Archive for the ‘ice hockey’ Category

From Hockey to Yoga

September 5, 2019

Ali sat in a massage chair at a mall waiting for the Lululemon store to open. The name Ali is short for Alistair and Ali was tired.   How tired? He played hockey late night and then went out to have one with some friends after their game. Ali never got mad a the dumb decision making of the once a week guys on the team who panic when they get the puck and dump it or fire a shot at your head instead of making a pass. The same type of player will look you in the eye when you’re open and decide that they have a better option- a 1 on 3 perhaps with stone hands that will assuredly end in losing the fucking puck… Sorry, the thought of that makes me a little crazy. Where was I? Oh yeah…

So Ali was parked at the Lululemon store Saturday on Woodward in downtown Detroit. He sat in the car as his wife took their twin girls inside to try on over priced yoga pants while he watched a parade of Tigers fans walk towards Comerica Park to catch a game. There were bars on wheels where a dozen people pedaled a device around downtown while drinking and listening to Salsa Music. That seemed like a good time to Ali. Ali got a text.

 

SO THE GIRLS ARE A SIZE TWO AND THEY HAVE BLACK. IT WOULD COME OUT TO ABOUT $160.00 WITH TAX FOR BOTH OF THEM.

 

Ali would have liked to sit in the bleachers for $10.00 but he was sitting in the car waiting close to an hour while stick figure twin daughters tried on over priced Lycra. He had a response for his wife.

FUCK THAT… WE FIND SOMETHING AT THE GAP.

 

Ali’s wife had a response…

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND BUYING YOUR BUSTOUT BUDDIES DRINKS AFTER HOCKEY GAMES? HOW MUCH DO YOU TIP THE CUTE LITTLE THING BEHIND THE BAR? I’M GONNA GUESS THAT WITH THE COST OF HOCKEY, DRINKS AND TIPS, YOU’RE PRETTY GODDAMN CLOSE TO A COUPLE A PAIRS OF YOGA PANTS.

 

Ali stood his ground. He said no to the girls and settled for headbands and scrunches for their wrists and not their hair. The twins were disappointed. He took his wife and the girls to Mexicantown. The ladies wanted to go to Greektown. They ate their Mexican food in angry silence. When they got home, their 3-month-old puppy had shit all over his cage and smeared it all over his fluffy coat. The house smelled… Well, like shit. Ali’s wife weighed in while he cleaned shit off of the cage and she hosed a howling puppy in the backyard.

 

“You will go buy those fucking pants tomorrow… Hockey last night, hockey tonight and hockey tomorrow. Summer league playoffs, right? And possibly stopping off for one. Isn’t that what you guys say to one another? Let’s stop off for one and then you close the damn place. I have to hear how tired you are and how sore you are. Bullshit to that… You either go back downtown tomorrow or go to the mall. The girls asked for one thing each for their birthday and even though Lululemon seems expensive to you, I can tell you that it is less money than the CCM triple XXX asshole stick with the 100 flex and Crosby fucking curve you sent me into buy… I’m supposed to know that you’re a fucking lefty too? And so I go back to get a righty for a mere $250.00. I saw the price of that and almost fainted. You pitch a fit over $160.00 for your daughters’ pants. I have news for you- those yoga pants will last a lot longer than your overpriced stick that Crosby gets for free after you pay the fucking ransom for it… Are we clear on this?”

Ali got into a fight at the night game early in the 3rd period, took a shower and waited at the bar for the guys. He wanted to punch his wife but found someone on the ice to take it out on. Ali told the boys at the bar that they needed to cover him because he needed to buy yoga pants in the morning. He got home at 1am. The puppy got excited in the cage at the sight of Ali and not only shit but pissed. It was about 2am when he got the cage cleaned up. He picked the pup up and let him sleep on his chest while watching the NHL channel until he fell asleep on the couch. About 7am, his daughters came down the stairs like it was Christmas morning. Ali, smelling a bit like gin, snapped at his daughters and told them that they needed to get to school and that there would be no opening presents until after school. The girls were nearly in tears and his wife stood above him on the top step with folded arms and tight lips.

Ali decided to get to the mall up north and buy the damn pants. Two pairs. He guessed that 9am would be opening time but was wrong. He sat in the massage chair while old people walked around getting exercise before stores opened at 10am. Ali knew he was in the doghouse and constructed a beautiful text.

