As we enter the New Year, let’s take a minute to bid adieu to a rare specimen, within that fraternity mainly populated by those of a more maternal persuasion, who almost made it to 2012 after amazingly surviving the world’s first recorded and amplified sexual assault back in 1969.
Some of you of our certain age (more like uncertain) likely scanned over the local death notices a few weeks back and probably missed, one Antonio (Tony) Italiansoundingname.
Tony was the ultimate Italian stallion and surprisingly lived to a reasonable age of 77 despite the fact that his macho pride and the alleged libido of university students should have fucking killed him (actually, more like killed him fucking) in the sexual revolution of the 60s.
Back then, Tony ran a barbershop and hair-dressing salon in the ground floor of a three-story building he owned in Ottawa’s Little Italy, living on the top floor and renting out the second.
I ended up on his doorstep in the fall of 1968 with room-mates John and Larry as the three of us sought out our last digs for our final year at Carleton University.
Tony took a shine to us right away, showing a particular interest in whether we had girlfriends and advising we shouldn’t worry about any Vatican impediments to having them sleep over.
In fact, he announced—with unusual honesty for a landlord—that his building was not exactly sound-proof, a condition that he intended should result in a contest.
In short, he assured us that any noisy tryst that occurred in our flat would result in an immediate and equally passionate riposte from the aerie shared by him and his wife.
Despite the apparent three-to-one odds, that actually wasn’t much of a challenge for your average priest, never mind Tony, because both Larry and I had serious absent squeezes well beyond the arena of inter-mural squeals while John’s girlfriend had her own place for more private bump-and-tickle sessions.
Tony was not only confident he would triumph in this competition, but showed the reason he would win.
The photo above his obit was the same we recall from his barbershop—a handsome dandy in his early 30s with a full head of luxurious curly hair.
Ah, but that wasn’t his hair.
You see, Tony wasn’t just a hair stylist, but also one of the city’s foremost wig-makers.
He demonstrated that by removing his rug in front of us to reveal a closely-hewn pate.
It just happened that his bride was turned on by curly hair and he answered that siren call by shaving off his boring straight sheaves and replacing them with a boiling sea of locks just aching for spousal tousling.
Larry and I eventually ended up with new girlfriends, but they had their own places, too, and so there wasn’t really a lot of audible pressure on Tony when it came to reciprocal performance.
But he was a good as his word whenever there was any action in our apartment, always providing a noisy reply from the ceiling above.
Frankly, he seemed a little disappointed at our low score and suggested maybe we should look for some Italian girls, as long as they weren’t related to him or anyone else in Canada or Italy.
It looked as he was destined to, um, stay on top in this little contest until along came a thing called Documentary Filming 341.
Long story shortened, this was a final year journalism course just launched at Carleton and the prof figured the best way to learn was to do, prompting the whole class to script, produce, direct, film and act in a little bit of 1960s navel-gazing titled The Johari Window.
The documentary included vignettes covering a number of themes associated with student life and you will all be shocked to learn that I was tabbed to produce the segment on sex.
I wanted to spice up the sound track with the symphony created by real love-making, but porn was still frowned upon back then and The Real Thing might be great for Coke but would get my bony little ass thrown out of school and into jail.
So we simply brought a dozen of the amateur student actors over to our apartment on a Saturday night and spent hours sitting around recording groans and moans and whimpers and screams to be combined and mixed later in the studio.
The acting was surprisingly good, especially the women who seemed to have a knack for faking it.
Needless to say, directors are notoriously fussy birds never as satisfied as the actors pretended to be,
and there were many takes.
All, of course, were played back through the stereo amp many times until I figured we had enough.
It turns out that somebody else also had enough. More than enough.
When I saw Tony in his shop Monday morning, he looked as if he had been run over by a truck.
He stumbled towards me and gasped: “You guys are pigs! The deal is OFF! You damned near killed me and my bella donna!”
“You’re animals! Hell, I lost count after the first 10 and when we woke up four hours later, you were still at it! And look at you, Gordo, still fresh as a flower after grinding away all night. You win! I throw in the towel!”
Well, it didn’t take Sherlock Holmes or even Chief Wiggims to figure this one out.
Poor Tony and his increasingly-suffering bride had spent all of Saturday night trying to outdo the rowdy output of a gaggle of actors and the playback from a reel-to-reel Uher recorder packed with six hours of Kama Sutra audio.
We never told him the truth.
It was much better to bask in the glow of an unearned reputation every time one of the three room-mates passed the shop to see Tony nod in our direction and whisper things to his Italian clients that had them gaze upon us in slack-jawed awe and envy.
His bride had all three of our girlfriends upstairs for tea and plied them with extremely fattening things so that their pert student bodies might gain some appropriate padding before facing impact damage from the next merciless marathon pounding.
The documentary gang were well into rough edits when someone announced the sex tapes had gone missing and we would likely have to do it all over again.
Fortunately, they were finally recovered.
Otherwise, Tony’s obit might have appeared a little earlier—like, 42 years ago.