Posts Tagged ‘hockey’

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..

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

Sir, please step out of your vehicle…

April 11, 2011

            Any original six match up for me is more appealing than say seeing Phoenix against Tampa Bay.  Although the players from both teams are excellent and worthy of playing at the highest rung, if you live in Tampa you should be swimming or jet-skiing and thanking god or Allah that you don’t live in Edmonton.  Purely because of the weather,   Edmonton is a fine place to live if you don’t mind being cold.

            I bought a standing room ticket to see the Chicago Blackhawks play the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis.  I parked near the Renaissance Center that sits on the river that separates Canada from the United States.  I walked over with hoards of Wings fans that were wearing all the current stars and then a few throw backs like Probert and Lapointe: two guys who played on both the Red Wings and Blackhawks who are still loved in Detroit unlike Marian Hossa who comes off as a cup chasing carpetbagger.

  I took my place against the wall in the 200 section near center ice and watched the Red Wings essentially give the game away in the first period.  Twenty seven seconds into the game, while people were buying beer and urinating before the game really got going, Brent Seabrooks scored.  Then somebody by the name of Ben Smith, who is probably no relation to any Smith you know, scored for Chicago next Brian Campbell and then finally, to really put a stake through the hearts of Red Wing fans, Marian Hossa scored a cherry picking goal.  My thought was, “What the fuck is going on?”

There was a time when people feared playing in Detroit and lately everyone shows up to get a win.  I saw the Red Wings play in early March in Los Angeles at the Staples Center and they destroyed the Kings.  A few days later, the Kings came to Detroit to get a pay-me-back. 

There is very little more annoying that seeing some fat bastard raising his beer in a Kane or Toews jersey except seeing Boston Red Sox fans in places like Seattle or Chicago Cubs fans anywhere at all.  I had to listen to some fuck tell me how great Chicago was but that he was living near Ann Arbor.  If I wanted to hear mindless jabber while watching the game, I could have brought a wife.  Not necessarily mine but anyone’s who wouldn’t care to watch the game but really needed to talk and be heard.  Finally the Chicagoan had to piss and disappeared into a line that was as long as what you might come to expect at a popular amusement park attraction.  He might still be waiting.

The game ended, I walked over to Pegasus Restaurant in Greektown.  I ate and had a couple of glasses of wine.  I then went up to the casino and had a few vodka and cranberries and walked out of the building ahead for a change.  Usually the Greeks clean me out.  Fatigue got to me before they emptied my pockets. 

I drove north on interstate 75 and then east on 696.  I exited on Van Dyke in the Detroit suburb of Warren and headed north in the left lane.  Most of the streets in and around Detroit are like expressways.  They are designed to get you moving and keep moving.  The speed limit was 45 mph and I was probably going close to 55 mph when someone coming out of a fast food restaurant on the opposite side of the street, cut in front of me going 5mph.  I wanted to turn my car into a monster truck and flatten the stupid, thoughtless, selfish driver who cut me off.  This driver forced me to slam on my breaks just so he could hurry home with his fast food at 1am in the morning. 

I didn’t have the ability to turn my car into a monster truck or a steam roller and so I decided to pass the guy on the left and then jam on my breaks, forcing him to stop abruptly the way he made me kill the life of my breaks just so that I would not run into him.  Just as I passed the selfish driver and cut back into the lane while breaking, I could see flashing lights in all of my mirrors. 

The car I was driving had not been entirely killed by my son and daughter but did appear to have lived through a demolition derby or two.  If I were a racial profiling cop stopping a beat up Pontiac with no hub caps and dents all over the car, I would guess the driver was released from prison, about to go to prison, carrying open liquor or drugs, a thief, a drug addict, a young black man or a young white man who resembled Kid Rock.  He came up to get my license and insurance card and flashed a light in my face.  What he saw was a middle aged white guy in a Detroit Red Wings knit hat and a Red Wings t shirt.  I wanted to tell him that the beat up Pontiac was my beater car that I drove to downtown Detroit so that nobody would suspect that I have a dime to my name or anything of value within the car that would warrant breaking the windows.  It is a perfect automobile to park and walk away from within the city of Detroit without worrying.  I wasn’t given the chance to explain that my two teenage children learned how to drive in the car and although it looks like hell, it keeps me from having to use my Dodge Magnum in the winter.  None of that mattered to him.  I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that he was assuming I was an angry old drunk in a beat up car.  The conversation went as follows.

Officer- What just happened over there?

Me- You had to have seen the guy pull out from across the street and cut me off.

Officer- I saw that and that was stupid.  What you did was illegal and a bit stupid too.

Me- You’re right.  I let my anger get away from me.

Officer- You let your anger get away from you because your angry?  Maybe cause you were drinking?  Where were you tonight?  How many drinks did you have?

