Posts Tagged ‘ice hockey’

The Bully Problem

December 15, 2017

Otto played pick-up, drop-in, shinny hockey every afternoon with a group of guys that were third shifters, unemployed, underemployed or lucky enough to have a woman who didn’t care if they worked.  Otto kept looking at the clock on the wall during his 15-minute marathon shift and decided that unless he wanted to smell like ass, he needed to get off the ice and shower before retrieving his children from school.  Otto pulled up and his two children were about the only two students left.  All others had been picked up.  Otto’s cute little first grade daughter raced to the minivan first and whispered a breathy secret to her dad.

            “A big boy in the eighth grade knocked Clint down and shoved his face in the snow…  He was crying really bad.  If you had come on time, you would have saw him.”

            “Okay…  Don’t repeat that to your mom about me being a few minutes late.”

            Otto knew that if his wife got wind of the fact that the kids were waiting in front of the school and everyone was already gone, she would be really pissed that ice hockey, pick-up ice hockey was the reason for tardiness.  Otto’s little daughter Adelaide was as cute as a button but a horrible ratfink.  All Otto could do was hope that Adelaide would forget.  Sometimes little kids forget things.  Otto looked at his fourth grade son who did not like fighting and wondered if next year when body checking begins, if his son Clint would quit the sport.  The thought scared Otto.  What would he do come September?  Take his son to-everyone-gets-a-trophy-soccer-and-we-don’t-keep-score out in a field?  Maybe basketball or football both of which he knew nothing about.  Otto decided it was time to step up and prevent his son from becoming a pussy.  If something happens on the ice and a referee fails to catch it, a fight occurs.  It is the unwritten law of ice hockey and this offense was the unwritten law of life.  Otto drove up and down the streets until little Adelaide yelled into Otto’s ear from the back seat and pointed… “That’s the boy there!”

            Otto exited the minivan with gritted teeth.  The eighth grader was Otto’s height but as formidable as Bambi.  Otto got close enough for the thirteen year old boy to taste his breath.  Spittle hit the boy’s face as Otto yelled at him like a drill sergeant.

            “Did you fucking push my kid face down in the snow?”

            “Yes…”

            “I’m gonna tell you what…  You better fucking stand there and not move…  Like a fucking statue.  If you do move, I will beat your ass…  Do you understand me?”

            The boy nodded.  Otto yelled for Clint to exit the minivan, make a tight ice ball and smash it in the face of the aggressor.  Clint got a running start and jumped a bit to ensure he reached the 8th graders face.  With ice dripping down the boys face, Otto gave his parting warning.

            “If you ever touch my kid again, I will come over to your house and beat the shit out of you and then beat the shit out of your pussy dad and you, you little pussy…  Do you fucking get me?  Don’t fucking forget because I won’t.”

            Later that evening, Otto met his wife with the children for dinner.  Remarkably his blabbermouth daughter only spoke about her day at school.  There was no mention of Otto being late to pick them up, an eighth grade boy pushing Clint face down in the snow or the sentence imposed by Otto.  As they entered the house after dinner, the game plan was to get the kids to bed early, pour the wine, start the music and be ready for love.  Otto put away some groceries his wife had purchased after work and had not noticed the flashing button on their antiquated answering machine that was connected to the landline that nobody used except to order pizza.

“MESSAGE ONE  TUESDAY 4:14 PM…  Mrs. Calhoun…  This is principal Smith from Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering…  I need to talk to you about an incident between your husband and an eighth grade boy at the school.  It is a serious matter and I ask that your husband not be anywhere near the school property until we’ve had a chance to speak with you and the family of the boy.  Please call me at your convenience.”

            Mary looked at her husband who put away peanut butter and bread and did almost anything not to turn around and look at his wife.  She asked what happened and little Adelaide gave her account of the whole event.

