You meet all sorts of people when you are working as a waitress, while you are trying to get through that one more (or three more) years of University, (at which point you will obviously get a way better paying job with all of your English degree.) Waitressing puts you in touch with weirdos you might not usually meet – as does being a comedy wife, but that came later. This is a story about one of those weirdos, and what could happen to you if you go to a party in Laval on a Saturday night.
It happened at a party in Laval on a Saturday night. Some time ago, in the awkward years before social media where you actually had to call someone to get directions to the place. It was one of those restaurant parties where it’s a Sunday night and nobody knows anyone real well and for the first ten minutes you wonder why you came all the way out to Laval for this, but then the booze starts rubbing its back against your veins and you get to meet the host’s wolf.
When you’re a kid they read you stories about big bad wolves, what big teeth they have an so on, so when you are at the Calgary Zoo (or wherever, this story is about me) and after you’ve seen all kinds of birds, and the monkeys, and the incredible, unthinkably large animals, Elephants and Rhinos and giraffes, and the sad sad bear, you still perk up when you get to the wolf enclosure. You searched anxiously into the distance where a couple of wild looking things were sunning themselves on a rock and you thought, not that scary. Or maybe you’ve been to a Wolf sanctuary, like the one in Golden British Columbia, and you peered over the shoulder of the guide as she was explaining what a keystone species is, and well, they sort of look like dogs don’t they? Like how when you watch that video of panthers and lions playing with boxes you were delighted to see that they acted like big cats. Cats that could easily kill and eat you.
I’m telling you though, if you had met a full-grown wolf face to face in a tiny backyard in Laval like I did last night, you would definitely recognize it as nothing other than a wolf, what big teeth you have. A wolf might not look so big when you get a peak at it through a fence several feet away relaxing in the sun. Without the fence, with nothing between you and the teeth but a wiry douchebag you’ve only just met who for some reason owns a wolf, that is quite a different thing. A wolf is a really freaking big animal.
I think that there is an ancient part of our brains, or in our guts, that automatically recognizes a wolf. They did after all terrorize humans before the woods and wilds became civilized. I certainly was instantly afraid looking at this large silver creature with pale wild-animal eyes, bristling with wild animal energy as its owner explained to us how difficult it was to illegally import a wild animal into Canada and raise it in your backyard in Laval.
At the time I couldn’t process much beyond ‘THIS IS HOW PEOPLE DIE’ but behind that thought the snarky side of my brain was running along the lines of, ‘Wow, I wonder why there would be a law against trafficking and keeping a dangerous and endangered wild animal? I’m sure you are a wolf expert, and therefore above this very inconvenient and not at all sensible law.’
“Yeah,” Douchebag goes on, “I’m starting to think it was a bad idea to get a wolf as a pet.” (Yes. This is an actual thing that came out of an actual person’s mouth) “He was so great when he was a puppy, but started to get really territorial and aggressive as he got older. He got so big and, you know, you have to be the Alpha male all the time, and I have trouble controlling him sometimes.”
As the man with the smallest penis in the history of Quebec (I have to imagine) was explaining to his house full of loud strangers that he sometimes had trouble controlling his extremely dangerous wild beast, the beast itself joined the conversation. The wolf didn’t even have to extend his body much his body to casually place two massive paws on this guy’s shoulders and look over at the group of us standing on the deck.
For just a second I thought ‘so this is how it all ends’ before dude decides to put his wolf away in the basement, explaining that it was starting to get too excited about all the people around.
I didn’t know it was possible to leave a party so quickly until that night. Every now and then I google “Wolf kills man in Laval” but I haven’t seen anything so far.
Sometimes I think about trading in my cat for a lynx, but actually I don’t because why would anyone ever decide to keep a wild and dangerous undomestic creature as a pet?