Since leaving the game, I had four drinks in two hours.  Most likely 15% alcohol in the Merlot with dinner and 40% alcohol in the Vodka/cranberry and enough to be considered impaired.  My breath was probably flammable.  I considered lying to the officer about drinking but then realized he probably smelled something and so I claimed to have one drink at dinner after the game.  The officer then invited me to step behind my vehicle with lights flashing and a Mag-light in my face.  He asked me to bend one leg and raise the other and count “one Mississippi, two Mississippi” until he told me to stop.

            My thought was that even without a drink, I wasn’t sure if I had the balance and strength to not tip over or sway.  I took a deep breath and gave myself a pep talk before commencing the test to determine if I was going to drive away or be taken in cuffs to jail.

            “I fucking told you years ago about getting out of your car and fighting people in traffic, giving people the finger and cutting them off.  You’re driving a shit box car that looks like something you stole from a junk yard and you cut into the left lane to show an asshole that you can be a bigger asshole if forced.  Great fucking decision.  Now the four to five days a week of ice hockey, squats once a week in the gym, bike riding, elliptical and treadmill running you do whilst watching NHL hockey games in your basement, all these things make really strong thighs.  You have strong thighs.  Bend your fucking leg and support your total weight without swaying or falling or you will fucking be in jail tonight with someone that probably killed, raped, stole or had drugs in their possession.  It will cost you thousands to clear your name, you’ll lose your license, you’ll make the local Warren papers, and you help pay some lawyers college tuition for their child and you’ll need to have some device installed in your car that you need to blow into before it will allow you to drive.  Your family will think you’re a bust out at Easter and your boss will wonder what kind of a loser gets a DUI after going to a hockey game, a restaurant and casino.  I have total faith in you and know you can do this.  Don’t think about the fact that you can feel your heart through your chest and that it is up to 120 beats a minute.  You are buzzed but not speaking Portuguese yet.  Fucking concentrate and knock this bitch out of the box… Okay, I’ll be in the car if you need me.  I can’t bear to watch this.”

            “Ten Mississippi, eleven Mississippi, twelve Mississippi…”

            I wondered how many Mississippi I would need to count to until I could relax and put my leg down.  The officer was staring me dead in the eye as I counted, curled my left toes under and did all I could to be a Pink Flamingo with arms out like an airplane and my right leg up like the Karate Kid.  I could feel the sweat trickling down my spine and my left leg shaking out of fear and fatigue.  I was up to thirty Mississippi.

            “Alright, you can put your leg down.  Put your feet together and follow my finger.”

            The officer moved his finger from left to right and right to left and then decided to ask me some questions.  It was no longer officer to potentially DUI candidate.  It was now man to man.

            “Is something going on in your life that would make you do that?”

            “No, I was just so surprised that someone’s judgment was so poor that they thought going from standing still to cutting in front of a car traveling at nearly fifty miles an hour, was a sane decision.  It was a poor decision on my part but I’d like to have had a few minutes with that guy alone.  If I were in line for the bathroom at Joe Louis and someone cut in front of me like that, I would have faced washed him in the toilet but it happened in automobiles.  That and the Wings lost to Chicago again and I had some random asshole from Chicago talking to me the whole game about his triplets, some dude who makes French bread in Chicago, visiting Denmark and so much more.  The only time he stopped talking was to cheer for Blackhawk goals.  It was a rough night.  I only made it worse.”

            The cop then told me to get back into my car.  I was prepared for a ticket for illegal lane usage since I passed the drunk test.  A minute later, he returned with my license and my insurance card.  No ticket, no DUI.  He had one last piece of advice for me before cutting me loose.

            “Just keep in mind that we have eleven cups and they have three.  We will be in the playoffs for the twentieth time consecutively and they will need an act of god to not get bumped at this point…  Have a good night.  Go Wings.”

            I yelled back to him a thank you and received a welcome.  As I drove the speed limit towards my bed, I was so appreciative that I was going to bed instead of jail.  I was thankful that he asked me to balance on one leg instead of touching my nose or walking a line or counting backwards in Dutch or whatever else they ask drunken people to do before taking them to a holding pen.  I needed two sleeping pills before I could sleep as I was wound up and wired.  I turned on highlights from around the NHL and MLB and tried to relax.  A commercial came on of some suave looking attorney in a suit who offered to get me out of a DUI for a very affordable price, I turned off the television and drifted off replaying the whole event.  I felt like the luckiest guy in Warren at that moment.  And I was.

            The NHL season has concluded today.  The Chicago Blackhawks had to sit around television sets and root for the Minnesota Wild instead of living it up at a bar.  The Wild were triumphant and the Stars were stymied in their former home town.  Dallas gets to go golfing and Chicago gets to prove to Vancouver and fans everywhere that they are still the Stanley Cup champions.  It should be an exciting eight weeks of excellent hockey.