearing black gloves.

The Five Guys claim to be victims of recent incidences of racial profiling and harassment, and are bringing a case before the Ontario Human Rights Commission against Toronto Metropolitan Police.

Their leader, Aqua Shirt Guy, had this to say: "Wherever we go, people stare and gawk as though we are not human. When we go into restaurants, we're refused service. We can barely set foot into a convenience store before counter personnel brandish bats or hockey sticks, or simply call police."

During a recent interview, Toronto Now's Phalguni Fanibhusan responded, "But you are wearing ski masks. Although they're widely seen on ski trails and slopes, they're more often used to disguise the identities of perpetrators of crime within a city setting."

Aqua Shirt Guy became testy. "That's just the sort of prejudice we're fighting! We have committed no crimes! We wear these headdresses as part of our religious observance!"

"You've indicated in other media interviews that you belong to the Visageban," Phalguni Fanibhusan. "Could you explain some of its tenets."

"Certainly," Aqua Shirt Guy said, speaking with an accent that by turns sounded Massachusian, British and Ukrainian. "We believe the human face is supremely ugly, and therefore we cover ours because it is not fit to be seen by the eyes of God. We also believe that human hands are guilty of such brutality and ruthlessness throughout history, that we cover them with black gloves."

"But surely you can understand that people are uneasy when they encounter someone concealing his identity," Fanibhusan said.

"You're uttering racist speech!" Aqua Shirt Guy said. "We're not from this part of the world, originally. We came to Canada because of its reputation for religious freedom. Instead, we found a people who call police every time they see us! This is outrageous! And we to unleash an unbridled Sheietqa against it!"

"What is a 'Sheietqa'?"

"It means we're going to fight back."

None of the other Five Guys would speak to Toronto Now, preferring to simply glare at reporter Phalguni Fanibhusan when he inquired.

"Since the Canadian people don't know much about your religion," Fanibhusan said, "could you please share some of its other aspects?"

"We only eat dogs," Aqua Shirt Guy said. "We believe all animals are sacred and should be treated as gods. However, dogs being of a lower social nature, and being so plentiful, they're obviously here for us to consume."

"Do you have a place of worship?" Fanibhusan asked.

"Yes -- the MENS room of any subway station. We need to be close to water because it is another sacred element to the Visageban. We use it to moisten our eyelids. Also, each Visageban disciple is to pour an Imperial pint of water into his right pants pocket six times a daily while imagining the sun wearing a black mask."

"Have you had many converts yet?"

"No, but we're considering suing the City of Toronto on the grounds of cultural ignorance."

"How many Visageban are living in Toronto?"

"I can't discuss that. We don't believe in numbers."

"Really? But you do call yourselves 'Five Guys,' do you not? 'Five' is a number."

"Only in Canada," Aqua Shirt Guy said. "'Five' to Visageban is a holy word."

"Is it? What does it mean?"

"It cannot be translated into English."

"What do you do for fun?"

"We do not have fun."

"But you wear ski masks. You must snow ski."

"We do not believe in any physical activity, particularly frivolous sports. Although a little bit of harmonica playing is permitted. But only a little bit!"

"Then how do you spend your time?"

"We're working with the Ministry of Education to make some changes to textbooks used in schools."

"What sort of changes."

"First of all," said Aqua Shirt Guy. "We do not believe in either the English monarchy, nor the French nation. All mentions of England or France are offensive to Visageban. We're working with the Ministry of Education to have these offensive things eradicated."

"Are you having any success?" Fanibhusan asked.

"Yes, we are. We've found a very receptive audience in the Ministry of Ed. They're very accommodating. No one there wishes to offend."

"What is the ultimate goal of Visageban?"

"That all people of earth devote themselves to our religion."

"That's a very lofty ambition," Fanibhusan said. "Do you have any shorter term goals?"

"Yes. We seek to change the name of this country to 'Canadeban.' You see, we find 'Canada' to be too western a name; too secular. It offends our religious and cultural sensibilities. So, we're working with a United Nations liaison to Canada on having it changed to something more appealing to our religion."

"Good luck with that," Fanibhusan said with an obvious edge of sarcasm.

Aqua Shirt Guy didn't catch the sarcasm. "Thank you very much. So far, we've found some people in the Canadian government who are very receptive to our deman-- I mean, ideas."

"Forgive me, but I find that hard to believe," Fanibhusan said.

"We also do not believe in forgiveness," Aqua Shirt Guy said. "We have found common ground with the Canadian government: It doesn't wish to offend anyone -- literally no one at all. And we seek to make Canada a more holy place for ourselves."

At this point, the interview was terminated when the Five Guys were accosted by members of Metro Police, asking for identification. As the Visageban do not believe in any forms of identification, they were taken away by the officers.

4 comments:

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Give Barb Hall a hotdog and your case is won.

Square Mile Wife said...

Love it. Where can I get my mask?

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

The fact that the Five Guys do not believe in hot dogs, nor have the ability to buy any, impresses Barb Hall much more than if they actually gave one to her. But Blazing Cat Fur, your comment, in spirit, is correct.

truepeers said...

You've got to be careful with Babs; if you tell her that on her "OMG we've gotta oulaw fatism" days, you might lose. Better then to suggest she ban all Hot Dogs in the name of equality from inoffensiveness. But which day of the week is it safe to ask you ask? Well, Babs, doesn't believe in following routines as per days of the week. That would be discrimination, e.g. against Mondays in the name of Sundays, which is just some kind of Christophallic hangover. In fact, any demand on her for anything other than arbitrary justice is a sign of discrimination in the name of the normal. If the Visageban have occasional impulses/religious imperatives to take off the masks, gloves, and better yet everything else, all the better to re-assert the imperative to put on the masks, Babs will be much impressed that you are the victims of prejudicial stereotypes.