In January of 1993 I wasn’t quite a 20 year old boy when I visited my friend Jesus in Montreal because he asked me to. He said Montreal was a fun city and that I needed to see it to believe it. When Jesus asks you to visit, you do it.
I was stupid back then, well, I mean even more so than today, and I thought the Montreal he meant was in Texas, so I agreed to visit because I’d never been to Texas and I had it in my mind that I wanted to drink a beer in all 50 states before I died. It turns out he was actually talking about the Montreal in Canada. Have you heard about this place, Canada?
In 1993, the internet wasn’t what it is today, so without Twitter and blogging, Canadians weren’t as popular as they are nowadays.
Today they are all very trendy and smart and the women are all beautiful, but back then, all my Canadian knowledge came from St. Louis Blues hockey players. They said things like aboot and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and liked to drink beer and fight, so I knew they were awesome, but not everyone in America did.
I had to go to Canada in January.
It’s cold in Canada in January.
I agreed to meet my friend and jumped on a flight for a fun weekend trip.
The six hour Air Canada flight included many cocktails with a stewardess named Lucille. You could still get away with calling the Lucilles of the world stewardesses instead of flight attendants back then.
Lucille was Australian with an unfortunate face and lumpy behind. Her accent started to drive me wild after about the third hour’s worth of adult beverages. It’s amazing what beers and an exotic accent will do for an unfortunate face and lumpy butt.
Unfortunate or not, she let me drink beers even though my license indicated that I was only 19. This made her the most awesome woman I’d ever known at this point in my life. I just knew it was going to be a fun weekend based solely on Lucille’s awesomeness.
I landed in Montreal with a head start on what would be an incredible hangover. I met my pal Jesus at the airport and had him take me directly to an airport bar so that I’d never be able to remember my first Friday ever in Canada.
Jesus does not like to be called Jesus in public so he insisted that I call him Alexander.
“Why in the world do you want me to call you Alexander?” I asked
“I don’t care for the name Jesus and I like to be called different things when I travel. In fact, one day we’ll meet again to go gambling and drink Bud Light Lime and you’ll call me Steve,” he said.
“What are you talking about? Bud Light with lime in it sounds fucking awful, Jesus.”
“Alexander, please. Or Alex for short. Ooooh, what about Xander for short?! You know, one day you’ll have a kid and his middle name will be Alexander.”
“No! I’m not calling you Xander, and this whole thing is ridiculous. Look at yourself, for God’s sake!”
“What?” Jesus asked, clearly perplexed.
“You’re dressed in a white tunic and brown sandals! You look like the stereotypical Jesus Christ! Plus it’s like 12 degrees outside!”
Jesus sneered at me and stormed off to the men’s room in a huff. I don’t know what he did, but he returned wearing tight rolled jeans and a Montreal Expos baseball t-shirt. He’d replaced his sandals with some pretty kickass cowboy boots.
“Is this better, hater?” Jesus pouted.
“Hater? What does that even mean?”
“Nevermind, Don, let’s just go get drunk.”
I liked this Jesus who likes to drink and wear tight rolled jeans, but he didn’t have any cash to pay for a cab ride to the bar.
“I don’t have a fucking job you know, Jesus? I only work summers. I had to whore myself out to desperate women just to pay for this trip. Are you expecting me to buy you drinks all night?”
“Oh, don’t worry Don, I’ll take care of my drinks, Buddy. ” Jesus assured me. ”And call me Alex.”
With that, we were off to the bar.
As the bar began to fill with patrons, I found myself surrounded by a bunch of dolts wearing Nordique sweaters. I called them jerseys, but these buttfuckers insisted that a hockey jersey was a sweater in spite of the fact that they were not made of wool and wouldn’t keep you warm in a snowstorm.
Worse than the sweaters, they were talking about wrestling as though it were a real sport! I don’t mean the Olympic or collegiate wrestling, that is a real sport. A real hard one at that. No, they were talking about Wrestling at the Chase or Hulk Hogan wrestling. Aye Carumba as Bart would say, you’re grown ass men!