            “Okay…  So after school, this big boy knocked down Clint and rubbed his face in the snow until Clint cried and then the boy left…  And then all the people left and we were the last to be picked up.  Cars drove by slow but we didn’t talk to any strangers or get in their cars.  Like a half hour later or maybe just ten minutes, daddy came and then we went looking for the boy and then we found him and then daddy told Clint to push snow in his face and then daddy told the boy that he would beat his ass and his dad’s ass and called him a pussy for beating up a little boy…  And that’s what happened…  Daddy?  What’s a pussy?”

            Mary pushed her young daughter towards the bathroom to start her bath and responded to the question in a way that she couldn’t understand but that her husband could hear.

            “A pussy is something your dad will not be able to have tonight because he was a naughty boy and naughty boys do not get treats.”

            “Will daddy have to go to his room and go to bed?”

            “No…  Mommy will be doing that instead.  Make sure you wash everything well.”

            And eventually, they lived happily as a family could live given these angry times… The end.

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Breaking the Man Code

November 26, 2017

Jake loves hockey as much as a person could love something that does
not breathe and live.  Jake sold hockey equipment by day and broke
away from his sales job to play hockey and then at night he played
league hockey and coached youth hockey.  When he wasn’t doing all of
that, he was watching NHL hockey on television.  He also loves his
pit-bull named Daisy and to play acoustic guitar and sing in Brazilian
Portuguese even though he could only speak English.  Jake learned at a
young age that Portuguese and guitar gets women in the mood fast.

Jake loved meeting new girls.  The thrill of hello, how do you do?
What do you like to do?  Where have you gone? Would you like to come
home with me?  The life span of a female in Jake’s life was about 6o
days.  The end was near whenever he began to hear, “where do I fit
into your plans?”

One day Jake walked from the parking lot of the ice rink towards the
front entrance; standing in front of the doors was Jan’s mom.  She was
a tall Polish woman who wore skin tight Yoga pants and had a beautiful
face.  Beata smiled at Jake and asked if she could talk to him a
moment.  First thing Jake thought was that she was going to ask if Jan
could play defense.  The defensive position was the prize for Jake.
The best, fastest, most capable players went to defense.  Jan was slow
and had stone hands.  Jake wondered what the pretty woman was going to
ask.
“I wanted to know if maybe you might want to go out for a drink some time.”
In Jake’s head he heard, “I wanted to know if you might want to go
out for a drink some time and then fuck the shit out of me…”
Of course Jake said yes.  They went to a Polynesian bar where eastern
European women dressed in Hawaiian skirts.  Jake and Beata had a
Zombie and then Scorpions and then a mai tai each before returning to
Beata’s apartment.   Jan was spending the weekend with his father.
Things followed the course that they were following and before long,
Jake was spending many nights with Beata and Jan.  People on the team
began to notice that the coach was bringing Jan to games and practices
when Beata was busy.  They began to notice that Jan was on the power
play and the penalty kill and centering between two really good wings.
Parents smelled something not right in the woodpile.

