Out of my league


The brand-new SkyDome opened in Toronto in the summer of 1989. I was a second-year computer science student at the University of Waterloo at the time, and when the Math Society bought group tickets to a Blue Jays game, a bunch of my friends and I joined in.

On the day of the game, a couple of school busses full of students made the 1 1/2 hour drive to SkyDome. We were all responsible university students so, of course, we were all drinking. Many of us bought 2L bottles of Coke, drank a bit, and filled it back up with rye or rum. News flash: when you’ve consumed 2 litres of rye-and-coke in less than two hours, trapped on a school bus in downtown Toronto traffic is not the place you want to be. This seemed particularly true for one student, a guy named Cam. Cam was a computer engineer and was in the same class as my roommate, so I knew who he was though I didn’t know him well. He was sitting a few seats ahead of me and I believe his bouncing started somewhere down the 427. We were at least 20 minutes away from the stadium – in good traffic. We weren’t in good traffic, so it was going to be much longer before relief would be available. Within a few minutes, everyone on the bus knew that Cam was in some trouble, and of course everyone thought that this was pretty darned funny. Well, almost everyone – Cam certainly wasn’t laughing much, and neither was his girlfriend, who was sitting a couple of seats behind me. The fact that Cam was so public about his discomfort was absolutely mortifying to this girl, who was slouching down in her seat, trying to hide. I was single at the time, and thought she was extremely cute and seemed really nice but I quickly came back to reality – not only was she already seeing someone, but I remember thinking “She is so out of my league”.

I guess Cam’s rye-and-Coke bottle wasn’t even empty at this point, because I remember him asking if anyone else had an empty bottle and someone tossed him theirs. (His girlfriend slouched even lower at this point.) He immediately had the seat to himself. He sat there for at least ten minutes. Call it performance anxiety, but despite his discomfort, he found himself unable to, um, fill the bottle. Another 10-15 minutes later, we were stuck in stop-and-go traffic on Lakeshore Boulevard right in front of Ontario Place, when Cam could stand it no longer. He asked the bus driver to open the door and ran over to some bushes at the side of the road. He didn’t even bother finding a discreet place – everyone on Lakeshore could see him. A bunch of drunk mathies and engineers cheered from the bus as Cam found relief, and he waved – though thankfully without turning around first. He made his way back onto the bus to great applause. I’m pretty sure his girlfriend was not clapping. I remember nothing else about that trip – not a single thing about the game itself.

As for his girlfriend, she turned out to be a math major like me and friend of a friend and I did eventually get to know her. I was right – she was extremely cute, and was even nicer in person than I imagined on that bus ride.

We’ve been married now for over fifteen years.

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