They were arguing amongst themselves about who was the greatest professional wrestler of all time, and the best part was that they’d narrowed the choices down to Rowdy Roddy Piper or Bret “Hit Man” Hart!
How do you say LOL in 1993??!!!!
“What did you just say?” I asked some guy wearing a replica Owen Nolan “sweater.”
“We’re trying to decide who the best wrestler ever is, either Roddy Piper or Bret Hart, eh?” He answered.
I was beside myself in shock because they were all dead serious.
“Are these wrestlers from Canada or something?” I asked. It seemed like an odd final two otherwise.
“Duh, where else?” Responded some fool wearing a Guy Carbonneau sweater.
“So you’re arguing about who the best CANADIAN wrestler ever was then, right? Right?” I asked. I was feeling no pain at this point in my night.
“NO, you asshole!” Shouted the Guy Carbonneau wannabe. ”Best wrestler ever, period! In the world!”
“OOOOOH, you’re crazy then if you think one of those guys… wait, what did you call me? Did you just call me an asshole, Guy Carbonneau?”
“I sure did, asshole. What are you, American?”
“You’re a stupid mother fucker, you know that? I’d put Hillbilly Jim or Hacksaw Jim Duggan or even any of the Von Erich brothers up against your gay Canadian wrestlers anytime!”
“Are you saying that Hillbilly Jim could beat Bret Hart in a wrestling match,” responded the biggest of the group.
“That’s right! That’s exactly what I said!” Good Lord, Don, are you really doing this? Are you really picking a fight with a group of Canadian guys over wrestling? Yes! Yes I am! I could give two shits about wrestling, but I’m out with Jesus Christ and about 19 beers into a kickass Friday night so anything goes!
“And! And! And….Prime Minister Mulroney is, is, is a hom, homo, homosexual!” I said as derisively as I could. You see, just like being Canadian, it wasn’t as cool to be a homosexual in 1993 as it is today.
“HEY! Nobody dogs on Brian Mulroney, much less an American!!”
The group of wrestling fanatics were all standing in a semi circle in front of me. In 1993, I was playing college soccer so I was in pretty good shape and always felt overly confident with beer in my belly. With my double vision, I believe there were 14 men of varying size in front of me.
The bartender, sensing what was going on, came and offered us all a round of drinks if we promised to sit back down and behave.
I’d do anything for a free drink, so I was all set to let bygones be bygones when out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a bearded man wearing a Montreal Expos t-shirt running at the group with a wooden stool over his head.
Jesus Christ smashed that stool over the heads of three of my new Canadian pals at the same time and it was on.
I grabbed my free Labatts that the bartender had already put on the bar and chugged it down. Jesus was onto the fifth man in the group with his fists clenched in rage. Good Lord he was strong for a little man!
He started to wear down and I jumped in to have Jesus’ back.
“I’m no Judas!!!!” I yelled, much to the confusion of everyone, and smashed my bottle over Guy Carbonneau’s thick skull. ”Whooooo!”
Jesus and I were about to win this battle Royale when a beast of a man came up behind us and lifted us both over his head at the same time.
“Holy Fuck!” shrieked Jesus.
“Hey, I know this guy! Aren’t you that guy who used to wrestle midgets?”
In a thick, French, muddled accent, the giant spoke.
“I am the best wrestler of all time! Me! Andre the Giant!”
With that, he literally threw Jesus and I out the door of the bar and into the street, followed by the seven idiots we’d just been fighting with.
“That was Andre the Giant, Jesus!!” I said, excitedly!
“It’s Alex, and I know that. He’ll be dead in a couple of years.”
“Really? That’s too bad,” I said. ”He’s even bigger than I ever imagined.”
“Seven feet and four inches,” said Jesus. ”But he’s got a really small penis.”
With that, we both stood up and laughed and laughed for a good five minutes as we stumbled drunk down the road to the hotel.
“You’re welcome, by the way,” Jesus said.
“Uh, aside from saving you from an ass whooping, they thew us out before we paid for all those drinks.”
“Ha! You’re right!! Thank you, Jesu…er, Alex! You truly are the best son of bitch ever!”