VANCOUVER – Now that a large guillotine has been erected in front of the West End tower that contains his $2.4 million condo, investment banker Wesley Sanderson wants everyone to know how deeply sorry he is for insisting that the builders install segregated entrances for buyers like him and less wealthy renters.
“Yes, I may have been amongst the buyers who said something along the lines of ‘the only way I can live in a building with the unwashed is if there’s a separate poor door,’ but in my defense, that was so long ago, nearly nine months ago, and I’ve grown so much as a person since then,” Sanderson said, wincing at the sound of the last boards being nailed in to the guillotine platform below.
The presence of the guillotine, which started out as a PR stunt for a French fusion food truck but rapidly attracted a large admiring mob, has forced Sanderson to re-evaluate his previous beliefs in the idea of social class, the necessity of wealth inequality, and the inviolability of his neck.
“I’ve come to realize that we shouldn’t separate people based on income or wealth,” Sanderson explained, huddled in a cashmere blanket in the back of his spacious walk-in closet. “In the spirit of inclusivity, I’ve even offered to escort my neighbour, a lovely single mother who lives on one of the lower floors, every time she and her children want to leave the building through their entrance.”
“She declined, saying I once referred to her as a gutter born broodmare, which I don’t remember saying and was also only a joke. I’m sure she’ll come around. Not literally, of course, renters don’t have permission to use the elevator to this floor.”
While condo owners like Sanderson are wary of the guillotine, low income renters in the neighbourhood have said the execution apparatus adds a handcrafted European flavour to the block.
“When Seattle started erecting guillotines in an effort to keep housing prices down, it worked,” said community organizer Robin Sherr, who argues in favour of making the guillotine a permanent installation. “Neighbourhoods with them also saw a drastic increase in social cohesion, a steep drop in income inequality, and a ten fold decrease in luxury car hit-and-runs.”
At press time, Sanderson was attempting to sneak out of the renter’s entrance dressed up as his idea of a common man; a turn of century hobo with a polkadot bag on stick.