Jake is a good coach.  He fundamentally teaches the kids to play well
together.  Jake also had the good fortune of having several really
good players that played well together.  How well?  Undefeated with
only a few goals against them.  Their goalie had to stay focused by
watching the game in between making snow castles with his goalie
stick.  Oh sure the goalie would raise his arms every now and then for
an icing but their zone was a lonely place.  Rather than make the kids
work harder when it came to off ice training, Jake introduced a game
to them that they had never heard of before called Cricket.  Unless
you’re from a country with the Queen on the money, drive on the left
with the wheel on the right and stop for afternoon tea, you’re not
familiar with the sport.  It is a lot like baseball but then again it
is not.  Right outside the ice rink was a large field with artificial
turf.  Jake had learned to play the game with Jamaicans and
Indian/Pakistanis and so the kids played for 3o minutes after they’re
on ice practices.  All the players took it for what it was except Jan.
On the first bowl or pitch as they say in baseball, the large center
creamed a boundary or a home run and got six runs!  Think of a home
run with the same amount of points as a touch down.  Jake was the
official bowler for both sides.
“This game blows and the sides totally suck.  Jack promised money to
his brother to pick all the worst players on our side.  We’re gonna
get creamed,” whined Jan to Jake.
Jake looked at Jan and wondered if he was for real.  Baseball and
football was too competitive among the players so Jake chose Cricket.
Who could get mad about Cricket?  Jan did.  The score was 42-0 since
the side in the field had not come to bat yet.  They would bat after
next practice.  In the car ride home, Jan critiqued the hockey players
Cricket skills.
“Scott is afraid to catch the ball with his hands for sure…  We all
kind of are.  Why don’t we use mitts?  Its cold out and that ball
hurts to catch.”
“Cricket isn’t played with a mitt.”
“It’s a dumb game and nobody likes it or plays it.  I think you just
made the whole thing up”
“Really?  They were all fighting over who bats first.  Tell you what…
I will let you be one of the captains next time and you can pick who
you want and there should be no problems…  How does that sound?”
“Fine…”
Jake put his gear and Jan’s around the radiator in the room that
nobody uses and closed the door.  In one hour everything would be dry.
Jake ate dinner with Jan and Beata.  Beata said nothing and Jake was
watching the Montreal Canadians playing the Boston Bruins without
blinking while stuffing pasta and chicken into his mouth.  Beata asked
Jan about homework and told him to take a shower and go to bed.  Later
that night, Jake was horny.  Jake was often horny and since Jan was in
bed and it was not too late and it looked like there was no rain outs
due to menstruation or headaches, Jake took a good shower and slipped
into bed next to Beata.  Her shirt barely covered her ass and her
tight under pants made Jake’s John Thomas stand erect and at attention
without even so much as a kiss.  Jake brushed his stiffness against
Beata as she read something on her tablet while lying on her side,
faced away from Jake.  Jake pressed himself against Beata and kissed
her neck.  She turned around and straight armed Jake, looked into his
eyes and said the words no man wishes to hear before attempting to
throw himself into the throes of passion.
“We need to talk…”
The talk left Beata with a cold shoulder and Jake with blue balls.
The next afternoon, it was Jake’s job to pick up Jan from school, get
him a snack and take him to hockey.  Jan walked towards the car glued
to a little electronic tablet.  He threw his pack back in the back
seat, got in the front without ever taking his eyes from the screen.
Jan said nothing to Jake and Jake said nothing to Jan.  At a red
light, Jan asked Jake what they were going to do at hockey practice.
“I have new things I want to work on…”
Later that night at the ice rink, Jake quietly but sternly spoke to
all the boys getting ready in the locker room.  They stopped talking
to listen to him.
“How many of you have seen a naked woman on the internet?”
A few raised their hands and looked at one another and laughed.
“I bet most all of you have Googled some strong shit…  Am I right?
I’m sure you all have seen things I’ve never done.  I would be willing
to bet my whole kingdom on that and I’ll bet that if you haven’t been
caught whacking off to the stuff by your mom who innocently entered
your room to collect your dirty clothes… Unless you’ve been caught,
your mom would have no idea.  At the end of the night, I don’t see any
of you telling your mom that you had a great day, learned a lot of
shit at school and just happened to find a website featuring goats and
blonde chicks.  I’m sure that doesn’t come up…  Am I right?  With that
in mind, there is a man code.  Things that happen in this locker room
are not discussed with momma at the end of the night.  I should never
hear things that I am saying being repeated back to me.  There should
be no complaints about Cricket teams or who is on the power play or on
what line or at what position or anything.  If I cared what your
parents thought, I would ask them.  I don’t ask them because if I do,
I elevate them up to my level…  in their minds… And…  I really don’t
give a fuck what they think.  I don’t ever tell them how to work at
their jobs and they should not feel free to tell me how to coach… So I
can’t say who it is but one of you is a leaker.  A tattletale.  A
fink.  A stool pigeon.  A blabbermouth… We will for go the usual
practice and exercise out of you like a poltergeist, the desire to
discuss private things with your parents.  After today, I don’t think
we will have this problem any longer…  I dunno… We’ll see”
Jake set up a trashcan in the middle of the ice as all the skaters
stood on the goal line.
“If you feel the need to vomit, you are free to use this garbage can
here.  If you hurl chunks of oatmeal on the ice, you will be cleaning
that up and then going back to skating…  Do we understand each other?”
The boys skated until their faces were red and they looked as if they
might collapse or vomit.  A few fought back tears.  A couple grabbed
their asthma inhalers but none of them complained or got off the ice
early.  When ice was finished, they all did sprints, push-ups and
sit-ups rather than the jolly old game of Cricket.
Upon returning home, Beata put Jan to bed after dinner and came down
stairs with a glass of wine for her and Jake.  Beata turned off the
Vancouver/Los Angeles game with two minutes to go in the second
period.  Beata wore a skimpy outfit, lit some candles, put on  Bossa
Nova Music, put the dog in the other room and right there on the
imitation bear rug, Jake and Beata made love, if you believe in love.
If you don’t, they fucked and then lay against one another on the
couch.  After leaning against one another for a few minutes, Beata
turned the television back on.  The third period was about to begin
(talk about rhythm method).  Beata nuzzled Jake’s neck as he watched
the game.  Beata asked if she could tell him something.  Jake said
yes.
“I really appreciate you coaching Jan.  It really is a special thing
that you share with him.  He loves hockey as much as you and that’s so
cool…”
“Hmm…  Well thanks for that…”
“I don’t know what happened at practice today but he told me that it
was probably the best practice he ever had and that it was so much
fun.  He specifically asked me to tell you…  Is that cute that he
wanted me to tell you or what?”
Jake smiled, took a sip of his wine, kissed Beata on the forehead and
agreed that it was very cute.  Jake kept smiling and agreed with
himself that devising a plan for the power play at home and scoring is
a really good thing too.  Like a Gordie Howe hat trick- a goal, an
assist and a fight.

