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The Stay at Home Dad’s Poetry Meet-Up

October 7, 2017
Jack met Martin before they finally said a few words to Buck.  All
three of them had small children that they would take to the park at
about the same time.  There were Spanish and Polish speaking au pairs
and a few young moms but the three men found one another and became
friends.
Jack, a stand-up bass player in Jazz bands at night, watched his two
boys during the day.  His wife is an attorney and she essentially pays
for everything.  Jack needs to pay his car insurance and for his own
food when he eats out.  Jack lives in a big house and loves watching
documentaries on Netflix.  He’s a good dad but has trouble being
patient with his son, Jack Jr. who has ADD.
Martin writes short stories and poetry and makes almost no money
except that he takes care of pre-school age children on Mondays from
9-3.  His daughter gets to be part of the school for free and they
give Martin $200.00 a day for his work.  That money needs to stretch
all week.  His wife is a schoolteacher truly believes her husband will
get one of his manuscripts published one day.  She asks Martin to see
the queries he sends out daily to ensure that he is not playing video
games all day while their toddler twins play close by.
Buck is a high school hockey coach by night and a stay at home dad by
day.  Buck also plays hockey and is a referee to earn a few extra
dollars.  Buck makes $10,000.00 between September and March and then
he gets a few hundred for running clinics and camps in the summer
months.
When times were tough at home for the boys and their spouses, the
fact that their wives were carrying them more or less, did not go
without mention.  Martin’s wife was probably the harshest with him in
that he would go long periods of time without writing anything.  His
response would be that when there is acrimony between them, he
couldn’t get in the mindset to write anything.  Her response would be,
“Then go get a fucking job like every other man on the planet and quit
fucking moping…”
Jack’s wife hated Jazz but was turned on by him playing the stand-up
bass.  She wanted her husband to give music lessons on the side to
children to help make more money but he said that he really hated
children other than his own.  Truth be told, Jack wasn’t entirely sure
that he liked his boys all that much.  They were loud and messy and
truly whining little bitches in his opinion.  He felt that their mom
coddled them way too much.
Buck’s wife liked that her husband was rough and straightforward.  If
you were ugly, Buck might tell you so.  He was hard on his hockey
players and trained them to be as rough as possible.  Buck often wore
a shirt that he had made up himself that read, “MAKE HOCKEY VIOLENT
AGAIN”.  Buck still played ice hockey and still fought as a man in his
later forties.  His large dick could get hard on command and for that
reason, his wife found redeeming value in her caveman.
Martin spoke to an owner of a small restaurant about having a poetry
reading night once a week on a Tuesday night.  Most of the poetry
sucked but the authors believed it to be good.  Some would read short
stories or essays but most were poems.  Martin began a Meet-Up poetry
night at the same small club where Jack played Jazz at a drop-in Jazz
night on Wednesdays.  The owner, desperate for extra business, allowed
the bad poetry night and circle jerking Jazz musicians to play the
same tired old shit like hymns at a protestant church.  Jack played
the bass softly while people read.  There was a local finalist who
read his award-winning poem first.  His poem earned him a place in an
anthology of poems and a $500.00 award.  His name was Bruce and he
smelled of onions and had greasy wispy hair.  His collared shirt was
stained around the armpits and his ass crack hung out of the back of
his pants when he sat down.  He looked nearly homeless but was
actually a rich trust funder who never had to work a day in his life.
Nobody understood his poem but they all agreed it was good.  A young
black man came up and read his next.  He dug the bass behind him.  He
had a large Afro and was slightly angry just because it was en vogue.
He came from adopted white lesbians in a well to do area of town.  The
young, thin man grabbed the microphone and paced back and forth like a
distressed lion in a cage.
“What you need to know is a knee makes me free.  A knee tells the
world about my plight and all the things in society that just ain’t
right.  What you need to know is that my life matters and as a matter
of fact, you can’t know what it’s like to be in my skin or understand
where I’ve been.  A knee makes it right and I have the right to right
a wrong…  Play that bass, motha fuckah!”
A man named Jose came up and asked Jack to play the bass line for the
girl from Ipanema while he strummed a guitar and sang in Portuguese.
Nobody knew what he was saying but it really sounded nice.  The
English translation was not as nice.
“I loved to love you and loved you with all my muscle.  When you
fucked me in the ass, I  fucked you in the ass for real.  How dare you
take my shit and give me diseases.  Even though you did many wrong
things, I would take you back but lock my things up.  I love you…  I
love you…”
Next was the sushi woman.  The sushi woman catered parties dressed
like Betty Page from the 1950’s with no shirt on and a multitude of
tattoos.  Guys hired her for bachelor parties and football games.  Her
name is Gretchen; she’s 27, teaches Pilates and has a side gig as a
topless sushi maker.  Her poetic rant against Trump was with her shirt
off.  Over her nipples were two X’s of black tape.  She wore tight
black exercise pants and high heels her hair was poofed up high and
her black lipstick was thick.  Thick enough to need a scrubber to get
the paraffin off of her wine glass at the end of the night.  The men
didn’t give a damn about the message.  They marveled at her tight body
and round breasts.  People off the street stopped as they walked by to
look at the young woman on a stage, under lights.
“You’re not my president.  I’m no longer a resident of this country…
You shattered my hopes; you’ve shattered my dreams.  You taken the
best part of me and pulled it from my breast…” Gretchen cupped her
left breast from underneath.  Her natural breasts were round and firm.
Everyone clapped for her as if it was the best thing they ever heard.
She then passed out cards for her sushi catering with a picture of
herself without a shirt on, arms crossed, holding two knives.
Last to come up was Buck.  He had never done something like writing
poetry and reciting it.  He was strong looking and stood with his left
hand in his pocket.  He wore a CCM hat and an Expos T shirt.  Buck
looked out of his element.
“I was a lad near Montreal.  J’ai parle Francais chez moi…  My dad
listened to Hockey Night in Canada sur la radio…  Patriotic?  you
better believe, I wear it on my sleeve.  Red, White and Blue, les
trois colouer of the Canadiens of Montreal.  I might buy you a beer
and talk about the power play, I might beat your ass on the ice the
following day.  Don’t take offense, its just hockey.  Hockey might be
better than sex.  The sound of the crowd and the puck inside the net.
The wind blowing around my ears and the snot flying around your helmet
and the tears as I cartwheel your ass with a solid hip check.  A slap
shot, wrist shot, a child in the stands cheering a lot.  Wearing the
sweater to your favorite team, playing outside on a winter day, sweat
steaming from under your hat.  This is life; this is where it’s at.  I
hope to play this game til I die.  Don’t understand?…  Enough of this
bullshit and listen to the man play the bass.  Coffee tomorrow at the
park, boys?  Solid Jackson play it out…  In case you didn’t know,
Kerouac was Quebecois too… I rest my case.”

