Lost in Montreal


Back when 21 seemed a distant age in the future, some friends and me decided to go to Montreal on a Sunday to catch an Expos baseball game. There was Jeff, Joel, Jay, and another guy who’s name I forget. From Ottawa, it was about a 3 hour drive, so we all hopped into Joel’s car at around 11 am, and off we went.

We stopped for gas midway, and that’s where Jeff hit me up for some money – it turned out that he forgot his back in Ottawa – so I lent him $60 and I had to hit a bank machine to get the rest of my money – $60 was all I had left to my name.

We rolled into Montreal at around 2:30, and managed to make the 3pm start of the game – we got the cheap seats, and bought a beer each, refilling them from our smuggled bottles of Blue. The game was a riot – no one sat near us so we were rowdy and boisterous… don’t remember who won, but who cared?

After the game, it was still light out, and though Joel wanted to get back to Ottawa, we decided to hit a pub – not just any pub, but the world famous Peel Pub! We got to the place around 6:30, and we discovered, much to our enjoyment, that pitchers of watered down beer (the only kind of beer at the Peel) were 4 bucks each! Well, we started off with a pitcher each, drinking them in true Peel fashion – straight from the jug.

Within a few hours, both Jay and I were up to our 3rd pitcher each, and the other guys were lagging behind. Sitting next to us in the crowded Peel were two very fine looking women, and Jeff was trying to hit on them. The problem was, they only spoke French, or so it seemed – they didn’t have the time of day for Jeff. Well, in moves bilingual Mark, and pretty soon, I was chatting up them both. Jeff was visibly annoyed, but beer goggles let you miss things like that. Well into my 4th pitcher by this point, I was having a great convo with the girls, and I was seriously hitting on one of them, and she seemed interested.

At this point, the Peel staff cut us off – no more beer! We made the usual noises, but one of the girls offered to buy me my next drink… I’m thinking… coool…. So they order me another pitcher, and I proceed to make a big show of pouring it out, amongst the girls and me only… then, I dunno how much time passed, but I looked around, and my so-called friends were gone!

I started freaking out! I asked the girls what happened, and they say the boys left a half hour ago… I freaked again… Joel was my ride back to Ottawa, and at this point, I only had $8 to my name with no money left in the bank account!

I’ll kick myself for this from now to the end of time, but at that stage, the girls both invited me back to their place (roommates). Guess what drunken dickhead did? I was so concerned about being ditched in Montreal, I barely heard the invitation, and I turned it down, and walked out… muttering something about looking for them, and being back in a half hour.

I walked to McGill, where we parked the car, and the car was gone. I freaked big time, and for no reason, I picked up a big branch that fell off a tree (musta weighed 50 pounds or more), and started ramming it against a wall, yelling obscenities. At this point, a Jeep pulled up (with New York plates), and a bunch of 18 year old Americans jumped out (Montreal is popular with NY boys, since the drinking age is 18).

I was still yelling, freaking out, and they started towards me… I told them to fuck off, and they took offence to it – so, I picked up the branch again, and started thrashing it towards them… they left.

So, I at this point, I had a clarity moment and realised the invitation I missed… and started running back to the Peel. I get there, but the bouncer won’t let me in – it’s too busy and there’s a lineup – I make an excuse about finding someone, leave my wallet with him, and go in – and the girls are gone. sigh. Bonehead lost the opportunity.

So, not knowing what to do, I start wandering the streets of Montreal… I walk past a YMCA, and think, maybe they’ll take pity on me, put me up for the night, and I could hitch back to Ottawa in the morning. I get to the door, and this enormous black guy is there, stoned, and he tries to mug me! I freak, we tussle, I get away, and start running down the street with him chasing me!

I saw a cab, and flagged it down, got in and told the driver bus station (dunno why)… and get me outta here! So we go to the bus station… and it cost me $6!! I had less than $2 left! So I go into the bus depot, and see there’s a bus going to Ottawa at 2am – it was close to midnight, Sunday night at this time.

Then, in my drunken stupor, and idea hits me – sell my watch! I saw it done in movies, why not for real – so I go around, trying to sell my $160 Seiko watch… everyone treats me like a leper. Finally, one guy asks to look at it – he does, and he offers me $10 for it! I told him no way – it’s a $160 watch, and besides, I needed at least $18 for the bus to Ottawa – so he offers me $18, one time only. Reluctantly, I agree.

I get on the bus and make my way back to Ottawa, having to walk quite a distance from the bus depot to my home. I next heard from my so-called friends the next day, and I really let them have it – it turns out that it was all Jeff and Jay’s idea… because Jeff was pissed at me for my interference with the girls.

Oh, and they said they came back looking for me, and drove the streets of Montreal for a couple of hours, looking for me. So there is that.

(ed.note 2021; I debated putting this short story back online, because it’s quite dated and very sexist; but I thought, no, it was how we were at the times, and when you’re 19 to 21 years old and male, you pretty much have only one thing on your mind. It’s too bad I was too drunk that night to actually focus on that one thing).