 

I FORGET A LOT OF SHIT THAT I EXPERIENCED IN LIFE. IT’S SORT OF LIKE SEEING A MOVIE YEARS AGO. I SAW IT A LONG TIME AGO BUT FORGOT MOST OF IT. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE DAY WE MARRIED OR THE DAY THE GIRLS WERE BORN. I REMEMBER EVERY DETAIL OF BOTH DAYS. THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS IN MY LIFE. I AM GETTING THE PANTS AND WE WILL GO TO MEDIEVIL TIMES TONIGHT… THEY WILL BE IN BED BY 9:30. I WILL OPEN THAT EXPENSIVE BOTTLE OF WINE WE BOUGHT IN NAPA. I WANT YOU TO WEAR THAT BLACK NIGHT GOWN WITH THE DENTAL FLOSS UNDERWEAR. I WILL PEEL THOSE OFF OF YOU AND FLING THEM LIKE A SLINGSHOT ACROSS THE ROOM. I WILL LIGHT THE CANDLES AND PLAY THAT MUSIC YOU LIKE… I HAVE TOLD THE GUYS THAT I CANNOT MAKE TONIGHT’S GAME EVEN THOUGH IT IS A PLAYOFF GAME. YOU AND THE GIRLS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOCKEY TO ME AND THAT IS SAYING A LOT. I LOVE YOU.

 

Ali loved hockey a lot and it might have been a tie between hockey and the women in his life but he did the right thing and for that, he wanted a pat on the ass. And every man wants one.

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Anything Goes

August 23, 2019

JP met Curt some time back at an early morning skate. Curt didn’t like his name so he had everyone call him Bouddha. Curt was unaware that he spelled Buddha wrong. He even got a tattoo with “Bouddha” on it. JP was the separated and went to live in an apartment with Bouddha. They were an odd couple to be sure.

 

JP held out hope that he would get back together with his wife.   She wasn’t interested. JP got word that his wife was seeing a hockey player from another men’s league team. It was a terrible scene. JP checked the door open with his shoulder to find his wife on a futon in a studio apartment watching Slapshot in bed, in the arms of another man that he was familiar with. JP beat the man for a while until his hands hurt and then grabbed a souvenir 5030 Sherwood wood hockey stick that had been once used by the actually Paul Coffey. He snapped it over his knee and clubbed the man who lay under a sheet naked like a baby seal. JP heard his wife calling the police in the other room and decided it was time to depart. Before leaving the apartment, JP grabbed the television and ran at the living room window and pushed it through. The television hit the concrete from the second floor and sounded like an atomic bomb exploded in the serene night air. Waiting next to the minivan practicing stickhandling with a golf ball was Bouddha. Bouddha was wearing a white leisure suit that he bought at a thrift shop and had some spiffy white shoes to go with it. His platinum dyed hair went well with his ensemble.

“Oooh damn… Hot damn! Did you shoot off a gun?”

“No, man… His television had an accident. Let’s get the fuck outta here.”

The two went a Polish nightclub where cleaning women looked like runway models by night. Bouddha found a woman who looked a bit like Renee Zellwenger from Bridget Jones Diary. Bouddha kept calling her Bridget and they danced and drank. Bouddha took off his suit jacket and silk shirt with big lapels and danced in a tank top under shirt. White of course. It had holes all over and looked like a rag. One of his nipples poked through the shirt. Sitting alone drinking a rum and Coke was JP, replaying everything that he saw and did. Bouddha came up to him with Bridget and a smaller woman and forced JP to dance with the woman, a friend of Bridget’s.

 

At 4am the bar closed and the sky was becoming light blue. They all went back to the apartment of the smaller woman named Linda. She could sense that something was on the mind of JP. She invited him to her bedroom but told him that there was no way that he would be getting some. She rubbed his back with some sort of essential oils with his shirt off and he fell dead asleep. Meanwhile in the other room, Boudhha made something as close to love as he ever would make and then wind milled his nuts and cock while they listened to Van Halen loudly at about 6am. Bouddha packed the musket several times and pounded Bridget like he was a prizefighter. Love… Or something close.