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What I Hate About Ice Hockey

May 26, 2017

My days off are Sundays and Mondays.  If you work at a restaurant or
as a barber, that’s just how it goes.  Sundays are reserved for my
son’s hockey and then my daughter.  One is a peewee and the other a
mite.  Sunday night, this time of year, I watch hockey if it is on or
baseball on ESPN.  I make lunches like a good mother and then sit on
the couch with a glass of red wine.  Sounds boring, right?  This is
after working about eighty hours between Tuesday and Saturday, playing
hockey four to five times, visiting the gym to lift and so on.
Monday, I get up with my daughter; drive an hour through bullshit
traffic.  Slow ass trucks and fucks that if you leave two feet of
space, will slam their car in front of you just they can have the
illusion of getting somewhere faster even though we’re going slower
than a geriatric on a bike.  I drop my daughter off at school,
navigate my way towards a rink in the city, arrive and change in just
enough time to play.  This is after a Kind Bar and two cups of coffee
and a Gatorade.  It will be the same crew to play pick-up hockey on
Monday as on Tuesday at the same time.  The United Airlines boys who
wear white jerseys with red letters that read “POLSKA”.  I used all
the Polish I learned going with my good friend P back in the day when
we would hang out at Euro/Polish nightclubs.  Finally they told me in
English that they are not Polish.  They got their asses kicked by a
team from Poland in a tournament in Prague, became great friends in a
bar together.  There is B from Toronto who has great hands, speed and
a shot for a man who could receive an AARP card.  There is J, the cop
who tells corny jokes that one might hear in a barbershop and anything
unusual that might have happened over the weekend, out on the street.
I ask him what the body count was over the weekend and he tells me
that he has a good one for me.
“So we get a call that a body is found in a garbage can.  I get there
and one of the guys who took the call grabs me as I’m getting out of
the car…  You know G, right?  Good hockey player.  He says to me,
“Sarge, I think you may recognize this girl”.  I open the lid to the
garbage to find a large ass and even larger asshole staring me in the
face…  Sick fuckers.  Sick sense of humor.”
Of course I asked what happened.  I guess when you see horrible shit
like that, details are not important.  A craigslist call girl who
partied to hard with her client, overdosed and died.  The man who
stuffed her into the garbage reasoned that he would be held
responsible for her death since it was his apartment and drugs.
Rather than call the police, the John got an empty garbage can and a
dolly and wheeled the date out to the alley.  The fuzzy reasoning man
put the can squarely in the parking spot of a man who came home,
lifted the lid and found a dead body…  Sad as it is astounding.
Then there is the young quiet guy who chokes up on his stick on break
always like a shiny stick.  T the Goth goalie, covered in tattoos,
wears a jersey that reads “Fuck You” and the numbers 666 on the back.
He talks about a video he is making for his Heavy Metal band and a
possible tour of Japan.  There is B the fireman and Y, the former
Olympic wrestler for Canada that was raised orthodox Jewish in
Montreal and that was also a symphonic flute player who quit it all to
become a PHD.  Since he wrestled as a boy, he wasn’t allowed to play
hockey and so now he is making up for lost time as a boy.  We play.  I
take one shot but have about 10 assists just with P who I give the
puck in our zone that goes coast to coast and scores.  I took two
shots, scored once.  I’m a play make and passer who plays defence and
everyone knows that.  One guy on the bench, who saw me roll my eyes,
asked me when we were done playing what it was that I hated most about
hockey.  I told him nothing.  Hockey has never fought with me or made
me mad.  A few guys who play the sport have done that. I unloaded a
few things in a snarky way but as I drove away from the rink, I
thought about the things I hate that surround the game.
Where do I begin?  Let’s begin with beginners.  You can’t fault
anyone for loving hockey and taking it up.  What is astounding is the
guy who can barely skate and carry the puck that receives the puck and
skates about as fast as someone can walk, in a straight line and
immediately loses the puck in the neutral zone.  After the fourth
time, I finally ask the culprit if they are noticing a pattern.  No
passing, head down, skating slow…  Bam, it’s gone.  That same guy does
not believe he is good enough to play defence because he has to work
on his backwards skating.  That same guy is two feet away from me when
I get the puck.  Who do I pass to?  Not that guy.  That guy needs to
use the door to get on and off the ice but does not bother to close
the door when he uses it.  He wears an NHL jersey with somebody’s name
on it other than himself.  Matching gloves, socks and a helmet sticker
with the number he wears at his Sunday night absolute beginner team.
He may show up with a few friends from his team and they inevitably
all want to be on the same team.  It becomes one big huge penalty kill
for 90 minutes.  You can hear him coming down the hall.  He has the
brand new wheel bag.  He has no wheels but his bag does.  Then there
are the young guys who have a little skill and all think their Patrick
Kane with the puck.  They skate end to end with out passing.  Toe
drags, kicking it up between their legs to their stick.  You make eye
contact with the kid and he still won’t pass to you.  You get a work
out getting open for no reason.  I finally do one of two things when
that young man is on my team.  I either take the puck off of his stick
and when he asks what the fuck I’m doing, I respond that I thought
that he was on his own team.  If I don’t do something that drastic, I
will just skate ahead of him offside and wait for the same rhetorical
question- What the fuck are you doing?  Answer- teaching you to move
the puck… Asshole.  That same guy gets violent when you stick check
him a little.  He tells you the price of the stick like that would
mean anything to me.  Your stick is expensive and too good for you.
My brother one time told me that he felt like everyone is an asshole.
It was after he came to that conclusion that he discovered that he was
the asshole.  I don’t want to be the asshole but I just want people to
play the game with respect.  You never see the pro’s play like what I
described.  You want to wear a Crosby jersey and play like an
oblivious misfit?  I hope Crosby shows up at the rink, slaps you and
demands his jersey back until you learn to play the game right.  Maybe
I’m the asshole.  I’ll work on my attitude and you straight line,
wheel bag, door opening, colour coordinating dufus, work on getting
your head out of your ass.

I’m kept my legs crossed for Ottawa tonight.  I think a win by them
would have been good for hockey and Canada.

Slapshot quote of the day- “What did he say?”  “He said OWNS”

