ME, DRAKE, AND THE DURANTULA
By Jordan Moffatt
Drake and Kevin Durant were in Toronto for OVO Fest a couple months ago and I lived in Toronto back then and I saw them on Bloor Street just past midnight while riding my bicycle home from my job at the book store. I skidded to a halt about ten feet away from them and thought of a genius way to get their attention.
“Hey Drake!” I yelled. “Durantula!”
They walked over to me, which was real nice of them. I guess I looked friendly.
“Hey man, what’s up,” said Drake.
“Oh not much, just riding my bicycle home from my job at the book store.”
“It’s just past midnight,” said Kevin Durant.
“Yeah, the book store where I work closes at midnight,” I replied.
“Weirdo beardo,” said Kevin Durant.
“So do you want a picture or something with us?” Drake asked, cutting to the chase. I thought this was a very generous offer. He must go through this sort of thing a lot.
“Yeah, that would be cool!” I said. My girlfriend is a big fan of Drake’s, so I figured a picture would make her happy. She doesn’t know much about Kevin Durant, but I couldn’t tell him to stay out of the picture. It seemed like a package deal.
As I took out my phone, I thought that this was an opportunity for something — something more than just a picture. Here in front of me were Drake and Kevin Durant! This was not an opportunity to waste! It’s special to get a picture with them, sure, but I wanted to do something more unique. Something that could go viral, maybe. Drake is such a well-regarded figure — really in the zeitgeist — so if I did something unique and cool, it would be guaranteed to go viral. I unlocked my phone and opened the camera app. Then the idea came into my head, the best idea I’ve ever had.
“Hey Drake, Kevin Durant?”
“Yeah?” they replied together.
“Would you like to sing the song ‘All-Star’ by Smash Mouth with me?”
“Sure man,” said Drake.
“I like that song,” said Kevin Durant.
“Everybody likes that song,” added Drake. “It’s a great song. It’s the song of our generation.”
I knew this was a good idea. Drake and Kevin Durant are both around my age, and everyone around my age knows all the lyrics to “All-Star” by Smash Mouth. When I go to parties with people my age, singing “All-Star” by Smash Mouth is what we do. We all just sing "All-Star" by Smash Mouth.
“You know, I’m a real all-star,” said Kevin Durant.
“I know,” I said.
“In the NBA,” he continued.
“I’m a six-time all-star in the NBA.”
“Yeah, that’s great, Kevin Durant.”
“And a one-time MVP."
“Let’s sing the song,” I said.
I pressed the record button in video mode and made sure that the three of us were in the screen. This was difficult to manage, because Kevin Durant is taller than Drake and I, but I made it work. I’m kind of like a cinematographer that way. Like Roger Deakins.
“One…two…three,” I said. And then, in unison, the three of us launched into the song: Hey now, you're an all star, get your game on, go play...
I thought we would just stop there, that they wouldn’t give me more than that, that they were indulging me already, that their time was too valuable to sing “All-Star” by Smash Mouth past the first few words. But we didn’t stop, we kept going, first verse, second verse, chorus after chorus, our collective memories clicking back into 1999, when the song was released, and we were all just little boys. Our faces alighted with smiles. Our mood was delirious. We kept getting louder, more into it as the song progressed. We felt like all-stars. We were having the time of our lives, and it was all thanks to Smash Mouth. When the song ended, the three of us high-fived.
“That was awesome!” said Drake.
“Yeah, I haven’t had fun like that since the last time I sang ‘All-Star’ by Smash Mouth!” Kevin Durant added. “Probably in 1999.”
“I love that song,” said Drake.
“Thank you guys so much for joining me,” I said.
“Are you going to put that on the Internet?” Kevin Durant asked.
“Yeah, I’ll post it to my twitter and Facebook. Maybe reddit.”
“Good,” said Drake. “The world needs more joy.”
We stared at each other. The silence seemed somehow wrong. It was as if the three of us had been disconnected all our lives, and now things were finally right in the world. But we were of different worlds. Though in that moment it seemed like we should stay together forever, spend our days listening to Smash Mouth, I knew it could never be. I knew that I had to move on. Though we could have burst into “Walkin’ on the Sun,” we let the opportunity pass. Our time together was over. Anything more would be indulgent.
“Thanks again guys,” I said.
“Our pleasure,” said Drake.
“Until next time,” added Kevin Durant.
“Smell you later,” I said.
There was a pause.
“What did you just say?” said Drake.
“Smell you later,” I repeated.
“What does that mean?” Kevin Durant asked.
“It’s just some phrase I invented. It’s kinda like ‘see you later’ but I thought it would be funny to change the ‘see’ to ‘smell,’” I explained.
“Smell you later,” Drake said, slowly. “Smell you later,” he said again, quieter, under his breath, analyzing it, figuring it out, trying it on for size. He smiled. “That’s awesome! I wish I had a cool phrase like that I could say.”
“You can use ‘smell you later’ if you want!” I offered.
“No man, ‘smell you later’ is yours. After all that stuff with Meek Mill, I’d look like a pretty big hypocrite if I used someone else’s awesome catchphrase.”
“Drake, I’d be honoured if you used ‘smell you later.’ I want you to have it.”
“Wow,” he said. “Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“No worries,” I said.
“Hey man, what’s your name?” Kevin Durant asked.
“Jordan,” I said. “Jordan Moffatt.”
“Smell you later, Jordan Jordan Moffatt,” said Drake, grinning.
“Smell you later guys,” I said. I hopped back on my bicycle, but just as I was turning on my blinking lights, Kevin Durant stopped me.
“Wait!” he yelled.