 

The next evening at hockey, JP and Bouddha played a game with the police team even though they weren’t police. Bouddha scored two goals and JP played defense and passed the puck a lot. The cops beat the firemen and after the team went to a local watering hole. JP confided in a cop named Percy what he had done and wanted to know if there would be a warrant for his arrest. After a few drinks, JP and Bouddha followed Percy to the station to look up on the computer if there was in fact a warrant for his arrest. They sat across from Percy who was rubbing the scruff on his chin as he looked at the computer screen with a furrowed brow. He shook his head a few times and then looked up at the ceiling.

“Listen… I gotta take you both into custody. There is a warrant for both of your arrests. JP… This clown who was fucking your wife pressed charges and you Bouddha… It says here you got into a fistfight at a bar on Western last year. You gouged the guy’s eyes and then stuck your fingers up his ass… I shit you not. They got a warrant for your arrest. Assault and battery as well as sexual perversion… I’m going to have to arrest both of you. There’s cameras everywhere and they know I looked you two up on the computer… I have to arrest you both. Listen… I can bond you both out within an hour before they send you to county. I just gotta get to a cash machine.”

JP and Bouddha were handcuffed and put in a cell alone. After 20 minutes, Percy came back and uncuffed them. They both thanked him profusely for bonding them out. They asked how much it cost. Percy had an answer.

“Priceless… The look on faces of you two assholes was enough for me. There’s no warrant for your arrests. That bastard knew he had a beating coming and took it like a man… And you, you blond disaster… You couldn’t remember if maybe you put your fingers in some guy’s ass during a fist fight?”

“Well… Sometimes… Anything goes.”

To Be Honest With You…

May 9, 2019

Roland was a no nonsense sort of guy. He was sort of one-dimensional when it came to ice hockey. Hockey was everything to him. Whether it was the NHL or five and six year olds playing in the park district. Roland was also fixated on the truth and living an honest life.

Roland’s daughter was married to guy who was really a great guy and he got along well with his daughter Cassie. Russ, Cassie’s husband started Internet dating with a woman from Brazil and just up and moved. There was a letter about how much he loved Cassie but there was something better for him in another country and when it came to love and true happiness, it was necessary to be selfish. Roland left his home in Detroit to live in suburban Chicago near his daughter. Roland talked Cassie into letting Roland enroll her daughter Gwen into hockey a few years back and Gwen was becoming a formidable player.

Many people talk about hockey’s old days but Roland lived it. Roland played in a semi-professional league that had Saturday night games in towns in Michigan like Marshall and Battle Creek. He would make his $50.00 a night and show up to work on the Chrysler assembly plant Monday morning. Twice Roland stitched up his own face between periods. He had a chipped front tooth and several scars on his face.

On the first day of spring league, Roland was astounded that eight and nine year olds were so beginner. At eight years old, most young hockey players have been skating for four years. Roland was going to have to start at square one with many of them.

“On face-offs, we all have a job to do. Standing there waving to grandma is not one of them. Waddling around like a penguin is not one either. There is no right field in this sport so we don’t walk out to a remote outpost… Am I reaching any of you?”

All youth teams put their hands in the middle at the beginning of the game and between periods and had a obligatory cheer. The coach asks things like- who are we? Monsters! What are we gonna do? Win! Roland had them all put their hands in the middle and then asked them who had ever been in a fistfight before.

“What’s the best way to win a fist fight?”

The players looked at him like they didn’t understand English. Nobody answered but Gwen wanted to because she had been asked this many times by her grandfather since she began skating at the age of four.

“Gwen?”

“Um… You wanna get the first punch and then you don’t wanna stop til they stop moving and if you get them by the nutsack, you wanna squeeze til they scream.”

“Right… On the count of three, yell squeeze… 1, 2, 3… SQUEEZE!”

Gwen had a hat trick and three penalties for hooking, tripping and checking in a non-check game. She would often tell her grandfather that she was going to get a Gordie Howe hat trick for him- a goal, an assist and a fight. Roland’s team lost 9-3. Roland got on the kids about not trying hard enough, about positioning, about trying to skate out of their zone with the puck and turning it over, the lack of passing and lack of determination to get the puck. As Roland left the locker room, a mom approached Roland.

“Hi… We haven’t met yet but I’m Stevie’s mom.”

Roland thought about Stevie coming into the locker room with the English au pair acting like he was a dinosaur, making dumb sounds and not getting dressed until Roland yelled in his face until his lips quivered. That only happened once.

“I wanted to ask you what you think of his skill and effort and what he can do to improve because he really loves the sport…”

“To be honest with you…”

Most people, who begin a sentence that way, say it to give them time to lie, to water it down and be less than honest with you. Not Roland.