Hockey Coach Versus Baseball Coach

May 19, 2017

I love the sport of baseball.  I grew up playing it in the park and
then one day I spent the night at a friend’s house and went with him
to his little league practice.  The coach of that team told my mom he
would pay my fee if she would let me play.  I wasn’t on my way to the
Dodgers but I was slightly above average and a good pitcher.  When I
go to see my stepson, it brings me back to those days.  My stepson
plays baseball and ice hockey.  I happen to be his hockey coach and so
when I sit in the stands and watch the ball game, I try to just take
it in.
The baseball coach is a local dad who often holds a Starbucks
purchased mug with a top.  Draped over the top of the mug are two or
three tags attached to tea bags.  He sits in the dug out and
encourages kids who are swinging at definite balls and not strikes.
“Good cut, babe…  Don’t help him out now.  Wait for your pitch…  Good
swing now.”
My girlfriend laughed at my coaching style with junior high aged boys
and giggled at the rah-rah nature of  the baseball coach.  Here is how
my pregame speech goes.
Big G is bullying kids in the locker room.  It is all verbal but
nonetheless.  I is the son of my assistant.  His hair is down to his
shoulders and his dad is bald.  I is prone to fucking off before games
too.  I and Big G are not anywhere near dressed for the game.  I come
twenty minutes before the game and give my disclaimer.
“For those of you not dressed in the next few minutes and out in the
hallway stickhandling, you can sit the entire first period.  You think
I’m bullshiting you?  Five minutes…”
Miraculously they are all dressed and taking turns warming up their
hands with a weighted ball.  I take a racquet ball and throw it off of
the wall for the goalie to get warmed up.  When the Zamboni hits the
ice, we go back to the locker room for the final pep talk before
hitting the ice.
“These little bastards have the same access to the league website as
you.  They see you are undefeated and are not going to come in here
and not try.  They know they will have to try harder than ever to beat
the best team in the league.  This is like tug of war.  You pull fast
and hard and get them face first in the shit…  How do you end a
fistfight most of the time?  Who knows?”
One of the guys whose nut hadn’t dropped yet answers.  He is four
feet tall with hair down to his shoulders and has a smile like Jack
Nicholson in The Shining.  He leads the team in penalty minutes and is
the one most likely to hit someone hard.  E is the son of Argentinian
immigrants.  He plays violin and is sadistic.  E answers first.
“Throw the first punch…”
“That’s it…  You hit first, while they’re trying to get their shit
together, you’ve already landed a blow.  Get that first goal.  Fucking
bury them and then we can just play catch when it is running time.
Are we clear?  Remember…  Your goalie is a boy with goalie equipment
and not a goalie.  He just started this sport and it will be your job
to pretend like you have an empty net behind you…  Recap…  No shots,
punch first, pull them face down in the shit…  When you have them by
the nuts, squeeze hard.”
The first period was listless.  The team looked at an under 500 team
and felt that a half speed effort would be enough.  The speech between
the first and second period went like this…
“You all are skating like a bunch of zombies…  Chip the puck into the
neutral zone, gain the centerline, dump it deep and fore check like
you might kill them.  You’re all waddling in like you’re walking out
to right field.  You give their D a chance to get the puck and make a
smart option, they will.  Take that time from them…  Wake up or I will
find 5 guys willing to play this game the way it should be played and
the rest of you can sit and watch.”
Big G tied up the center in a face off in the other team’s zone.  It
is a designed play where the center is tied up and the Defense walks
in and shoots the puck.  We scored on that.  An astute ref would call
interference.  Most of the time they don’t.  The game was close until
the third period and then we broke it open.  Kids got the puck in
deep, worked it back to the point and crashed the net.  After the game
I gave my post game speech.
“We should have buried this team.  They should have had the puck much
less than they did.  You guys forgot how to push yourselves but
tomorrow at practice, we are going to take a little time and remember
to push hard.  You’re tired, the puck squeaks out to the neutral zone,
your gassed and on a break away.  That’s where you find it within you
to finish.  I’m going to help you with that tomorrow.  I don’t want to
hear you have baseball or ballet or whatever.  Your ballet coach
doesn’t give a shit about me and I don’t give a damn about them.
Baseball is barely a sport.  Be here tomorrow.”
C, my stepson had a baseball game the day after the practice.  His
jovial coach gave his post game speech after the team got spanked
18-2.  I’m not going to judge him.  We all have our ways.  I could
hear the post-game talk from the dug out.
“Guys…  I saw some really positive things tonight.  We have to work
on our hitting, fielding, catching and pitching.  I’m not going to lie
to you all.  This was a rough game.  It will get better.  Keep your
chins up.  See you all at practice.”
Was it because a fat child was put at first base that could not bend
far enough to field ground balls?  Was it because the coach’s son
walked in ten runs?  Maybe it was that kids didn’t know how many outs
there were, dropped third strikes, missed cutoff men and a gross
inability to catch and hit.  In the car, the question was posed to me-
how would you have handled this loss?  Answer- a whole lot different.

Nashville and Ottawa- How does that sound to you?

Slapshot quote of the day- “When I yank it everyone with the exception
of my wife will be running for the exits…”

