Or “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Quebecois”
There’s this yearly event called “The Law Games”, and while it’s framed as a sports tournament, it’s essentially a week-long drinking contest designed specifically to cull the herd. This year, it was held in Winnipeg, because sociopathic endurance trials aren’t sociopathic enough unless they’re held in a city where the temperature regularly drops below minus thirty. What do you call twenty dead law students in a snow bank, am I right?
Overall, it’s a good time, but I feel obligated to offer a public service announcement about some things even I didn’t expect. So, if you feel like attending next year’s Games, please be prepared for at least some of the following.
- The Quebecois Party Hard
This might seem like I’m merely stating the obvious, but bear with me. Basically, I hadn’t even put down my luggage before I noticed incredibly loud chanting and music from the next room. French chanting. It’s important to remember that Canadian civil law students are younger than common law students, so our neighbours were essentially kids. They were decent kids, but kids nonetheless.
Oh, and they were not shy about showing off their insane drug stash. I used to rave back in the early 2000s, so when it comes to people tripping balls, very little surprises me, but I was impressed for all the wrong reasons. They had far more snow and molly than anyone should have needed for a five-day trip, and they ran out of the former in two days. On the first night, one of the Quebecois students asked to use our bathroom, three people entered, and I needed to pick up a bloody hand-towel like a dog turd. Rick James would have been proud. I feel incredibly sorry for the hotel staff who had to clean up after that lot. Fair warning, there is no escape from the civil law students, and their chants of “I need a beer, beer, beer, another beer!”
And on that note…
- You Might as Well Join ‘Em
And who knows, maybe you might beat ‘em. I did, for the first night or two, at least. Not bad for a thirty-something, semi-reformed sketch-bag, if I do say so myself. The Law Games are a party first and a competition second, but there’s still a competitive aspect to the partying. They drank beer, so I drank overproof rum. The second day, I managed to beat one of the Quebecois teams in floor hockey. If you’re not willing to look at a room of French-Canadians doing French-Canadian things because French-Canadians, you are in the wrong country. Or maybe I’m just a Maudite-Anglo.
That said, they did outlast me, in the end. Kids bounce back from nights of hard-partying a lot better than old-timers like me, and I should have paced myself better. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Or mistakes. Honestly, don’t do most of what I do. Except maybe once, just to see what it’s like.
- Don’t Expect the Games to be Well-Planned
I can’t believe anyone needed to say this, but do not have a booze-fueled sports tournament in Winnipeg in January. That alone would have been problematic, but one of the events was a toga party. Let that sink in. Let it seep into your bones, like the incredible cold of the Canadian northwest. At one point, for the sheer novelty, I took off my coat and sat in a lawn chair, just to say I did it, and I think I permanently brained my damage. It’s so cold, it would turn John Holmes’ member into an innie. I don’t know what the event organizers were thinking, but it probably started and ended with “because I hate you one and all, damn your eyes.”
There were some other issues with the planning too, like the lengthy drive to the sports venues, and the fact that the hotel wasn’t remotely ready for our arrival. Also, I learned from one of the locals that the bars they’d selected for some of the events were great, if you liked over-priced booze, getting in fist-fights with douchebros, or groped by said douchebros. I’m sure that’s someone’s trip, but it’s not for most people. Sometimes, getting drunk in your hotel room actually is the wisest decision.
- Do Not Eat Goldeye Face
Goldeye is a Manitoba delicacy. It’s a fish from an uncommon genus with distinct, golden eyes, and it is delicious when smoked. A local took us to a fish-monger and insisted we indulge, and I will be forever grateful. It is damned tasty.
Unfortunately, I was still pretty hammered from the previous night, and subsequently made a poor decision on par with Rob Ford calling that crack dealer the n-word until the dealer decided to become the second crack dealer to blackmail Rob Ford. First, a little context: a friend of mine recently visited Iceland, and returned with something called hakarl. Hakarl is fermented Greenland Shark meat, because Greenland Shark is poisonous if not fermented. Hakarl tastes like rotten fish fermented in urine. I know what that tastes like, because I’ve eaten hakarl.
Why does this matter? Because I decided to one-up eating hakarl by eating the goldeye’s face. I sincerely doubt most people would even consider doing such a thing, but if you’re Law Games drunk, you do insane things. Insane on the level of chewing on a fish’s eyes. In any case, you have been warned, and now I have to sit here and rethink my life’s choices before continuing with this article.
- Osgoode People are Awesome
I’m not a particularly sentimental person. Sure, I cried a bit when Johnny Bower died, but any Toronto boy who ever put on goalie pads should have done the same. Beyond that, I’m not big on sap, but I will say this. You all kick ass, with only rare exceptions I can’t be bothered to think of right now. It’s been an honour playing sports with you, attending classes with you, and just being around you. Thank you for being awesome people.
Anyway, since I’m bad at mushiness and anything else I might say would be self-incriminating, best of luck in the upcoming semester.