For a Good Time Call… By Mike Long

For a Good Time Call…
By Mike Long
From Vol. 2 No. 3, 2002

I go to bars a lot. I spent almost every night in one. I’m no alcoholic, I just feel the need to go out, and find the lowest common denominator of human contact. And hey, downing three or seven beers while you’re at it is fun too. I just moved to Montreal by way of Toronto a couple of months ago. The people I knew here previously were all away the week I arrived, so I spent almost every single night out, by my lonesome. This gives me time to waste while I drink. I decided one night while I was at Cafe Chaos, that I would play a little game I used to play while drinking with friends at Squirly’s in Toronto.
It’s a very simple game that keeps you entertained until you can get up enough courage to talk to other drunks. What you do is pick up the basket of matchbooks that 90% of bars have, empty it out, and proceed to leave little messages for people. This is quite amusing, let me assure you. Some favourites include, but are not limited to: “Keep drinking… FATTY,” “Did anyone ever tell you that you smell like an old man,” “Stop coming out, you’re really ugly,” and “It’s a fact: Your girlfriend is cheating on you.”
Another favourite is drawing a man’s naked body, and removing every match but the one in the center. That’s hilarity! (But if you think that I’m actually going to give you my A material you’re sadly mistaken, friend.)
The bartender asked me what I was doing, and so I told him. He just happened to pick up the “Girlfriend” one, and told me that he thought I was right. Oh shit. This guy starts telling me all about what a total whore his girl is, but he that he couldn’t leave her. Man, did I ever feel like shit. Maybe this game was a little on the harsh side. I stopped writing notes, and started to conceal my beer giver.
I came back there every night for the next three nights, and eventually developed enough of a rapport with the guy that he gave me a couple of drinks for free. I consoled him though, and I deserved it. What, it’s not like I cheated on him. I was doing the guy a favour!
A few days later, my new and wonderful roommate answers the phone. She gives me this look like there’s a crazy person on the line, and blurts out, “Hold on a second,” and hands me the telephone receiver. I answer.
“Do you have an initial of M?” The female, and seemingly distraught voice on the other end inquires. I tell her that in fact I do. What was this about?
“Can you tell me why your phone number was written inside a matchbook that I found in my boyfriend’s pocket?” I was speechless. I did write down our phone number in a few of the matchbooks, with the caption, “It’s not too late for us to reconcile.” This girl seemed really fucked up, and maybe she was just joking around. I had no idea.
She told me that she suspected her boyfriend of cheating on her with other men, even though he maintained that he was a straight guy. I found this all very incredible and hilarious. Was this the fruit that I was given for my good deed of making dozens laugh, or was this the shit I was getting for putting fat asses down? Well, at least there’s a funny story that comes out of it.
So, next time you get a matchbook with something so perfectly witty and clever written in it, that was me… that was me.