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!”

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

Half Families, Ice Hockey and Wonderpets

March 3, 2015

Every couple, every family has that thing that puts them over the edge. For Coach Monahan and his wife Lynn, the team manager of the squirt house league ice Devils hockey team was a bacon cheeseburger on a pretzel bun.

It would be too simplistic to blame the burger. Of course it was the overbearing, unrealistic parents with stopwatches and whining about “balanced ice time” and the problem of living life in America. Lynn would approach her husband about parental concerns while Coach Monahan would watch NHL highlights late night after their kids went to bed, long after practices and games.

“J wants to know why his son J jr. never gets to play on the power play or penalty kill and why it is that when there are faceoffs in our zone, you pull his line off the ice.”

Monahan looked over at his wife who was monitoring the mundane lives of Facebook friends and catching up on email beside him on the couch. She would rather be watching Kardashians but would let Monahan watch hockey highlights. Monahan got a free pass for going to watch 50 Shades of Gray instead of staying home to watch the Detroit Red Wings play the San Jose Sharks in real-time. Monahan taped it instead. 50 Shades seemed improbable and too Harlequin to be real for Monahan but he was a trooper and for that reason, Lynn was a trooper right back. She did have to ask her husband the coach how she the team manager should answer a group question copied to the whole team. Monahan answered Lynn.

“Junior is twenty to thirty pounds too heavy. J who knows nothing about the fucking sport of ice hockey and should be happy that his little butterball gets as much equitable ice time as I can afford without giving the game away because his little liability is huffing and puffing like a middle-aged man making love… Ask J why it was that he didn’t have the nutsack to ask me these questions tonight when he was standing over me while I tied my skates to get on the fucking ice. He talked about how cold it was outside and how much his kid is learning from me and then goes home and poses questions he could have asked me in person. Ask why it is that he needs an open forum to ask a question that he knows the answer to- his kid is fat, slow and ineffective and uninspired to move his fat ass to the best of his ability. Video games and high fructose drinks have caused him to develop tits and love handles at a young age. When the boy smiles, his eyes disappear… Am I going to fast, dear?”

Lynn did not answer Monahan. Instead she wrote the email verbatim paused for a moment before hitting the send button much the way pilot paused before hitting the drop button on the Enola Gay before releasing the first atomic bomb on Japan in 1945.

