I arrived in Toronto late Friday night and the first thing I did was apologize to my parents for an embarrassing incident involving booze and cell phones the night before.
I blame the waiters at the Montreal restaurant for topping up our wine glasses after every sip. Our judgment was further impaired by two weeks of sleep-deprivation and stress. I may have failed Grade 9 math but I know that one plus the other adds up to two tonnes of trouble.
A few co-workers and I were out celebrating our last night at the United Nations climate change conference with a guy from New Orleans we had met the night before. Halfway through dinner, our American friend announced he wanted to move to Canada. Someone said he could marry me to get citizenship.
The joke should have ended there. But it quickly spiraled out of control. The next thing I knew, a co-worker pulled out a cell phone so I could call my parents to tell them about the engagement. Yes, I agreed, that would be hilarious.
I don’t really want to remember how our conversation went (something along the lines of “Are you guys awake? Guess what? I’m engaged! To a guy I just met!” but with more slurring and less coherence). Bridging the communications gap between the sober and the intoxicated is never very pretty.
I had a moment of lucidity when my pseudo-finance grabbed the phone from me and started talking to my parents. Oh my god. Did he just call my dad “dad”? Did he just tell my mom he loved her? Did he just ask to move in? He didn’t just tell them I was pregnant, did he?
Oh, it was ugly. Luckily my parents have a good sense of humour and played along with him before I tore the phone from his ear and flung it across the room.
I had almost forgotten about the drunk dialing incident until my mom picked me up at the Toronto airport and asked where her new son-in-law was. Yeah, sorry about that, mom. We were loaded. There is no engagement, no grandchild on the way. Hope we didn’t wake you up.
The Jerry Springer-style moral of the story is that a cell phone can be a loaded weapon. Use it carefully this holiday season.