Trying to Remember…

May 12, 2017
I brought a photo album that my grandmother put together over to where
she now lives which is a waiting room for death.  Assisted living is
what they call it.  It was nursing and convalescent when I was a boy.
You walk in and a room full of old people look up to see if you are
the person that they have been waiting and hoping to see.  I’m not the
guy they been waiting to see.
So my grandmother has essentially been my mother my whole life and my
mom was kind of like a mom and not like a mom at the same time.
Anyone 16 years old, should never have a child and so I don’t totally
blame her for lapses.  I go to see my grandmother when I can.  Within
the last three years, her husband died, her dogs were put to sleep and
her house was sold.  Dementia has been taking hold of her and it get’s
stronger all the time.
“Did you see my mother wandering the hallway?  She’s got two guys
that she runs around with and if they ever catch her with the other,
there’s gonna be a fight.”
“No, grandma…  I didn’t see her…  I brought this nice photo album of
your garden and your dogs.”
She looked at it as if she had never seen it before.  She thought the
dogs looked cute.  A Bassett Hound and a Dachshund, both became
adopted pets which I initially purchased for my adult daughter when
she was a girl.  It got me to thinking, how will I chronicle my life?
Nobody takes pictures anymore and presents a slideshow on Christmas or
Easter.  You take pictures on your phone and upload it to social media
and when your phone falls in the shitter, those pics are gone forever.
The only thing I hate more than taking pictures, is being in pictures.
So putting together photo albums like my grandmother did going back to
her youth, World War II, the birth of my dad and uncle, my life and
then my children’s youth, won’t be possible.  I guess I’ll need to
write shit down and let one of my kids read this stuff back to me and
ask if this stuff really happened.  I’ve had an interesting life but
then again, a lot of people have also.  They can write their own
fucking blog.  This one is mine.
To look at me, you might not guess right off that I play ice hockey .
After a few minutes, you might notice scars on my face and a cracked
front tooth and wonder how I got so beat up around the face.  Some
people ask.  Most never do.  You might never guess that I have an
upright bass and play Ska/Reggae music, sing and write the music I
play.  I am fluent in French and have surprised a few people when the
French language is spoken and I join in.  I really don’t like French
culture, French people and I’ve never really wanted to go to France.
I’ve used it on visits to Martinique and Quebec.  I have three
children.  Two by a woman of African descent by way of Cuba and one by
the other by way of Jamaica.  I know you’re thinking… Ah yes.  Black
women, Reggae…  Of course.  The woman I’m with now is white and blonde
and I’m not liberal in my political views.  With that said, let’s talk
about hockey.
B texted me and told me that for sure there were going to be two
goalies at the rink near downtown.  He’s a cop on the night shift and
I own a restaurant/bar so we play pick-up hockey during the day time.
We usually play at a rink near the airport but I decided to meet him
out at the rink just west of downtown.  The Zamboni guy whose name I
never learned, recognized me and asked me where I’ve been.  I used to
play at the rink two to three times a week.  I found skates that were
more to my liking and so I stopped going to the downtown rink.
“Everyone is at J’s skate…  You know that.  Nobody comes here on
Wednesdays.  Just then M walked in.  M, is a bus driver and is black
and a goalie.  He is a virtual Rain Man with statistics of all hockey,
NHL and minor league.  He has a voice like the Chef from South Park.
He could sing, Old Man River, with his deep baritone voice.  Next
walked in B and his friend K.  K just finished playing midgets about a
year ago.  K has good hands and a quick shot.  I talked to him about
playing juniors in the past while sitting on the bench, waiting for
our shift.  K says that he just wants to get on with life and that he
doesn’t think that juniors will lead him anywhere.  One more guy
showed up and so I decided to stay.  Two on two half ice with a
goalie.  A good work out with a lot of passing and turning.  My game
is one of passing.  I believe that there can never be enough passing.
Good things come from passing.  There is a time when one should pass
and when one has to pass.  Those that know the difference are good and
smart hockey players.  K and I played against B and young guy wearing
a practice jersey from a USHL team.  He was young, average height, had
a good shot, good speed and good hands.  He was probably no better
than K.  I covered B and K covered the USHL kid.  I passed and dropped
down to create a cycle in the corner.  If you’re not familiar with a
cycle, picture that you have the puck and you’re skating towards the
goalie.  Rather than shoot the puck at the goalie, you make a right or
left turn and skate up the boards towards the blue line.  You then
look over your shoulder and drop the puck behind you along the boards
to your team mate that is coming up the boards behind you.  You make
that pass and then circle back so that you’re now following the guy
who was just following you.  He can drop it again or cut to the net
and get a pass on his way to the net.  I did this over and over and
scored a bunch of times.  I wondered how a kid from the USHL and B who
has played over twenty years since he was a kindergartener, could not
pick up on what I was doing.  We wore ourselves out doing this for
about an hour.  I looked up in the stands and little four and five
year olds were watching us.  I looked up to a small boy sitting next
to his mother and asked him if he was faster than me.  The mother
smiled and the boy nodded.
The weather was just warm enough to lay my equipment out in the
backyard.  Nothing is better to kill the stink and sweat of wet hockey
equipment better than the sun.  It’s not a fact, just my opinion.  I
walked over to a little Mexican restaurant with the newspaper and had
huevos rancheros…  The newspaper opinion section was down on Trump for
firing the head of the FBI.  The whole Democratic Party is calling for
a special prosecutor to look into Trump’s involvement with the
Russians and the Russian’s involvement with our election.  Interesting
to note that the same politicians who were astounded by James Comey’s
firing, were all calling for his head back when he was investigating
Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, use of a private server with
government business.  Today, Trump is painted to be just like Nixon.
Nixon wanted the special prosecutor fired and had to fire someone who
refused to do the firing on his behalf.  Nixon found a man named Bork
who fired the special prosecutor.  Bork was shot down as a supreme
court justice nominee due mostly to being the hatchet man for Nixon.
So Trump fired a man the Democrats felt  had done too much and that
the Republicans felt had not done enough.  Sometimes when you’re a
nice guy, it backfires and everyone hates your and finds you inept.
Better to be respected than loved.
I finished lunch, went back to the restaurant and got ready for the
night.  Washed left over dishes from the night before, bar and dinner
dishes.  Washed the floor, set tables and then went upstairs to my
apartment and practiced the bass in preparation for a gig Friday night
at my own place.  I had a rather quiet Groupon night.  Two young Asian
girls as cute as could be.  They’ll need to be carded for the next
thirty years since they look like junior high girls now.  They had a
charcuterie plate and a few empanadas and giggled a lot through their
chatter.  Another couple sat at the bar and agonized over which wine
to buy.
“What can you tell me about this wine?”
I make up plausible bullshit.  Truth is that 95% of the people who
come in cannot tell the difference in any of the wines.  They sniff,
they swirl and it’s all something they learned in Napa.  The husband
was chubby and kind of pushy.
“What do you have that’s a special?”
I’m always ready for that question.
“Everything on the menu is really special to me…”
I know what he meant.  Looking for something for next to nothing with
his Groupon.  His hips were wider than his shoulders and he was sort
of a whiny bitch.  His wife talked to him about the fact that he stole
her pillow a few times during the night.  I’m behind the bar and feel
compelled to ask at least one question.  His wife answers while he
studied his phone.  She seemed nice and genuine and out of his league.
That happens a lot.
The last table was a chubby woman across from a MILF.  The MILF
looked like she just got done with a yoga class.  The chubby woman
looked frumpy and looked at her friend while ordering instead of
making eye contact with me.  They ate a little, drank a little, paid
their bill and then sat for an extra hour.  I often wonder what  women
can talk about one on one for over two hours.  I was just happy as
hell that it wasn’t a Thursday because Thursday night I go to play
hockey after closing up and two women loitering for an extra hour is a
definite hockey cock block.
They left and I turned off all the lights to the bar and put on the
Anaheim/Edmonton game and ate and had some wine.  When one of the
Anaheim skaters skated in front of his net, in front of his goalie and
the Edmonton forechecker shuffleboarded the shot past the Anaheim
goalie who was just standing their like a scare crow, I thought
Edmonton was on it’s way.  On paper, they have almost what Edmonton
had beck in the eighties with Gretsky, Messier, Coffey and Grant Fuhr.
The Ducks woke up and crushed Edmonton in the second period and
stymied them in the third…  Dommage.  I’m hoping for Ottawa but feel
like Pittsburg is going to repeat.
Slapshot line of the day- Maurice, you make sick when you talk like that..

You’ll Get So Tired of Winning…

November 30, 2016

The Whackers or Little Whackers as they were known, had a Thanksgiving
Day tournament game that had to be played outside at a refrigerated
rink on a perfect late Fall day if you have to play ice hockey
outside- no sun, no rain, no wind and about 41 degrees Fahrenheit or 5
degrees Celsius if you live anywhere else in the world other than the
United States.