“I would start with boxing or martial arts to toughen him up. He’s afraid of contact and this is a contact sport. I would then tell him that to buy all the equipment and pay to be on a team is like equal to buying a used car and for the money, do you really wanna do this? I could go to Jamaica for two weeks comfortably for what it costs to outfit you and watch you walk around the ice instead of skate. I would then tell him that if he does not push himself to his fullest, you’d pull him. I suspect between Mary Poppins who brings him to practice and the games you rarely make, this is sort of like babysitting for you. When hockey is played correctly, it should sound like a symphony… This team is out of tune and no tempo… Stevie is blowing clams out of his horn… You get where I’m going?”

“Wow… Is this how you see it?”

“Listen… Nobody just wakes up and decides they are going to play hockey unless they can skate and I mean skate well. Then when you got that down, you have to develop hands and a skill like chess with your heads so that you’re not constantly giving it away… Hockey is like a foreign language. To have a conversation, you have to learn the language… To be honest with you, Stevie isn’t practicing his horn… Many on the team are learning to say more than their name… Stevie doesn’t much care if he has an accent or if he even learns to speak Dutch… You following me?”

Yes, but not happily. But for sure… honestly.

The New Hockey

March 23, 2019

The Whackers had a season that most coaches only wish they could have. 35 wins and 1 loss. The one loss was a sore point with Luke and Francis. They were going up against the team across town called the Beaters. The Whackers were flat that day back in February and the Beaters beat them soundly. Luke said a few select words to his impressionable 13 and 14-year-old boys.

“I watched those fuck sticks do drills over and over around cones and tires… How many cones and tires did you find on the ice tonight? You got the bald fuck who can’t skate who stands at center ice and points all over the place like a field marshal Don’t know what a field marshal is? Google it when you’re not looking at jack-off movies. Then the young tool with the goatee… His little butt buddy. They had slow, fat children playing D and nobody got around them. Every loose puck, they beat us to. You thought you had this game in the bag before we took the ice and they handed you your own asses… This shit will not happen again this season. If I have to find five willing to play the way I want, I’ll do that and the rest of you can sit up in the stands with your parents and criticize what I do… Are we fucking clear? Francis… Anything you want to add?”

Francis was a man of few words. He put it plainly and quietly.

“Boys… You shit the bed…”

The Whackers got back on track and tore through the season and beat the Beaters in the semi-final and then faced the rich kid prep school with their track suits, matching hockey bags and stick bags with the school emblem. King of all Kings Prep School was the hands down favorite to walk away in the final. The Whackers were nervous and on edge until Luke gave his pre-game speech.

“You won all your games this season except one. If you lose today, it will suck greatly to have to shake their hands with tears in your eyes. It will suck to get the almost won banner and miniscule trophy too with it. It will suck to go home in your daddy’s Ford Truck and watch the prep fuckers roll out in Range Rovers and Bentleys. Play every shift like it was your last one. Play like there is an empty net behind you. Be willing to do anything and you might just win.”

The Whackers skated to a 0-0 tie after three periods. In the overtime, a Whacker defenseman whipped the puck around the boards to clear the zone. It hit the stick of prep player and glided towards the prep goalie. A Whacker wing skated harder than hard to beat the defenseman and approaching prep goalie. The Whacker wing dove and whacked the puck past the approaching prep goalie and watched it trickle in past the goal line. The Whackers threw their gloves and helmets up in the air and mobbed the winger who won the game. The parents cheered and hugged one another. Out of 60 teams at the bantam level, the Whackers emerged as the best of the best. Great story, right?

Monday morning after a weekend of drinking and backslapping with parents. Testimonials and funny stories about this player or that, the hockey director called Luke and Francis into her office. In the office smiling like the cats that ate the canaries were the Beater coaches. The Whacker club lost their full time hockey director due to budget cuts so they gave the job to the twenty something year old speed skating director. In her infinite wisdom, she watched the playoff games and felt that the Beater coaches were better suited for what she felt was necessary to develop the Whacker program going forward. She liked the serpentine drills with cones and tires. She liked that the bald coach was quiet and methodical and that his sidekick had sold her on truly growing the program by working in tandem with Luke and Francis. The Beater coaches had convinced the Whacker hockey director that if they put Luke and Francis in a role of mentors, the four of them could really create something special. It sounded so good to Tiffany and the name Tiffany sounds really tough for a hockey director. She explained the new plan going forward with a lot of “likes” and “umms”. Luke listened in shock and awe. Tiffany used words like family and community to define the new configuration. Luke interrupted.