The answer did not sit well with some parents and with others it was exactly how they felt only they would never have constructed such a frank response. J, the father of Junior, did not attend the next game but he did make sure that several officials from the league were in attendance to monitor the game. The game went poorly. The goalie was sick and so a stand in had to face a firing squad of competent skaters and shooters and stood there like a deer in the headlights, like a scarecrow in a field a corn field- you get the picture.

After the game, before the pilgrimage home, the family unit stopped for food. Monahan’s step-daughter ordered a bacon pretzel deluxe but failed to mention that she did not want onion, mustard, mayonnaise, catsup and lettuce. The prepubescent curled her lip at the food as if she had a pile of shit on her tray.

“This is not what you wanted?”

“I didn’t want all this stuff on it.”

“Did you tell them you wanted nothing but a burger, bacon and a bun?”

“Well… She didn’t ask me.”

Monahan took a deep breath, took the sandwich to the woman behind the counter and asked her to scrape off everything and give it back to him. Monahan’s step-daughter opened the burger and was astute enough to see that it was not a new burger but the same burger which had been scraped of condiments. This caused momma to come to her daughter’s rescue.

“You could yell and scream at kids and refs for an hour and a half but you don’t have the fortitude to go ask a small woman behind the counter to just give us a plain burger. It’s not coming out of her pocket. She won’t be offended… And I’ll tell you this- your daughter will not wear her coat in an ice box ice rink when I tell her too, will not urinate when I remind her to, will not drink lemonade because it’s pink and none of that matters to you. You want to give MY daughter a hard time over a burger. I will buy the fucking burger myself. I will go face that tough looking woman behind the counter and ask for another burger. Sit here with your daughter and ask her why she cannot drink lemonade that is pink.”

It was at that moment that Monahan pictured himself walking out of the restaurant, getting into the car and driving to the most southern point in the United States- Key West. No ice except in glasses, no hockey, no parents, no wife, no kids, no problems. Just a Mai-Tai and warm water.

On the ride home, Monahan’s daughter was quietly listening to a Taylor Swift song next to Lynn’s daughter. Lynn looked out of the passenger window with tightly folded arms. Monahan knew there was nothing he could say to make Lynn speak to him at that moment. He knew that being a coach was a thankless job that he did for the kids and that being the team manager was a thankless job his wife did to share in something he loves and to be with him. Monahan turned down the radio and began to sing a song that he learned watching the Wonderpets with his daughter when she was a toddler. Monahan always thought that the idea of a talking duck, guinea pig and turtle was pretty lame but the song popped into his head and he knew his wife would soften up and laugh if he could get the girls to just sing along with him.

“This is sew-ious, there’s a baby bewd in twouble somewhere… What’s gonna work? Teamwork! What’s gonna work? Teamwork!”

Yes, it was teamwork that melted the ice in Lynn’s heart, made the pre-teen forget about her hamburger debacle, the grade schooler forget about lemonade being pink, made Monahan not look like a too serious lce hockey coach who was afraid to rectify a burger gone wrong.

 

Unwanted Guests

February 18, 2014

“So have you been watching the Olympics?”  Asked Tristan.

Tristan studied the couple while his wife Isolde or Izzy was putting an assortment of cheeses and Spanish ham on a plate to go along with some wine from Argentina.  The man with the thick glasses and pronounced under bite, had a permanent smile.  He was a horse of a man, which will be interesting to note, but as soft as a marshmallow.  Izzy thought it would be nice to invite a new friend from work over to their house.  Izzy’s thought was to get Tristan’s mind off the fact that their daughter, a one time Olympic prospect for women’s ice hockey who had quit playing division I hockey at Princeton, met and married an orthodox Jewish kid who writes his own Reggae on acoustic guitar.  After getting married, they opened a vegan café where people can come and do nothing on computers all day, read their poetry or play music on a small stage.  Tristan often wondered where he failed.  What did he do to drive his daughter, a young woman who was recruited by every major university in the United States with a women’s ice hockey program, to Judaism, vegetarianism and away from sports.  Tom, the man with the folksy southern accent and marvelous under bite, pushed back his glasses, swirled his wine like a massive… mass and this mass’s center was surrounded by electrons which orbit the nucleus like planets revolving around the sun. You get the picture, right?  Tristan watched the swirling red wine and was waiting for the moment when it might leave the glass and fling itself against the wall, the white carpeting, his wife’s blouse or his chubby son’s ugly sweater.  It never happened.

