Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In Which Dan Nearly--But Not Quite--Has Two Large Women Getting Into A Physcial Altercation Over Him

I don't remember whose idea it was to return to the Thompson Inn.

Maybe it was no one's idea. Maybe it was just something that germinated in our collective unconscious, a subliminal compulsion that slowly blossomed into the front of our minds.

Or maybe it was mine and Heavy Metal's idea. Who can remember such things?

For those of you who need a refresher, The Thompson Inn is where the wrestlers stayed on the 2010 tour. It is a hive of scum and villainy--blood on the walls, broken locks, broken beds...drunks and addicts stumbling up and down the hallways.

It's also where I learned the Howson Partying Secret to maintain a spotless reputation on the road: 1) Party in OTHER people's rooms 2) Show up on time the next day.

It seems to have worked so far.

Did I mention we nearly got thrown out of the place last year? What do you have to do to be thrown out of the Thompson Inn? Only professional wrestlers know for sure.

In 2011 we stayed in a different place, the LAKEVIEW INN & SUITES, which I am writing in capital letters as a plug for them since without their generosity and help being Trapped in Thompson would have been a lot more unpleasant.

It's also a really nice place. Very homey and great staff.

The bar in the Thompson Inn...not so much.

No description can do justice to this bar. Picture the worst bar you've ever seen in your life. Now imagine that bar being sacked by Vikings and repainted with several chipped and peeling coats of Despair. Now add in a zombie apocalypse. Then take away all of the zombies except for a handful...the ones too slow to get any brains.

That's the bar in the Thompson Inn.

How could you NOT go back?

Past the drunks clustered outside. Through the door and into the establishment proper--a stage and dance floor on one side of the room, the bar on the other, clusters of line-faced drunks dotting the the area like the raisins in a slice of raisin bread.

And that's when I became the belle of the ball.

I was approached by at least three older, drunker, native women, three times my size.

Did I say approach? These were more like assaults. No flirting. No back and forth. Just a storming of the sexual ramparts, grabbing at me and incoherent mumbling.

Maybe the zombie analogy is more appropriate than I first thought.

But do you know what?

I had a great time.

One of them pulled me onto the dance floor. The dancing was fun; the conversation and inappropriate groping of my parts, less so. And yes, I played up my horrified discomfort, mostly to amuse the watching wrestlers.

But secretly--in those moments when I wasn't fending off her advances or looking over at my friends to see if they were taking any pictures--I enjoyed dancing with her.

Yes, she was drunk. No, she wasn't particularly attractive or likeable.

But I have a theory that all women are sexy. You just need to look for it.

And you could find it in this woman too. Just a spark, when we were dancing of the person maybe she used to be or could have been or maybe could be again. I looked in her eyes and saw past the alcohol and the years and the disappointments. I saw past my own prejudices, preconceptions, and judgements and recognized...well, a person, just like anybody else, someone who wants to be happy.

In that moment of human connection, dancing with her became fun. I stopped worrying about what my friends thought. I stopped caring about how I looked.

I enjoyed the dance.

This might be a cute story if it ended there, but it didn't.

After the dance, she continued to pursue me. Telling her I had to go didn't work, peeling her hand of my wrist didn't work.

I ended up weaving through the group of wrestlers like a basketball player coming off of a screen, finally buying myself a few seconds by ducking behind the six foot eight ZACK MERCURY (*)

I managed to find a seat. She managed to find me.

I was at a loss. I had tried everything. Assertiveness. Physical disengagement. Zack Effin' Mercury. What was left for poor Dan Brodribb?

The answer was about to arrive, and arrive it did like thunder.

It came in the form of yet ANOTHER overweight Native American woman.

It came--although I didn't learn her name until later--in the form of Muriel.

She powered between me and my assailant like a bulldozer, clamped her arm around me like a vice, turned to the other woman and said in the clipped First Nations accent:

"Hey. You messin' wit' my boyfriend?"

For a second they started at each other. I had a moment of giddiness--oh my god, they're going to fight over me.

This could be AWESOME.

Two gigantic Native American women throwing down amidst a group of wrestlers over the affections of the ring announcer...that is a visual on Big-Jess-Getting-Shot-With-Fireworks levels of unforgettable.

Alas, it was not to be. After a few moments of intent staring, the first woman slunk off like a jackal abandoning a zebra carcass.

I was relieved, then realized Muriel's arm was still around me.

Oh shit.

Had I gone from frying pan to fire?

Muriel drew closer, looked up at me...and winked.

"You look liked you needed some help," she whispered in my ear.

Oh, I did, Muriel. I did. And I'm not too proud to accept yours. Thank you from the bottom of my ring announcing, Buddhist, stand-up comic, relationship blogging heart.

Some may call the Thompson Inn hell, but for tonight, I had found my angel.

(*) My first Zack Mercury Experience was sitting next to him in the passenger seat of a rental truck, careening down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere while he simultaneously drove, texted, set up his ipod and mixed himself a protein shake without once looking at the road. He's a fun-loving, laid-back guy, which is why it came as such as surprise to me when he once told me something so on-point about my personal sense of self that I lie awake at night staring at the ceiling thinking about it to this day.

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