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From an old website, Alien in Montreal

O Blitz Bar.jpg

After a hockey game and a few pints in Brutopia we left and promised ourselves that we'd all go home and get some sleep, so we pulled on our coats and stumbled outside, pushing our way through the mass of semi-drunken people.

As I pulled on my hat in the chilly evening air, I eyed Hurleys Bar next door.

'Maybe we should have a quick pint in Hurley's before we go?' I suggest.

Xena grins, 'Hey, that's just what I was thinking.' she says. Xena is always up for another drink - we get on well.

It isn't difficult to convince the wife, or Leaf, Xena's husband, that this is a good idea. Anyone who has already consumed three or four pints generally needs little encouragement to attempt drinking more.

We all pile through a door and into a half-empty pub where a bouncer stops us with an outstretched hand – 'Use the other door please.' And ushers us back onto the street. On the door outside is a hand written sign in red pen that says: OTHER DOOR, and there's an arrow pointing left, towards an entrance that has a long line of people outside of it.

Queue to drink in a pub? Not likely, so we turn away, and look for another. The idea of going home seems to have been forgotten at this point, and I decide not to remind anyone about it.

We walk all the way back to the hockey centre, and look inside the windows a closed pub that we had our hearts set on. Now, standing on the street, cold, the air making us sober, is a dangerous time. Soon people will begin to remember that we're supposed to be going home.

We start to walk towards the metro.

'Let's go to the first bar that we see.' suggests Xena.

The first bar we see, just over Rene Leveque Street is O'Blitz's sports bar. It doesn't look very classy.

We stare at the façade in silence for a moment.

'Sounds Irish.' Says Leaf.

We all laugh.

We go, boldly, inside. There is a pool table on the way in, followed by a small bar, complete with barrel-shaped, gnarled-faced owner in lumberjack shirt, then a room full of tables and a couple of TVs. The TVs show the game that we've just been to see. It looks exciting on the TV.

If there is hostility, we show no signs of noticing it, and sit at a table that has overflowing metal-foil ashtrays and sporadic beermats.

The manager walks over and eyes us suspiciously. Leaf asks him what beers he has, and the owner recites a very thin list. We decide to try a pitcher of 'Mixed Red', whatever the hell that is.

Our drinks arrive a few minutes later, along with four plastic glasses. Twelve dollars. We all stare at the plastic glasses for a while, and then look around the room, to where other people drink out of glass glasses.

'Hmm.' I say.

We drink out of plastic glasses. It's like an outdoor music festival, I tell myself – watery beer in plastic glasses.

Leaf is getting tired at this point – he keeps on losing consciousness between sentences, which makes conversations long and difficult. The wife goes to the bar to try and order some food (optimistic). And comes back, laughing, a few minutes later with bags of Doritos.

'I asked if they did Nachos, and he said yes, so I ordered some and he gave me these.'

We drink three pitchers as Leaf descends into oblivion. Eventually the lights come on and we figure that it is time to finally go home, being almost three in the morning. The landlord has warmed to us now, and even tries to give me a kind of sideways high-five-cum-handshake-slap as we pass by on the way out, but it goes horribly wrong and we end off brushing our fingertips together like parting lovers.