It's a shame Mitchell confuses our scribe's shaving ineptitude with anything more than another day on the beat

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

It has been a rough week.

We had snow delays at Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington.

I had a meeting with Bubba's teacher, which didn't go particularly well. (I believe she thinks I'm a dolt.)

My buddy, Ed Zawadzki, keeps bragging about all the lovely ladies he met during a recent trip to Poland, which is like the schoolmaster in Oliver Twist bragging to the starving orphans about how great his roast beef dinner was.

And, to top it off, Raptors coach Sam Mitchell has been on my case, and I think Sam's bull---- is starting to get to me.

We were in Washington for the Raptors-Wizards tilt and Sam held his pre-game press conference. A couple of D.C. reporters started asking Sam about rookie forward Jamario Moon.

After Sam politely answered their questions, I asked if he feels that Moon is a project, so to speak, in the way that former Raptor Matt Bonner was a project.

But I guess my question was dumb, because after I laid it on, Sam stared at me like I was that creature from the movie Alien, and then he launched into one of his tirades.

"What?" he said, his voice drenched in exasperation.

No one does exasperation like Sam.

"Matt Bonner has a championship ring with the San Antonio Spurs, I'm sure he would be real happy to be known as a project. Listen, Stumpy, a project is putting you on a rack and stretching you out so you become 5-foot-8, and then put you in sneakers and try to teach you how to play basketball."

Sam's words stung. I was already feeling pretty vulnerable because he had gotten on my case earlier in the day.

Right after I woke up that morning, I cut my face to shreds shaving. What happened was I'm a pretty disinterested shaver at the best of times, and that morning I shaved when I was still half asleep. There was blood everywhere. I'm sure the chambermaid thought that a gang war had gone down.

After managing to stem the torrent of blood, I met my colleague, Doug Smith, in the lobby, and he was kind enough not to comment on the fact that I looked like Jake LaMotta after he had gone 10 rounds with Sugar Ray Robinson.

But when Sam saw me at the arena, he stopped as if jolted with 40,000 volts of electricity, and said: "Stumpy, what did you do to your face? All of those cuts are from your razor? What is wrong with you? You're a mess. A complete mess."

And on and on ...

At that point, I just wanted to climb inside a bottle, but then I realized that I'm trying to cut down on the booze. Crap.

But cutting my face to shreds is nothing new. I've done it many times before, and I'm sure I'll do it again.

I remember some decades ago when seven of my buddies and I ventured to Montreal for a weekend of being loathed and ignored by French Canadian girls.

We booked two rooms in a fancy hotel and, of course, filled both bathtubs with ice and beer, and proceeded to have a good time. We held a hop, step and jump competition in the hallway. We threw stuff out the window at people. We played reinbeer games.

At one point, I passed out and then realized when I awoke that all my buddies had gone out. So I started shaving, and then had to use a roll of toilet paper on my face so I wouldn't bleed to death.

When I realized that I had clogged the toilet with the paper, I called the front desk for a maintenance guy and, instead, the hotel detective came to the door. When I opened it, he marched past me, gave the room the once-over, starred at an ashtray for a minute and mumbled something about having enough evidence to get me arrested, and then asked my name.

"Earl Veale," I said. The room was booked in Earl's name.

"All right Earl. You're in big trouble. Pack up your stuff."

At that point, one my buddies, I think it was Fred, came running into the room yelling "Party!"

"What's your name?" the hotel dude said.

"Earl Veale," Fred replied.

He then ordered Earl No. 2 to pack.

About a minute later, another buddy, John, walked in and the hotel dude asked him his name.

"Earl Veale," John said.

As the three of us were packing, Earl Veale walked in the room.

"Let me guess, Earl Veale?" the hotel dude asked.

"Yep," replied Earl, thinking he had won contest or something.

The four of us spent the night in the train station. We didn't even get a chance to be ignored by French Canadian girls.


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