Coach Grimm walked in the locker room belonging to the Pee Wee
Whacker team.  Some of the boys were getting dressed, a few were
practicing stickhandling with a ball designed to practice stick work
with a puck when you can’t be on the ice.  A few just sat there cold
in their hoodies, not motivated to move yet because they were tired
and cold.  The regular coach quit after a dozen games after having to
take a job out of town or some bullshit.  Truth be told- the first
coach grew tired of guys not trying, not listening, not passing, not
pushing themselves and complaints by parents.  The Whackers went out
and got a veteran out of mothballs to help save the season.  Things
were looking up.  Coach Grimm showed up with his verbal pregame cattle
prod.  One of the players made the mistake of asking the coach if the
game they were about to play counted in the stats.
“When I wake up early on Thanksgiving morning, put my underwear on,
my pants on, my shoes on and drive to wherever the fuck this place is
to coach a game…  Yes it matters.  It matters to me and it should
always matter to you…  Turn off that ghetto fucking music.”
The one player with yellow tints in his brown hair, glared at the
coach as he turned off his Bluetooth connected to a Bose speaker.
“Sagging pants and bad poetry with a voice modulator will not be
tolerated any longer in the locker room.  It’s not music…  Now you
know…”
Coach paced back and forth looking at the ground and ceiling while
speaking to the players.
“When I joined you merry bunch, you were two wins and eight loses and
you’re now four wins and no losses since I’ve joined you.  Wanna no
the secret?  I don’t take bullshit. I’m not your babysitter or
substitute teacher… Why do you play hockey?  Cause your mom wants to
sleep with Jonathan Toews or your dad never quite made it to juniors,
The A or the show and thinks you got something just a bit more special
than the average beater playing this game?  All parents think too
highly of their kids. Who knows.  What I know after coaching this game
four times longer than you been alive, since your daddy was living in
his daddy’s balls and dinosaurs walked the earth…  You have to want to
fucking win.   Not just hope to win.  You have to decide that you’re
willing to go through a wall if necessary to get the win.  Puck is
loose…  The guy on the other team should be ready to shit himself at
the idea that you might put him through the boards as soon as he
touches that puck.  The opposition should marvel at the fact that you
move the puck like the Harlem Globetrotters passed a basketball and
that every shift, you play like it’s the last shift of game seven of
the Stanley Cup finals.  People who don’t know this sport will tell
you that wins and losses don’t matter.  Ask those people if it matters
to them that the person they voted for in the presidential elections,
lost…  Went down in flames.  Which brings me to this analogy-
elections and hockey are like a tug of war.  It’s momentum and
psychological.  You want to be sure that you’re all pulling together
to get your opposition face down in the muck, the slime, and the shit.
You want them to accept losing before they lose by being tougher.
You’re going to leave here in 90 minutes.  The Turkey will taste
better tonight if you win.  It always does when you win.  If you lose,
lose with your goalie pulled and you bombarding the other team with
seconds to go on the clock.  You should never get your ass kicked if
you’re ready for work on time. “
The kids looked at their coach who was old enough to be a
grandfather, who could still out skate them.  Bald, facial scars and a
chipped tooth from a high stick, which was fixed and then knocked out
again by a high puck to the face.  There was something inspiring in
his off the wall comments.
“Way back in 1973…  Maybe 74, the years all blend together…  There
was a kid from an Indian reservation who was fast and mean.  He would
slash the shit out of players and body them like he wanted to kill
them.  I was intimidated by The Chief.  He was quiet, mean and
determined to win.  The Chief come up the boards and I clipped him
with my hip.  I didn’t see it but others told me he cartwheeled and
had a ribbon of snot that wrapped around his helmet.  Was I bigger
than Chief?  Stronger?  Faster?  Probably not.  I got into his head by
knocking the shit out of him like a truck hit him.  If you gain the
centerline and dump that puck in the corner and then bury the Defense
as soon as they touch that puck in the corner, they’ll be whipping
that puck anywhere not to get clobbered.  You take away time and space
by bearing down on their asses by fore-checking at full speed…  Hands
in the middle.  Take a look at one another.  You need each other to
win.  This isn’t fucking golf; you need each other to do this right.
Why were the Beatles so good?  Because they played together…  The best
way to win a fistfight is to throw the first punch and keep swinging
until they stop moving…  This is a new era about to happen.  You have
a new coach.  You have a new president.  Things are going to be a
little different, a little raw…  If your new president was here
cheering you on today, what he say?
“Big?”
“Huge?”
“Make the Whackers great again?”
“Grab them by the pussy?”
“That’s it boys!  Your president would tell you that you’re going to
win so much that you’ll get tired of winning and he would tell you to
grab them by the pussy.  Let’s win this shit and give thanks that we
live in a country where we can take a day off to play the greatest
game ever invented…  Ice hockey.  Let’s go fucking get them!”

The Emperor’s New Clothes or F#ck the Cubs

October 28, 2016

Gil and Gail packed up their deviled eggs and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that they bought while in New Zealand and headed over to their friends Tom and Tam. It was a beautiful fall night more like summer than fall with a full moon. The event was a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. Tom, a huge Cubs fan, set up a television outside in front of a fire pit and a trampoline off in the distance.
Gil was born and raised in Los Angeles and was a life long Dodgers fan stranded in the midwest. He walked past a teacher’s union lawn sign and three different lawn signs for Hillary Clinton and a giant blue W painted on a plain white background to signify a win for the Chicago Cubs on the way to Tom and Gail’s backyard. Gail and Tam really liked one another. They met at a Pilates class and became great friends. They watched the Kardashians together at different homes and texted about it at night. Their sons played youth hockey together and Gil was the hockey coach. Gil was quiet owner of an ice hockey pro shop who played hockey, sold hockey and played hockey four to five days a week. Gil and Tammy’s son was thin and good-looking, fast and capable at being a scoring threat at every game. Tom and Tam’s son had man boobs and hips wider than his shoulders. The bookish son of Tom and Tam was slow and had a weak shot. Gil took their son as a favor to his wife who really wanted a friend up in the stands to sit with at games. Tom was jealous that Gil was in good shape and was a good skater and coach. Tom couldn’t skate but was wealthy and had season tickets to all Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks games. Tom was a partner at a law firm and drove a Range Rover and a Corvette with personalized Cubs and Blackhawks Illinois license plates. One license said PWR PLAY 69 and the other said LUV CUB 69. Gil had no hair, was built and had a half missing tooth much like the hockey great Alex Ovechkin and a face full of scars from years of playing ice hockey without facial protection. Gil refused to wear a cage or a half shield while playing and looked like a rough neck. Tom wore black horned rimmed glasses and had looked like an LL Bean model in front of his $5000.00 built in backyard grill, 50 inch television exclusively for the backyard and excellent sound system. A band from the 1980’s called Haircut 100 blared through the speakers while the ball teams silently  took batting practice. Gil stood with a bowl of deviled eggs in a LA Dodgers hat and shirt. Tom wore a Cubs hat with a T-shirt that had a large W on it. He was cooking filet mignon, he offered Gil a beer. Gil declined as he was gluten-free. It irritated Gil when Tom would offer him a beer. Even though Gil had declined dozens of times, Tom would still offer a beer to Gil. Gil had Ceiliaks disease which prevented him from processing gluten properly.
“Tam remembered and purchased a gluten-free, lesbian safe beer for you from Trader Joe’s… You can be like every other man around this town watching this game tonight and start the night properly with a beer.”
Gil opened the beer, tapped it against the bottle Tom was holding and talked about their son’s hockey team. Gil was careful not to say too much and let Tom comment on the high and low points of the season.
“The goalie is brutal… It is truly a testament to your defense that we’ve been in every game. Do you put your best skaters on defense always?”
Gil took a drink of his beer and pondered the best answer to a question he didn’t care to answer truthfully. Gil felt that it was a good idea to be as cryptic as possible with parents when it came to playing time, position and lines. Gil played Tom and Tam’s son on the first line even though he was a slow, tentative, ineffective player. It was a political move to appease his wife who was considering her friend’s feelings.
“I try to find a balance…”
“That is a beautifully scripted answer, coach. People try to figure out where you’re coming from. They want to know if there is something deeper to your tactics. I think mystery comes off as deep but I think I have you figured out, coach…”
“Tommy… This is a night all about baseball. I’m ready to take the night off of hockey. A full moon, great fucking weather, good food, booze and the Dodgers poised to make a California boy proud…”
Beer turned to scotch and then to wine. Bottles and bottles. Blue cheese on choice steaks with gluten-free pasta. It was a night to remember. A clear, full moon and August like weather in October. The game turned ugly for Gil. The Dodgers tanked and were getting crushed by the Cubs. It was a debacle not unlike when Gil was young and the Dodgers would lose every year to the Yankees. It might have been a moment of hurt pride that caused Gil to change from a good-natured fan to a critical observer of the type of man he disdained- bragging, rich, unathletic, pudgy Chicago fan. The Dodgers were losing by a touch down when Tom lit a cigar and laughed at the score between innings. Gil told Gail that he wanted to leave. she was having a great time without having to watch her children and she did not want to cut the night short and return home yet. The game ended with a huge Cubs win. Tam put on a song that harkened back to Burt Bacharach buy a band called Cousteau. No relation to Jacques called, The Last Good Day of the Year.
There’s something there
Among the fallen fruit and flowers, won’t rest
Only minutes, only hours unless
Now the morning breaks in showers, I guess
We’ll remember this all of our lives
On the last good day of the year
Gil sat and looked at the full moon as a gentle breeze blew through the leaves in the trees that were ready to turn colors and fall. Tom was going on and on about the Cubs and then switched to politics. After a beer, a scotch and many glasses of wine, Gil was ready to speak freely, uninhibited or reserved. Tom was taken by surprise.
“Fuck you. Fuck the Cubs, fuck unions, fuck Hillary and fat kids who really don’t want to play ice hockey… Enjoy your win you fucking pompous asshole. I hope Hillary gets the same fucking treatment Nixon got for the minor shit he did compared to that cunt.”
Gil knew that his wife hated the word cunt and that most women had a thing against the word. Both Tam and Gail gasped and tried to get Gil to calm down. It only made him angrier.
“You want to let all the Mexicans in? All the Syrians? Every fucking moderate who makes their wife cover their whole fucking face like a goddamn Ninja? Fuck you and your W shirt and Hillary lawn sign… Your kid is going to wind up with heart disease by high school if you don’t discover the word no. No you can’t eat whatever you want and drink sugary bullshit. Your son has bitch tits… I know that might be harsh to hear but you can thank the Cubs and Hillary. Bitch fucking tits on a 10-year-old and why? Because you can’t say no to him? You wanna know why my kid is fast? Because he eats yogurt instead of gummy worms and fucking Doritos…”
” I think you’re angry Tom…”
“Yes, I am. When unathletic fucks like you gloat, I get mad. You don’t know dick about how to really win and it falls into your lap tonight and you’re like a fucking scientist about baseball. Yes… The fast capable kids play defense on my teams and really I believe your son would be happier with a hot dog and a drink up in the stands next to you than forechecking. You got season tickets and you want your little son of sam to play like Kane or Toews.”
Gail came up and hugged Gil and put her hand over his mouth. Gil pushed Gail away in a way that let her know that he was not done. Tom had enough drinks to stand up to Gil and he did.
“You’re mad that the Dodgers lost and that Trump is about to go down in flames. Too many people do not buy into the Hitleresque bullshit spewed by Trump. Mexicans are the paste that holds this country together. Who is going to do the shit they do for the money they make? Big strong, stupid, flag waving, tear-in-the-eye patriot who hates anything not white. You’re the big hockey coach but you weren’t quite good enough to make it so what do you do? You coach.”
Gil took a step towards Tom with the thought to give Tom a smack. Tom sneered and raised his chin as if to say, “smack me! I don’t give a shit.”
“You know something, fuckface? I won’t ever apologize for being white. I won’t ever apologize for not blindly trusting people who hate me. Vote for whoever you fucking want. Why do we all got to know who it is? Why not put up a lawn sign that says you need a little blue pill and porn to make it with your old lady? You know what? All I need is a little text telling me to get home fast and my dick hurts to be cramped up in my jeans knowing that it’s going between my old lady’s legs just as soon as possible. You like baseball analogies? I’m the fucking closer who doesn’t need a warm up pitch. Put me in cold and I’ll finish the game…”
The women left the two men alone who were about to come to blows. Tom was about to rebut Gil when the women put on a song from the 1980’s from their youth. It was a Sinead O’Connor song called The Emperor’s New Clothes. In the light of the moon, the two men watched their rather fit middle-aged wives sing and bounce on the trampoline naked slathered in coconut oil. The oil glistened off of their breasts. The men stopped fighting and looked on at their wives without saying a word. Tom poured a glass of wine for himself and Gil. The men stripped down to nothing and joined the ladies on the trampoline on probably the last good day of the year. The song played on repeat while they made love or something resembling love beside one another.
Everyone can see what’s going on
They laugh `cause they know they’re untouchable
Not because what I said was wrong
Whatever it may bring
I will live by my own policies
I will sleep with a clear conscience
I will sleep in peace
Maybe it sounds mean
But I really don’t think so
You asked for the truth and I told you
Through their own words
They will be exposed
They’ve got a severe case of
The emperor’s new clothes