“The Olympics is a farce and the winter Olympics are even more farcical than the summer.  My son Audie here shows champion Arabian horses and has been a world champion three times.  Lemme show you this.”

The southern gent showed pictures of his pugs, perfect lawn without a weed, his cats and then dozens of pictures of his son dressed in various costumes on top of horses.

“This horse here…  You see this horse here?”

“Yes, I’m seeing it,” answered Tristan.

“This horse here is worth more than your house.  This horse had to be put down for a broken foot; I mortgaged my home to buy this horse for my son who was diagnosed with Asperberger’s .  This horse saved my son and won more awards than any other show horse that has ever walked this planet.  My son is a three-time world champion.  Someone advised me once to get my son on a horse to help him build empathy as he matured.  It was as if a light switch went on.”

“Oh my god!  I loved Homo Americanus.  There was no greater horse I’m convinced than Homo Americanus,” said Audie as he stuffed his face with Cheese, ham and crackers.

“Quite a name.  Did you name him?”  Asked Tristan.

“Oh my god no!  The breeders give them their names and it’s customary to not rename the horses,” said Audie.

“Do the horses respond to names?”  Asked Tristan.

Nobody answered that question.  More wine flowed and Tristan listened to how horses were inseminated by men with long arms and rubber gloves up to their armpits.  More pictures were shown and movie clips on a phone.  Tristan kept drinking and listening and looking at his wife who forced this gathering upon him on a night when he just wanted to relax.  The southerner with the under bite named Tom, his wife Mary Sue and their son Audie never asked any of them one question.  They went on and on about horses, breeding horses, horse shows, where you keep horses, finding the right places to house horses.  Finally Tristan left the room and re-emerged in his pajamas.  Izzy, Tristan’s wife was incensed by the rude act of sending a non-verbal message to houseguests that it is time to go home.  Tristan filled his wine glass with some more wine and a hunk of cheese, took a seat and began to speak.

“I raised my daughter Catholic, taught her to play ice hockey, she became an Olympic prospect, received a Division I scholarship, walked away from that and married a Jew, became a Jew herself, makes lesbian safe muffins without gluten and any other substance that could have derived from an animal.  It broke my heart…  My heart beats at 52 beats a minute while resting. I can bench press more than my weight six times.  I can run a mile under nine minutes still for a man of my age.  I can still fuck on command.  I like historical fiction, Jazz music sometimes and rock sometimes.  I didn’t vote for the president and this does not make me a racist.  With that said, I think the guy is doing okay considering the idiots he works with and against who refuse to help one another out for the good of the people.  My wife posts shit like I’m saying on Facebook constantly so that anonymous friends of friends give her a thumbs up.  I hope you all give me a thumbs up tonight for what I’ve told you.  You didn’t ask me any of the things that I just told you but then again, I didn’t think you were going to ask us any questions at all.  Horses are great and it is most interesting to know that a man impregnates show horses rather than other horses.  I tried to be a sport tonight and I’ve had just enough wine to express my thoughts.  My wife won’t talk to me now for a week and that might be just the time I need to get through the Olympics and accept that my daughter might move to Israel and collaborate with her husband on a folk album of children songs written in Hebrew, played with a Reggae beat…  We all have our crosses to burn or bear, my friends.”

Tristan wolfed down the rest of his wine, held up his glass and smiled.

“L’chaim…  Hebrew for to your health.  I’m sure somewhere my daughter would appreciate me saying this.  Goodnight and may your god keep you.”

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.

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.