“What is it?” I asked.
“What if we don’t have to smell each other later? What if we smelled each other right now? Tell him about the party, Drake.”
“Kev and I are going to go to a fun party with music and some other fun people. Why don’t you come with us?” Drake asked.
“I really appreciate the offer, but it’s getting late and I have a glass of Ontario Pinot Noir and a peanut butter and jam sandwich waiting for me at home,” I said.
“Whoa,” said Drake.
“That sounds nice.” said Kevin Durant.
“Do you mind if we…” Drake said, trailing off, looking slightly embarrassed.
“Go on,” I prodded.
“Well, do you mind if we come?”
“Of course you can!” I said.
“Oh wait,” said Kevin Durant, looking at my bicycle. “There’s only one bicycle.”
“It’s ok, we can portage it,” I explained.
“Por-what?” said Kevin Durant.
“I got this,” said Drake. He grabbed the front end of my bicycle and I grabbed the back. We flipped it over our heads, in the normal way you do a bicycle portage.
“Oh, por-tage,” said Kevin Durant, getting it. “So how far away do you live?”
“It's a ten minute walk from here,” I said.
“So six minutes for me with my longer legs,” Kevin Durant said.
Eight minutes later, we arrived at my basement bachelor apartment. I unlocked the the door, opened it, and allowed the two of them to walk in. Kevin Durant had to duck — the ceiling was only six and a half feet high. My apartment wasn’t great.
“This place is sick,” said Drake, after I turned on the lights.
“It’s not much,” I said. “I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what you guys are used to.”
“That’s what makes it so great!” said Kevin Durant, bumping his head on a pipe. “We are used to such nice things! Somehow, this feels more authentic. I feel like I’ve been missing out!”
“I heard a rumour about some P, B & J,” said Drake, coyly.
“Make yourself at home and I’ll get those ready,” I said. Drake and Kevin Durant sat at my kitchen table. I poured them a glass of Ontario Pinot Noir each, then went to the fridge and got my PC Blue Menu all-natural peanut butter and PC Blue Menu three-berry-medley jam.
“That’s the good stuff,” said Drake. “Blue Menu is awesome!”
“You know it,” I said.
I smeared the peanut butter on a slice of whole wheat bread I got earlier that day at the bakery down on Roncy, and then smeared some three-berry-medley jam on the other slice. Then I put the sandwiches in the toaster oven for twenty-four seconds each (like the NBA shot-clock), laid them on a plate, and passed the plate over to Drake and Kevin Durant.
They munched quickly, with satisfied faces.
“This is the best peanut butter and jam sandwich I’ve ever had in my life,” said Drake.
“Mmfmmfmm,” agreed Kevin Durant, with a full mouth.
“Thanks guys,” I said.
“You don’t understand,” said Drake. “This is a profound experience that Kevin Durant and I are having right now. I’ve been all around the world. I’ve sold millions of records. I’ve driven nice cars. I’ve slept with countless beautiful women. I’ve performed in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans. But this, right now with Jordan Moffatt, the Durantula and these P, B & Js is the best I’ve ever felt.”
“Mmfmmfmm,” agreed Kevin Durant, with a full mouth.
We ate three more sandwiches each that night, and finished the bottle of Ontario Pinot Noir. I had never seen two people more happy. And, indeed, I felt pretty good too. This was more than I bargained for, in a great way. I had a great story to tell my girlfriend, a story that was much better than just a fuzzy picture on the side of Bloor Street.
But, you know, when you have guests over — even if they are popular celebrities — you kind of expect them to leave at some point. These guys didn’t. After a few hours of drinking Ontario Pinot Noir and eating P, B & J, they asked if they could spend the night. Ok, fine. Who was I to say no to that? We shared the bed. Needless to say, it was pretty cramped, but I was fine with it. Then, in the morning, I was awoken by Drake, who asked, in a groggy morning voice, “Hey, do you have any more P, B, & J?”
This was over two months ago. They are still with me now. I moved to Ottawa in September and they followed me here. I cannot get rid of Drake and Kevin Durant. Other than the move, they have not left my bed except to use the washroom. They have only eaten P, B & J. They have been listening to Smash Mouth constantly. I’ve told them, clearly and explicitly, that they need to leave, that their fans miss them, that their family is probably wondering where they are, that lying in bed all day listening to Smash Mouth and eating P, B & J is unhealthy, but they refuse to listen. They say this is the happiest they have ever been. They say meeting me on the road was “kismet." They say that this is the place for them, that they have all they need, right where they are. When I try to appeal to their ambition, I’m shot down. I tell Kevin Durant that he has to go back to OKC and try to win a championship, he says he doesn’t care about championships anymore. I tell Drake he has a new album to drop, and he says he doesn’t care about dropping albums anymore. They say they are here to stay. I still live my life. I’m staying active. They look bad though: Kevin Durant’s beautiful muscle structure is diminishing rapidly; Drake’s beard is getting less and less kempt by the moment. It’s only going to get worse.
And so that’s why I’ve written this account. It’s my last ditch attempt to get Kevin Durant and Drake out of my apartment. By sharing it with the world, maybe they will snap back into their senses. Maybe someone will come for them and talk them out of this whole thing. But, then again, maybe not. I told them I was writing this, and I asked the two of them for a comment to add if they had one, something to say to the world. And you know what they said to the world?
They said, “Smell you never.”
Jordan Moffatt is the co-founder and co-editor of Vandercave, along with Tom Hobson. He is performs improv with the Bad Dog Theatre Company, Grimprov, and Crush. His writing has appeared in several places around the web. He lives in Ottawa.