The problem with getting drunk (well, one problem among many, obviously) is that when you put gym equipment near a beer guzzling buffoon, there’s no telling what he’ll do. After a few Heinekens, my friend Kui and I decided it was time to show Ryan the finer techniques of throwing kicks. Ryan has good leg power, but doesn’t have good hip movement, mostly due to the fact that he has about as much grace and finesse as the robot from Lost in Space. So it should not have come to no surprise to either of us that Ryan would injure himself by hitting a bag the wrong way and kicking the big toenail off of his foot. Being an idiot, I also smashed my foot against the rock hard bag trying to demonstrate the error he had made. Let this be a lesson kids: you’re awesome only in your own mind.
The morning after the party was incredibly rough on Ryan, who’s never been stellar dealing with hangovers. He had also passed out before taking a piss, and his bladder was about ready to burst by the time he dragged himself out of bed. We needed to wake up fairly early to meet up with Robin in order to salvage a bit of time with him, since the Saturday was a bit of a bust.
After a runny egg breakfast, we headed back to the gym, where Randy was busy giving a morning seminar. The place was crowded with fanboys of all skills listening in quite rapture as their hero laid out some very basic principles. I headed over to the toilet to take a wiz when I noticed a foul smell coming from one of the stall. Most of he gym was unfinished, so the toilets were essentially covered by cheap shower curtains, and in one particular stall, a desperate individual had decided to take a shit; this despite the fact that there was no toilet paper. The result was a clogged toilet bowl filled with newspaper and one of the biggest dump I had ever seen.
After heading back to the mats fighting of the dry heaving, I took some more shots of Randy, and asked Robin if he could come and do some video bits for us.
One of the corners of the gym was completely unused, mostly because the mats were an ugly yellow and red, and looked as though Ronald McDonald had thrown up all over the place. After a few stretches, we suggested that Robin and Ryan should roll. Despite a gigantic 70 pound difference, Robin agreed. With me taking photos, and with Kui playing camera man, Ryan tried his best to look competent. Signs were all pointing to epic failure, especially when Robin Gogoplata’d poor Ryan early on. To keep things moving along, countless abandoned armbars and chokes later, Robin continued to dominate our valiant trooper until he pulled an anaconda choke. To his credit, Ryan tapped only moments before shitting his pants, and we were all grateful it had played out so well.
Not finished punishing Ryan, they decided to continue competing, including a chin-up contest, bench press, and yoga poses. I don’t have to tell you that the score did not go Fightlinker’s way. We can only hope that one day Ryan will be able to win at something, because it’s honestly getting a little sad.
Robin then left to do a few more interviews with other reporters, and after a few hours, we all headed for the Subway station for the last part of our trip; the concert. Robin’s band had a gig lined up in Oshawa, one of the many armpits of Ontario. The band had no place left in their van for us, so Ryan and I were left to figure out the complex bus system to get there. It was surprisingly easy to do so, and upon our arrival, Sunday afternoon, we noticed the unusually high volume of hobos walking the streets. We didn’t know it at the time, but by night, Oshawa is not a safe place to be. We had thought of hanging around waiting for the early morning buses, but were informed that if we were to do so, it would most likely end in us being mugged.
[while writing this, I noticed that the newspaper announced that General Motors had laid off 2,600 more people in the small town, which can only mean that the drug and homeless problem will only get worst]
We walked for a good 40 minutes looking for a hotel, but they were all boarded up. It was then decided that our #1 priority after the concert was to get the fuck out of Oshawa before things turned sour, no matter the cost.
The venue that Robin was playing at was perhaps the sleaziest basement/bar I had ever seen. The entrance was in an alley, and the door, which had boarded up the window, proudly displayed the various fines it had incurred due to security violations. The owner had actually decided to close off the place permanently because of this, and Robin’s concert was to be his last in this location. Little did any of us know that the promoter had also put almost no effort into promoting the concert, though we were soon to discover this sad truth.
We decided to chill out backstage while the place filled up and the other bands warmed up the crowd. The floor by now had about two dozen bored looking people (about 95% of them were girls) waiting for Robin and his band to come out. The band mates were all goofing around, laughing about the pathetically low turnout, but decided to play their last show in this dive bar with as much intensity as though there were thousands of people in attendance. Because of Robin’s hectic training schedule, they had admittedly not rehearsed as much as they had hoped, and figured that every opportunity to get play time would be good.
I had never really heard any of Robin’s music before, but I must admit that the show was enjoyable. Because the audience was so small, Robin and the gang had decided to go all out. They were jumping around like wild animals. One of the guitarists was shredding and grinding so hard i thought his fucking head would pop off. At one point, a crazy hardcore chick dressed in mostly pink with fabric woven into her hair was frantically grabbing Robin’s crotch. He grabbed one of the chubbier girls video camera and began filming things live onstage during one of the guitar solos, filming one of the other guitarist’s buttcrack (known affectionately as StarBoy). Trying to make sure we had a place to sleep, Robin commanded that one of the female fans should take us home, but I soon realized that almost all of them were underage.
After the show was over, we hung a little around joking with the band, but not for long, since the last bus out of town was only minutes away. We shook hands with everyone, made plans to see each other in July (his first pro fight in Gatineau) and headed for the station. One of the women at the bus stop was drunk off her ass, telling her boyfriend that she wouldn’t move back in with her mom for fear of being stabbed. Nice. She then said “If that bitch fucks with me, I’ll put her back where she came from. Into the ground.” Obviously she is a graduate of the Tito Ortiz School of Awkward Smack Talk.
When we arrived in Toronto, sometime after 1 am, we discovered that the last bus out of town had left an hour earlier, and that the station was now closed. It would only open in another 4 hours. We decided to walk around town and attempt to find a place to hang out. Everything was fucking closed, except a crappy donut shop, which we hoped might have an electrical socket and free wifi. All it had was stale shitty doughnuts, and after a long half hour of trying to fight the clock, a little urban exploration was the only distraction we could come up with.
Toronto on a Sunday night is weird. Nothing is open, and the streets are eerily quite. In Montreal, no matter the time of the night, you will always see large crowds gathered somewhere. But in Toronto, it’s a god damn ghost town with nothing to do. So after about 30 minutes of finding nothing to distract us, we tried to choose a spot where we might sit down and possibly catch some sleep. The only place with grass was the old City Hall, and we picked a good corner where we would avoid being stabbed or harassed. The wind was brutally cold, and we tried the best not to freeze to death. Three of the longest hours later, we finally headed for the bus station, where we passed out until 7:30 before grabbing the first bus back to Montreal.
The bus ride home was characteristically long, but for the most part, we were sleeping pretty hard. When we arrived home, I passed out on my bed, promising my pillow I would never leave her again. Still, all in all, despite almost dying of hypothermia and spending a small fortune on the trip, we had a good time. The only downer was coming back home to discover that everyone (including Ryan’s mom) thought we had died. At first we had no idea why everyone was freaking out, but after watching all the drama from EliteXC and the awesomeness that was the WEC, we understood. Everyone was running red hot on MMA and they wanted their fix. Don’t worry, Jackals. From now on we’ll make sure you’re taken care of, even when we’re running around having adventures. We promise-Maybe-