Hockey On Monday’s Only

April 21, 2016

“This is a new era…  There are many things you can’t say no more.  I grew up with 30 different names just for black people.  Then you had the Jews, Asians, Hispanics and then the gays.  Gay could have meant actually gay or it could have meant stupid, wimpy or retarded back then.  We can’t use retarded today either.  The day is coming when we won’t be able to call another man a pussy and maybe it’s good and maybe it’s not…  I dunno.  All I do know for sure is that people, some people, want your head on a stick today…  The gays are season ticket holders in this small town.  We could have been stuck in minor league hockey half way up the arctic circle in towns where they only want to see guys get their brains bashed in out in the fucking tundra.  It’s a nice town here.  We’re in Florida for fuck’s sake.  The league wants us to come down hard on you.  Like they want us to get rid of you.  This is the fourth time.  Fines, suspensions and sensitivity training and you’re still calling people names like homos, faggots, queers, gayrods…   What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Byron pulled his long hair back and took a sip of his coffee.  The nerve was still alive in one of his teeth that was cracked in half from a puck to the face from the night before.  He had stitches in his chin and his left eye watered for years involuntarily from a stick to the eye.  Byron was a low-level warrior born in a town near Sudbury, Ontario.  He played two levels below the NHL, earned $32,000.00 a year and lived in a trailer park outside of Fort Myers, Florida.  When Lord Byron as he was known wasn’t playing ice hockey, we was sitting outside his double wide trailer, drinking beer with the neighbors, having lot’s of sex and riding his motorcycle.  Byron didn’t care about being a fourth liner on an NHL team.  In Florida, he was a star in the community.  He did local commercials for Mexican restaurants, car dealerships and bail bonds.  He started a summer camp strictly for obese children that didn’t have the money to go to fat camps.  Byron loved his life.  Slowly, the town to the west, nearest the ocean, became a hot spot for older gay couples from the northern part of the United States as well as Quebec.  There were a lot of French-speaking gay couples too.  Byron grew up thinking that all French speaking Canadians were gay.

So here’s what happened- A team from Macon, Georgia had a player from Byron’s childhood area that was a native Canadian.  Indian, indigenous whatever you prefer.  The player had crossed checked Byron years ago when they were in youth hockey.  The player got Byron in front of the net and crossed checked his kidneys so hard that he wound up pissing blood for a few days.  It was hard for Byron to move but he finished the game and vowed to seek retribution someday.  The day came for Byron.  The player wound up getting picked up in the southern states by an opposing team.  Byron waited until the player made a pass from the boards in front of his own team’s bench.  He hit the guy who had once made his kidneys bleed from the inside and dumped him head first over the boards.  Then he dropped his gloves and waited for the player to get up, get back on the ice and face him.  The guy wouldn’t fight Byron.  It could have been that Byron had blindsided him and he was winded, dazed from landing on his head or knew Byron was a fighter and that he had thirty pounds on him.

“You fucking faggot…  You’d rather have a cock in your mouth or ass than play hockey, wouldn’t you?  Remember giving me a stick to the back in midgets, you fucking asshole.  I almost had to go on dialysis because of you.  Let’s go, you fucking faggot ass pussy motherfucker.  I’m gonna make you piss blood tonight.”

