I awoke to the sensation of my face being squished.
The hand smooshing me went away…and my face returned to normal.
…then…another squish…harder this time…
..then came the kick to my lumbar…
I get it...I was snoring.
My wife has three methods to get me to stop snoring:
2) Facial distortion techniques
3) Brutal pummeling of my lumbar region or – really – any body part that’s closest to her
It usually doesn’t work.
..because my nose is busted...
...it's completely closed on the right side.
Like South Park, I blame Canada.
The internals of my nose were graciously relocated back when I was about 19 or 20, in the lovely country of Canada.
Specifically, they were bashed to all Hell in the lovely city of Montreal.
I’ve been traveling to Montreal at least once a year for the past, oh, 20 years or so.
Why Montreal, you ask?
I first ventured to the north during – of all things – Spring Break.
When most kids head south to Florida or warmer, sunnier states, I headed up to the frozen tundra of the north with four of my college buddies.
Smart move? I’m not so sure, because I’ve probably left a small fortune in Canada over the years – because of the experiences I’ve had there.
I could probably fund a small guerilla outfit in Latin America for the money I’ve spent.
So what’s the draw to Montreal?
The whole fascination with Montreal started out with the realization that they have an 18-year old drinking age. This is VERY important to college kids who don’t want to be arrested in Florida, but still want to get drunk.
Anyway, at the time, two of my friends and I had planned an overnight trip to Montreal. The plan was to go up on a Friday, and come back on Saturday or Sunday.
On the Friday we were to leave, I had my acid-washed jeans on (this was the 80’s, after all) and my favorite, green striped shirt.
Trust me, this is important.
I go to my bank to exchange my money. I am greeted by a very attractive teller.
“I’d like my money changed to Canadian, please,” I say to her.
She looks at me with a smile.
“Going to Canada? Well..have a great time,” she says.
“Oh,” I say with a wink and sly smile.
The three of us piled into my buddy’s truck and took the 5 hour drive north to Montreal.
By 6 p.m., we had ingested enough alcohol to render Gary Busey incapacitated.
That’s a LOT of alcohol.
As we stumbled down Ste. Catherine Street, I was fumbling and bumbling along…bringing up the rear of the trio.
Being 5’2” tall, my little body can’t handle too much booze…and I had a LOT of booze.
…and then it happened…
Up ahead, I saw my two buddies – who were walking side by side down the sidewalk – get pushed apart as a group of guys walked right through them.
It was one of those *bang* pushes that kind of spun them each around.
..this group of guys walked past me…
Which is where the alcohol grabbed complete hold of my senses…and – sadly – opened my mouth to say:
“You got a problem?” (say this completely slurred, and you get a better visual)
Turns out, yes.
...yes they did have a problem...
The last thing I remember before blacking out was this group of guys turning around, and the lead guy beginning to punch me in the face.
Luckily for him, I was completely numb at the time…or else I may have started crying American tears all over him.
My arms remained at my side. Limp, little, arm-noodles.
The fist came from nowhere.
My head spun around. Then, regretfully, it spun back.
That was it.
As the ground spun toward me (literally…I remember the ground SPINNING towards me…kind of like when they change scenes in Scooby Doo or Batman), I could only picture myself hovering, mid-air, and spinning like a helicopter rotor.
Here’s where it gets freaky.
Me: “…AND THIS IS WHY I’M GOING TO KILL THOSE MOTHER..”
Some guy holding my shoulders: “Rodney!..Rodney!…You must relax…”
Me: “I’M NOT GOING TO RELAX…I’M..”
Well..this is weird.
I’m in mid-sentence.
I woke up from my black-out…mid-sentence…
..yelling..at this…this GUY…
…who KNOWS MY NAME.
Me: “I’M NOT GOING TO…Hey? How do you know my name?!?”
It’s at this point, that I realize I’m on a completely different street.
There are cops.
There are ambulances.
My friends are in the ambulances.
Then…I get the full story from this guy (who, coincidentally, was named “Guy” (pronounced in Canada as "Geeeeeeeee" for some f*cking reason):
Here’s how the beating went:
Upon my collapsing, my drunken friends came to my aid.
They did this in the form of getting the absolute sh*t kicked out of themselves.
One of my friends was beaten about the head, and needed stitches in his skull.
My other friend received a punch to the lip from a guy who, apparently, was wearing some kind of ring (I’m guessing it was not a Cap’n Crunch Secret Decoder ring) –
...with said ring going straight through his upper lip.
This group of guys (apparently there were six of them) then made off.
…at which point, I somehow recover…pull myself to my feet and – being of no mind and still blacked out – give chase.
This man, Guy, is watching all of this from the other side of the street…chases me down, stopping me from beating these thugs senseless using my face and other soft parts.
I believe he ended up saving my life.
Had I been wearing a Bruins jersey, I’m not so sure that this ending would have been the same (“No! Monsieur...don’t chase the…oh…Boston, eh? Go die, peasant!”)
Guy – if you’re reading this, may I say, “Gracias” (French, Spanish…I can’t understand either so it doesn’t matter).
At the hospital I discover that my nose is broken in three places – my septum completely mashed from one side to the other.
There is clear evidence of this all over my green shirt and acid washed jeans in the form of oodles and oodles of blood.
..and this is why I snore.
Anyway, luckily we’re all still REALLY REALLY REALLY hammered…and we’re not feeling ANY of our pain.
In fact, my buddy with the cut in his lip is playing with it…sticking his tongue out through it trying to make us laugh…and my other friend with his head bandaged and covered in blood is adamant that the nurse thinks he’s hot.
Bloody-head-buddy, you’re not looking hot and, lip-buddy, you’re F*CKING GROSSING ME OUT.
After a few hours we decide to cut bait and drive back home.
We stop a few times to sleep and vomit…luckily, not all at once.
We pull back into town at about 9 a.m.
“Hey,” I say to myself…”Bank is open.”
..and so..I walk back into my bank to get my American cash back…
..in the same clothes I was wearing not 18 hours previous…
…except this time…they’re completely covered in dried blood…my head is bandaged...and I'm limping...
..and wouldn’t you know it…
...I approach the same, hot, teller...
…she looks horrified as I straddle up to her, hand over my Canadian money and say:
“I’d like this changed back to American…please.”