Well, Darcey, Ian, Les, the Zerb, and Right Girl have already offered their accounts of what happened that night, but I think they all may have been drinking heavily and got a few things wrong. So it's up to me to offer the definitive account, so that when the Post Office gets around to making a Heritage Minute spot on the event, it'll be accurate.
We met at Fiddler's Green, a Irish-ish Pub in the center of Boystown, Toronto's answer to Castro Street in San Francisco. For some reason, I had the address wrong and wound up wandering Church street looking confused for some time. Now I'm generally a flashy dresser (see the photo below to find out just how radiantly cool I was that evening) so I caught quite a few deep searching glances being directed my way. As a man, I wasn't used to it. Now I can understand the uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability that women in wet T-shirt competitions must bear.
I arrived fashionably late, and was introduced to about twelve people, only remembering the name of Right Girl because she was introduced to me last. Her -- husband? boyfriend? -- who goes by the name of Must-Control-Fist-of-Death and some of their groupies were also there. Others present were Mike, Lisa, and Mapmaster from the London Fog, some guy with a mustache that I unfortunately forgot the name of (it may have been this guy), Kate from the Last Amazon, Darcey of course, and Publius from Gods of the Copybook Headings.
Arriving even later than I were Ian Scott, Bob Tarantino of the defunct Let It Bleed, Les from Spiderman's Web, Chris Taylor and his girlfriend (whose name I also forgot), Fenris Badwulf and the Mayor from Mitchieville, a few frequent commenters that I didn't know, a deranged electrician, and the Zerb!
For those of you unfamiliar with my blog, I must mention that Antonia Zerbisias won my prestigious Most Annoying Canadian competition for 2004, beating out the highly annoying Canadian Tire Guy and even Sheila Copps. Had I known she was coming I would have had a trophy made to present to her. But at least I got this photo of us together:
|Photo by Right Girl, who will never be another Annie Leibovitz.|
Conversation never stopped, though I have few strong recollections of topics. Fenris and the electrician told some stories of what goes on in Big Box stores that are definitely not Wal-Mart in the middle of the night. A secret society was formed. (Whoops! No it wasn't.) Sweeping generalizations were made. Autobiographies were told.
Alcohol was consumed. This I'm pretty sure of. I myself drank plenty of beer, a couple of Rusty Nails, several single-malt scotches, a Johnny Walker Red (this after Chris Taylor spoke of his contempt for it), more beer, and later some red wine. All this over the course of ten hours. I may have been a little tipsy at moments in the evening, but I couldn't catch Darcey:
With Darcey is Kelly, our tireless server. I have similar photos of Darcey groping many other women that evening, but I'll keep them private if I'm well compensated.
We left sometime around midnight. I must respond to this comment by Ian:
It was finally time to end the gathering - and after another whisker rub from Darcey, we all walked off to wherever we were going - not sure where Bruce ended up… not sure I should even ask.. but - isn’t it ironic that it was the libertarians who were helping the "law and order" conservatives be personally responsible for their actions??
I think he's referring to Darcey's and my plan to walk the streets... with open bottles of beer in our hands!!
Mapmaster and Lisa were the libertarians who tried to dissuade us. I couldn't believe that Toronto was that much of a police state. I figured that if we walked down Church Street amongst all the colourful folk there, no cop would dare stop us -- especially with me wearing such a fabulous
shirt. But they were very adamant and we relented. (And who is Ian calling a "law and order" conservative?)
I also have to respond to this from him:
And Bruce is a funny and interesting guy! But, his wife might want to give me a call so we can discuss some weird fascinations he seems to have with certain parts of Toronto.
I really don't think being interested in going to a gay karaoke bar for drinks at midnight on a Saturday is a 'weird fascination'. It's perfectly normal curiousity.
Lisa, Mapmaster, Darcey and I joined Kate at her home, where we continued to converse on many different topics. Until 3:00 that is, when I realized I was the last one talking and everyone else was nodding off. I excused myself and made my way to my hotel, which was thankfully right around the corner.
Thanks to everyone for a great evening, and I will definitely try to make it again should another one get planned. Give me a little time to recover, though.