Byron forgot that he was wired for sound.  To try to build interest in ice hockey in a part of the country that only had ice in little glasses pool side,  the team made all players take turns wearing a camera.  It was Byron’s turn to wear the camera.  Families at home on the internet got to hear Byron in real-time.  Byron killed a lot of interest that day.  Local families watched and heard, everything that went on in a local game that day from Byron’s perspective.  Byron had two fights and a hat trick.  One of his goals was the game winner.  Byron forgot about the camera until the press conference when he was asked how he felt about homosexuals.

“How do I feel about what?  Did you say homosexuals?”

“Yes, that is correct.”

“What kind of question is that?”

“As you know, you were outfitted with a camera that recorded everything that went on in the game from the top of your helmet.  Fans got to really be a part of your goals and fights.  You used a homophobic slur while challenging an opposing player to a fight for an incident that occurred at a previous game when you were a youth.  The fans of south Florida will want to know your thoughts.  We want to be the first to carry it.”

“Well …  You got to understand that certain things are said sometimes but that they don’t mean anything bad towards anyone other than the person it is directed at, eh?  It’s part of the job to occasionally fight and before the fight…  Occasionally there are negotiations and discussions.”

The response made some laugh because they loved the gladiator nature of the sport and others it did not.  Some season ticket holders threatened to cancel their season tickets if Byron was not released from the team.  On local talk radio, it was a mixed bag.  Some liked the way Byron talked and others thought it was not good for children to hear graphic profanity and slams towards the gay community.  After it looked like Byron might be released over the fourth offense, Byron took to the airwaves again and offered an olive branch.

“I’m very sorry about the language I used that was broadcast locally.  I forgot that I had the camera on and well…  There is no excuse for what I said.  When I was a boy, my mother would have stuffed soap in my mouth for using profanity.  I wasn’t raised to swear.  I was raised in a town where I don’t think we had any gays.  We just got used to using that term but we didn’t mean nothing by it.  I understand that I could use other words and terms and so if I hurt anyone’s feelings by my language, I am truly sorry.  I don’t want anyone to feel badly about being gay.  It’s like being left-handed…  I’m left handed.  I often wondered why god made me a lefty when the whole world is righty.  Being gay has to be a little like that.  I dunno exactly but I’m sorry if I made anyone feel bad.  I don’t ever wish to make people feel bad…  If the community will accept my apology, I would like to start a youth and adult hockey program here in south Florida just for the gays.  If you’re gay and a man or a woman, or your a man but you feel like you might be a woman actually or whatever.  I don’t know how it all works…  What I’m offering is a chance for all of you who are gay, to come and learn the game.  Learn to skate, learn to play and have fun.  No charge…  It’s on me.”

Byron thought to call his clinics/camp, Lord Byron’s Hockey School for the Gays or South Florida’s Gay Hockey instead it was given the name a simple name- Lord Byron Hockey.  Games and clinics were on Monday nights.  A web site for it was set up.  The first four words after the name was- Hockey on Monday’s only.  Byron was not to blame for this one.  People laughed it off.  Byron’s camp was a success.  Everyone in the area wanted to learn to play hockey.  Men, women, children, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and homosexuals.  Hockey is actually for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eagle River

February 9, 2016

I was asked by a friend if I wanted to participate in an outdoor tournament in the northern town of Eagle River, Wisconsin.  The trip took over eight hours for us to arrive at the rental home which was being occupied by two teams of 14 players.

If you don’t mind the cold and really poor ice conditions, it is ice hockey unlike what you’re used to indoors.  You dress like a mite at home, park several blocks away and are picked up by locals with open bed trucks.  You jump on the back of the open air transport and marvel at the dense spruce forest around you.  In the clearing is a lake where dozens of snow banked rinks are sectioned off for matches.  You look for a bench to slip your skates on out in the open.  You slip on a jersey with the name of your weekend team.   Female teams tended to name their teams after their female parts and many male teams had various plays on words related to male genitalia.  Others had sponsors or just cute names.  I played for a team called the Elsinore Hosers which was taken from the 1980’s movie called Strange Brew.  The housemates from the other team, took on nicknames from the movie, The Big Lebowski- The Jesus, Donny, Walter, The Dude and so on.

You get on the ice and have a net that is three feet wide and about a foot high.  No slapshots, no high passes, no checking or other infractions.  Four players where one sort of has to play goalie and then you have variations of a triangle formation.  Firing the puck often is key.  Our team adapted to the conditions of the ice and weather and won our first two games.  We then went on to lose our next two which were good, close scoring games.  What do you do when you’re not playing?  Walk around in half your gear making conversation with people from all over the country while drinking donated beer from Labatt’s.  If you haven’t had enough hockey, there is a local team with an antique barn of a rink that holds about 2,000.  We watched Eagle River play Fond du Lac.  Some sloppy play, some solid play, some fights and some idiocy in the crowd.  Some tool from Ohio who played in drag the entire weekend put on a show at the minor league game.  This over served player, hung from the scorer’s booth which was some twenty feet in the air.  After swinging back and forth for a minute, his fingers gave way and landed back first onto a patron.  There was an over abundance of men who needed chaperones- moms or wives.  Maybe they were once frat boys and maybe they never experienced that sort of fraternal bonding upon gaining adulthood.  Cheap beer and fraternizing with fellow lovers of the sport of ice hockey on the eve of the Super Bowl is what you would have found in Eagle River last weekend.  If you love the sport, respect the sport and enjoy the sport more than most things in life, a pond hockey tournament should be Mecca for those who hold ice hockey in high regard.

The photo was taken at sunset Saturday night after two games in the tournament.  We went to our own backyard behind our rental home and played amongst ourselves.  Hosers against The Puck Abides until the sun set over the forest.  It was worth the time and effort for me.

eagle river

Never Tear Us Apart

July 23, 2013

“My old man dies and doesn’t leave me his antique cars, his house, his summer house, his condo in Florida, his restaurants but he leaves me a fucking horse?”

“Yes…  A horse.  The horse is housed at the Hazel Park track and is a harness racer.  Your father saw to it that all the expenses for the horse are taken care of.  There is a note that goes along with this if you would like me to go ahead and read it.” Said the Attorney.

“Sure…  Read the fucking note.”

Nicholas,

I had always hoped that you would have had my ambition to succeed and persevere.  You had extraordinary talent for ice hockey and were content living in my basement to play beer pong and X-Box.  The fact that I owned several Coney Island restaurants and you were content being counter help for minimum wage instead of helping me run things, sent up a red flag years ago.  I have left the chain of restaurants to your sister as well as my homes and cars.   You can have that beat up old home in Detroit that you now live in with your friend and I too leave you my horse.  I was given this horse as a gift and I am giving it to you as a gift.  I envision you and your bust-out buddy, sitting in the stands at Hazel Park betting your pittance against your own horse.  It is yours to do with as you wish.  Your mother always came to your rescue whenever I tried to push you along and you never amounted to much.  I love you, Nicholas but could not in good conscience give all that I created to you just to have it melt away.  Have fun with the horse.

 

Dad

 

“My dad was always a tight waded motherfucker…  So when can I see my horse?”

Nick finished playing morning pick up hockey with Anthony at the Hazel Park rink in suburban Detroit and showed up at the stable where their horse was housed.  In the stable was a small black man in a Speedo bathing suit and a pair of Timberland boots that was singing and doing Tai Chi moves.  He had long hair and was ripped, as he was petite.  Josiah sang the INXS song, Two Worlds Colliding.  Josiah was unaware of the two large white men watching him as he closed his eyes and sang until tears came to his eyes.

