People and places: Chris Matchett

Tiny, up close and personal

Tiny, up close and personal

Bouncer, man-about-town, Chris Matchett

Chris “Tiny” Matchett, Regina’s favourite bouncer, recently took some time to speak with the Carillon about his long-time part-time job.


When and how did you start bouncing?

Well, it was one million years ago, back in 1992 when I was a varsity wrestler at the U of R. There was a bar across the street where the McDonald’s now is and all the bouncers were guys off the wrestling team… I’ve been bouncing ever since back in the day. I started at O’Hanlons in 2006. It’s always been a sideline job.


What’s the most important trait to possess as a bouncer?

That would definitely be patience. Patience, 100 per cent (laughs)… You have to be able to put up with people when they’re not exactly at the zenith of their decision-making arc (laughs). You have to have a long fuse and a lot of charm.


Have you always been a patient person?

I would say I’m not naturally a patient person, but I seem to find that extra gear when I’m at the bar.


That’s evolved from your work?

Yeah, you could definitely say that.


What’s one thing the average person doesn’t know about your work?

Basically, that not just anyone can do it. It definitely takes more to be a good bouncer than being able to beat up drunk people. It’s more of a safety role than anything else. A bouncer’s number one job is to make sure that everyone is safe and having a good time. In that situation, the only time you should step in is if someone is impeding upon that. Other than that, you should just let everyone have a good time, until they’ve reached their limits, you know?


Do you take a lot of pride in a job well done?

Oh, absolutely. If there’s anything worth doing, it’s worth doing well. If I’m going to spend that time away from my wife and daughter, I’m not going to do it for no good reason.


If you want to be friendly with a bouncer, what’s the best thing you can do?

Definitely don’t ask if they need bouncers. When you’re drunk, don’t come sauntering up, asking if you need bouncers because you’re a pretty tough guy. Also, don’t take offense if you try to talk to me and I’m not paying attention to you, because I’ve got bigger fish to fry than have a drunken conversation with you.


What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on the job?

Oh gosh, well, a guy took his glass eye out for me one time and did a puppet show.


What’s the second craziest thing?

Second craziest thing I’ve ever seen? Probably a guy getting tazered (laughs).


Was that by the police or a black-market tazer?

No, it was by the police.


I guess that’s, good?

Yeah, that’s good, I guess.


Is this a young man’s game, or is age not a big factor in your work?

Well, for most people it’s a young man’s game. But, I’ve done it for so long now, you can compare it to Chris Chelios, who was playing defense well into his forties. I might not be the first one to the puck anymore, but I always know where the puck is gonna be. You can do it as long as you want, as long as you’re willing to adapt your game and the way you play it.


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