Now to be fair, Montreal is a very cool hip happening place. The architecture alone outclasses Winnipeg. And the people, if they aren’t the best looking ladies and gents in all of Canada, I am dumb and blind as well as half deaf. Here’s something worth mentioning. I am not a smoker and am not attracted to those that are. But in Montreal, everyone smokes. And somehow, they even make that seem sexy-cool. In Winnipeg, people smoke to release tension or to get away from their nagging boss/husband/wife/kids. Here...”we smoke because we can, you silly little Englishman.”
Montreal makes smoking cool the same way James Dean made leaning against a wall, “Moody”.
So why do I hate this city? Because of my own stupidity.
On the night of my first show, right after I did a video about how great everything went and how sunshine is coming out of my ass, Phil, who is the guy letting me stay with him and his roommates in Montreal, informed me that I would be able to move into the new apartment. When I arrived here, they were in the process of moving, you see. This is great news for me, because where the new apartment is, is actually a hop skip and a jump from the Theatre I’m performing at. Woo Hoo!
So, I am to pack up my stuff, head to the apartment, unload, come back to the old apartment and help load up some boxes to bring to the new apartment before I crash for the night. I left at 9pm from the old apartment...and from here on, is a prime example of why I call my show “Misadventures of a Massage Therapist”.
Jean-Philippe, (one of the other roommates) asked before I left the old apartment, if I knew where I was going to get to the new apartment. I said, ‘Of course I do! I plugged it into my GPS before I arrived in Montreal!’ If you take a moment to go to YouTube and watch some of the videos of me driving from Winnipeg to Montreal, you’ll see just how much GPS has been a thorn in my side so far. So off I go, I tap the saved location titled, “Phil” on the GPS, and it tells me I have 10 km to go till I “Reach my Destination”.
Well that’s odd, since it only takes me 5 km to get to my Theatre. The one that’s a hop skip and a jump from the new apartment? But I trust in GPS! So I follow it to the letter. I go as far as it would let me at a leisurely 40 kph, until it told me to take a left turn. That left turn took me onto the mother-fucking freeway! I shot up to 110 kph in the blink of an eye. I am shrieking like a banshee because I am totally confused. I DON’T REMEMBER A FREEWAY ON THE ROUTE BEFORE!?!?
I thought I was in the clear when it gave me another left turn up ahead and led me away from the scary traffic. But nope...it just led me onto the freeway going the OPPOSITE way now! FUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!
Up ahead, I saw a sign that said, turn here for Boul. St-Laurent. That’s the street I was looking for! That’s where the new apartment is! So I turned down the street, even while GPS squawked at me that I was going the wrong way. “Screw you GPS, you robotic sounding love-child of Hal 9000 and Stephen Hawking! You’re a computer! I have eyes!”
After 3 km down Boul. St-Laurent, I realized that the reason I recognized the street name was not because the new apartment was down there, but because that was the street my Theatre was on.
So...back to the starting point I go. Back over the freeway I go, and yes, back on the one going the opposite way too. And this time, I followed the GPS to its final destination. The destination was the very beginning of St-Hubert. That was the name of the street the new apartment was on, yes, but it was at the very BEGINNING of the street! I was on the outskirts of Montreal! Then I remembered...
When I initially typed in Phil’s address for the new apartment into the GPS, it could not determine an actual address number, I needed a cross street to plug in as well. Which I didn’t have. So coming into the city, I figured, “Well, as long as I’m on the right street, I can just drive down until I come to the right number!”
That works in theory, but St-Hubert is a very unique little street. You go from two way traffic, to one way, to an opposing one way so you are now heading into oncoming traffic, it twists and turns so that other streets are cut off and St-Hubert ends up on an entirely different lane on the other side of a set of traffic lights...
It is the road to madness!
So it took me a while to initially get the hang of the street. But that was three days ago. I have not fixed the GPS to register the new apartment correctly. At this point I should mention that this 10 minute drive is entering 40 minutes.
So after coming face to face with the F1 Racing event taking place here, damn near running over pedestrians, going down one ways the wrong way, I finally found the new apartment by some miracle. Now to unload my stuff and head back before the roommates think I am a complete moron. Here’s where it gets even better.
I bring my suitcase up to the apartment first, come back down and tackle the big blue tub with most of my gear in it next. Only to get to the door to the place, search for the keys in my pocket, and guess what?
The one and only set of keys? The ones that these people have been complaining about that they don’t have a set made for everyone yet? And that they need some special permit to make a copy because these keys are so rare that they don’t even make them anymore? Those keys? Locked upstairs in the apartment.
I cursed. Loudly. Violently.
I sat in the front of the apartment and tried to call Jean-Philippe and prayed he wouldn’t freak out in French. Cause it would be bad, and I’d have no idea what he would be saying. He wasn’t answering. Shit, was he asleep? I tried texting him. Nothing.
I was realizing that I was going to be ostracized for the rest of my time in Montreal over this one. I have fucked over EVERYBODY! And then I had a moment of desperation. I buzzed everyone in the whole building. And as luck would have it, at 11:40 on a Friday night, there was one guy who was still at home. I mimed as best I could through the glass, “I-DO-NOT-HAVE-A-GUN!” He cautiously opened the door and said, “Oui?”
“Hi!” After that, I spoke very precisely, and very slowly, because that always breaks the language barrier! “I live in apartment five,” I lied. “I left my keys up there.” I am also miming each and every syllable.
The guy just casually opened the door and said, “In you go, dude.”
I ran upstairs, grabbed the keys, put a death grip on them so I would never part with them again. Hey, if it works in relationships, it should work on a pair of keys, right? I unloaded everything from my car and made sure before I left to add my current location into the GPS as the REAL new apartment. I hauled ass down the streets of Montreal to the old apartment, hoping that even if everyone was asleep over there, that I could sneak in like a skinny, bald, white-boy version of Santa Claus and take the rest of the boxes over to the new place.
I walked in and found Jean-Philippe standing in the hallway, smiling. “We’re getting McDonald’s!”
After I sat him down and told him the whole story. He said the most perfect sentence to follow it all up with. “Soooo...you want a beer?”
I haven’t had a beer since I was 21. But after the events of this fucking night? “Buddy, a beer would be great!”