 

Don’t ask me
What you know is true

Don’t have to tell you
I love your precious heart

I
I was standing,
you were there

Two worlds collided
And they could never tear us apart

We could live
For a thousand years
But if I hurt you
I’d make wine from your tears

I told you
That we could fly
’cause we all have wings
But some of us don’t know why

I
I was standing
You were there,
Two worlds collided
And they could never ever tear us apart.

“Fucking great…  I inherited a broken down horse with a gay Sammy Davis Jr. horse jockey.”

The smallish black man stepped up to the two white men without fear.  He spoke like the Geico gecko which surprised the men even more.”

“Take me for a fucking poofter will ya?  I’ve shagged more female white and dark meat in me loife than Colonel fucking Sanders could shake a stick at, mate.  Fuck with me and you’ll be feeding the fucking trees.  Now then…  Who the fuck are you?”

Josiah’s great-great-great grandfather had been taken on ship from England and dumped in Australia.  Josiah’s ancestor was a former slave that was imprisoned and had found aboriginal people and mated with them.  Josiah wanted to be a singer and actor and was working his way to Hollywood from Sydney, Australia and was stuck in a quagmire, which was Detroit.  Josiah was talking with two career recreational, non-paid ice hockey players who never quite made it and they never made it because they lacked drive and dedication.  They coasted throughout their twenties and at the cusp of thirty years of age, they were about to become inspired by a Prince look-a-like who was determined to win harness races, earn enough money and move to California to be discovered.

Josiah took the hands of Anthony and Nick and looked them intently in their eyes and began to sing again.

“You were standing…  I was there…  Two worlds colliding and they could never tear us apart…  We were fucking brought together by a hoi-er being for the purpose of making it, mates.  Let’s not fuck this up, eh?”

Nick and Anthony laughed hardy laughs and took their jockey to a Detroit Tigers game and then to the casino.  They got trashed and then formed a triumvirate.  Within a year, their horse won enough money for Nick and Anthony to buy a low-level minor league hockey franchise for $30,000 in the Michigan League.  On Friday and Saturday nights, you can find them playing for their own team at a rink in Suburban Detroit.  Patrons pay $5.00 to see fights and a little hockey.   Working at a coffee shop in West Hollywood, California is a singing, small black man with a strong Australian accent, passionately desperate to realize his dreams so much so that he inspires all those that he touches to try harder and keep hope truly alive.  Two worlds colliding.

 

Beyond Good and Evil- The Hockey Coach

February 1, 2012

The Oshawa Whackers had a season unlike any professional team had ever had in any sport at anytime.  They went from a dismal last place finish last year in the Ontario Hockey League to a nearly undefeated season.  The franchise had to thank Otto Werner for the turn of events.

            Otto was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario and came from a long line of Germans going back to Prussia.  Otto’s grandfather jokingly told Otto at a young age that their family was related to Bismarck and for that reason Otto was named after his great, great uncle by marriage on his mother’s side; Otto Von Bismarck. 

            At a young age, Otto believed he was born special because he was German and a descendant of the man who was responsible for unifying most of the German-speaking people.

 Otto like all young Canadian boys, learned to play hockey and he excelled at it.  Otto made it all the way to the NHL and did well at the top level of the hockey world until he was forced to quit due to concussions.  Otto had well over five solid concussions during his two years of NHL hockey.  Since leaving the NHL, Otto became a coach who knocked around all over Canada at various levels.  Otto coached for a few years at Waterloo University and it was while he was at the school that he received a BA in philosophy.  At the age of fifty, Otto was the picture of health and virility.  Otto ate well, played hockey five days a week, lifted weights, listened to Wagner and studied Friedrich Nietzsche as if he was a god and that is sort of funny since Nietzsche claimed god was dead or worse, never was.

            Before the championship game with a 3-0 lead over Guelph after at 74-6 season, Otto made love twice to a young female student who came from a farming community in western Ontario.  She read passages of Nietzsche while Otto did pushups naked.  Rather than touch his chin to the ground, when his flaccid cock hit the ground, Otto would spring back up.  Melanie, with her exposed swollen breasts, full of life, sat on the bed reading a poem out loud which was written by Richard Wagner while Ride of the Valkyries blared on the an actual phonograph.

                        Is this still German?

                        Out of a German heart, this sultry screeching?

                        A German body, this self-laceration?

                        German, this priestly affectation,

                        The insense-perfumed sensual Preaching?

            Otto stopped Melanie who was not reading the poem as if it was a question but rather a statement.  Otto popped two pain pills to stop what he described as broken glass pressing against his brain.  Without the pain pills, it felt like shards of glass were digging into his skull.  After a glass of German white wine and two pain pills, rough sex and a shower, Otto left for the arena.  The young men filed in and began stretching out and taping their sticks.  Otto entered wearing a suit with his hands in his pockets.  His black hair was slicked back and his eyes made him look as if he was somewhere else all together.  The players thought their coach was a whack job and that moniker would be fitting for a hockey coach of a team called The Whackers.

            “Between good and evil…  Lays victory.  Several thousand people from this town will come today to see a victory…  A man who says, “I like this, I take this for my own and want to protect it and defend it against anybody”.  This is what I have sought in each and every one of you all season long.  You trusted me and I believed in you.  With so much starvation in the world, what will this victory ultimately mean in the larger scheme of things?  Well, not a fucking thing actually to anyone but us.  You become a permanent statistic in a book and on a cup so that when we leave this place, it will be noted that on this day, we did something that meant something to several thousand residents of this town and to every man who put everything into achieving something tangible and something memorable.  We are less than tiny grains of sand in a cosmos we cannot begin to grasp and yet I must tell you that of all the things in this life that you could undertake, playing ice hockey is among the noblest of occupations.  It is a secret we hold dear to our hearts and is our national treasure.  It is more than a sport, it is life itself.  For those who toil at menial tasks for a pittance to sustain themselves, they always come back to the arena to honour and appreciate those who have mastered the art of working together for a common goal and a greater good which is hockey.  Every attainment, every step forward follows from courage, from hardness against oneself.  There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never yet occurred that they, too might be admired someday…  Simply put, finish off these suffering Guelph bastards.  They couldn’t hold your jocks at a Sunday mass.  You all are aware of where you stand in the history of modern day sports if you win this game.  Where we go from here is not as important today as what we can and will achieve…  Fucking bury them and then say a prayer.”

            The Whackers won handily and the coach who was a cross between Adolph Hitler and Vince Lombardi, quietly slipped away during all the celebrating.  At a hotel off route 401 that runs from north of Toronto to Windsor, a fire broke out.  This fire was a magnificent blaze that took firemen from several small towns to help extinguish.  News reporters arrived at the scene to interview those that were able to escape.  One of the survivors was a man by the name of Otto Werner.  He wore a white robe and had his arm around two young women that looked young enough to be his daughters only they weren’t.  The news reporter recognized Otto and asked Otto if he was relieved that he made it out alive and then asked what he was doing in a hotel in a town that he lived in. Otto never took his arms off of the young women that were shy in front of the cameras.  Otto smiled and grasped the shoulders of the two young women and then kissed them both on their cheeks before speaking. 

            “Around the hero, everything turns to tragedy…”