Saturday, October 22, 2011
My first day at Brock... (cue suspenseful music)
The year was 2001. High School was a thing of the past, and I was now a mature, intellectual, sophisticated university student (or so I hoped). School hadn’t officially started yet, but I had an orientation seminar to attend. It was to be a busy day. I had a dentist appointment in the morning to fill some cavities caused by gorging myself on vast amount of candies over the summer holidays. As I recall, I had told the dentist to fill them all. There were four cavities in all – one in each corner of my mouth. Because my pain tolerance is not much higher than that of a Monarch Butterfly, I emphasized to my dentist to freeze my mouth well. He did. The novocaine needles were going everywhere – top, bottom, sides, tongues, throats, nose etc. The dentist could of have set off a Roman candle in my mouth and I would of have been blissfully unaware. After the dentist had re-surfaced my molars and told me some nonsense about going easy on the fruitellas’, I headed off to Brock.
I rolled onto the campus with my burgundy 1989 International Edition Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. I found a parking spot, and made the trek over to the Mckenzie Chown blocks for my seminar. Even though my nose was still frozen from all of the novocaine, I could still smell pizza as I headed towards the seminar room. I had skipped breakfast which caused my stomach to groan like a love sick moose during mating season. My mouth started watering too – I quickly put my hand to my mouth to stop any unsightly drooling. First impressions are important after all.
I entered the room, put on my nametag and sat down. One of the leaders said “Hi! Would you like a slice of pizza and some coke?” My stomach was growling so loud that the students in the room began to wonder if a pack of feral dogs were roaming the halls. I felt my face – totally frozen. “I wuff slofff slom” I replied (for those of you who don’t speak Novocainian it could be roughly translated as I would love some). She looked confused. “I’ll slet it myslelf” I said (I’ll get it myself). She looked confused and concerned.
I picked out a nice big slice of cheesy pizza, and grabbed a cold coke out of a cooler. A little voice inside me was whispering “ARE YOU CRAZY?!” I stopped and walked back to the table with the pizza. Should I put it back? My stomach, which was now sounding like Chewbacca, was desperate for the pizza. Instead of putting the pizza back (which would of have ended this sad little story right here) I grabbed a stack of napkins.
I sat down and began to nonchalantly eat my slice of pizza. I brought the pizza to my mouth and took a healthy bite. I tried to pull the pizza away, but my incisors hadn’t taken a bite cleanly off yet. I bit down harder and began to slide my teeth around. I politely put the slice down while I chewed away. I took a napkin and delicately dabbed my mouth. The napkin came back full of pizza sauce. I quickly brought the napkin back up and wiped again. The napkin was still full of pizza sauce. I took a fresh napkin and tried again, only to realize that there must be pizza sauce all over my face. It was at that point that I started to get funny looks from my fellow students. I desperately started wiping my face with more napkins, but could never get my face clean. It then dawned on me – it wasn’t pizza sauce – it was blood and lots of it. I wasn’t sure if I had bitten my lip or tongue – they were still completely frozen. I cracked open the can of pop somehow hoping that the pop would wash away the blood. That too proved to be a mistake. I’m not sure if any coke actually made it in my mouth, but about half the can flowed down my chin and onto my shirt like the Zambezi River. My pile of napkins was dwindling quickly as I was trying to clean up two spills. I was more helpless than BP execs during the Gulf oil spill.
Finally the seminar was over. My stomach, though by no means satisfied by one bite of pizza (and half a lower lip as I was to soon learn), was settling down and now sounded like a lonesome loon on a mist filled lake on an early morn. I collected my mountain of bloody napkins and my half chewed pizza and headed for the garbage. I fled the room and ran for my car. When I got in my car, I pointed the rear-view mirror towards my face and let out a startled cry. My shirt, neck, and lower half of my face was covered with a mixture of dried blood, pizza sauce and coke. My lower lip had been severely punctured and had inflated drastically. I could of have written ‘Goodyear’ on it. It was visibly throbbing.
It was then that I realized that I had a long journey ahead of me if ever I was to become that suave, sophisticated, and serious student I had aspired to become.