“I’m a plain man… In plain English are you saying that we are mentoring these guys?”

“Yes, that is correct.”

“And what you mean by mentoring is that we are their assistant coaches. We move the tires, we move the cones and bend over and pick up the pucks at the end of practices, right? Fill the water bottles and so on.”

Tiffany wrinkled up her nose and pushed back her glasses, she nervously hunched her shoulders before speaking again.

“Umm… It’s not really like that… It’s like one big team working together to create something really special..”

Umm Yes. Like really special… And yet really weird.

Third Period-Running Time

November 30, 2018

Joe told the parents back when they were little mites, about five to six years old- give it time, they will learn and they will be good. Joe went through years of tying skates, checking on players who collided with opposing players and lay there like they were shot, only to spring up and skate back to the bench on their own. It took time to learn the offside rule, to cover the points in their own zone, to pass when they should and so on. As squirts they got a little better. Two years later as pee wees, they became quite formidable and two years beyond that as bantams, they were a machine. The passing was fast, shots precise, hard fore-checking, hard hitting and their defense made it such that they hardly allowed a shot on goal. The forwards back checked well and the defense was smothering. The goalie mostly watched the game from the far end, occasionally piling up snow in the corners. The ice in their zone would be clear after the first period and the other side looked like it needed the Zamboni. As pee wees, they came close to winning it all but as bantams, they were ready. The team was like a family and the family was a machine. Joe stood on the bench with his arms folded the way Rommel or Patton did on top of tanks after conquering new lands during World War II. They were great.

 

Joe remembered back to a tournament when the boys were 9 and 10 year old squirts and how they got absolutely rocked by a team from across town. That team had garment bags for their jerseys with their names on it and monogramed bags with their names on it, as well as stick bags and warm up suits. They were good for their ages and under their coach’s direction, ran up the score against Joe four years earlier, 22-0. Not only did they lose by that score but they kept the score up on the board. He had crying kids who wanted to quit after that game. Joe had to beg his goalie to stay with it. Parents questioned everything Joe did and told them that things were not going well. Joe talked them into staying with things and it paid off. Joe saw the opposing coach with his slicked back black hair, chewing his gum in a circular motion. After the warm up, Joe asked the players if they remembered the team, the coach and score. They did.

“I want you to keep in mind what that motherfucker did to us and so here’s what I want from you…”

Joe pulled the goalie after the drop of the puck and put out a sixth skater. Joe’s team cycled in their own end, the neutral zone and the other team’s zone. They held the puck for two periods without the other team so much as touching the puck but Joe’s team refused to shoot. After the second period, the slick coach stood on the bench and yelled over at Joe.

“This is horse shit what you’re doing. Play the game!”

“Oh, we’re about to open this bitch wide open now. We just were getting warmed up for two periods.”

Joe ran up the score to exactly 22 goals in a period and then went back to cycling in their own end until time ran out. When it came time for the handshake, the slick coach with a tightened jaw gripped Joe’s hand and told him that he was a dick and that it was horrible and that there was no reason to do what he did. Joe refreshed his memory.

“You beat us by this same score four years ago… Remember me now? That game was an inspiration to us all… I had to deal with crying little kids that day. They got better, didn’t they? Thanks for finishing the game…As they said in Goodfellas and you look like someone from that movie- now go home and get your fucking shine box.”

First Liners and Speaking Portuguese

November 18, 2018

Pam was anti everything as a young woman. She didn’t like religion or government or patriotism or marriage and for sure not sports. She was a dowdy young thing that didn’t care to tweeze her eyebrows and only showered sparingly. She went to college to play tuba in the college marching band.

It was in her mid twenties that she met an older man at a bar. He befriended her by commenting on how good the USC marching band sounded at halftime while eating really salty peanuts at a lounge inside a hotel. Pam commented on USC and other schools with really good marching bands. The conversation moved to what she did and what he did and three drinks later, Pam had gone upstairs with the middle-aged businessman. It went from simple making out to fifty shades of gray around the temples in no time. A bottle of Viagra and Champagne, a few rounds of what felt like love to Pam and as they say in French-voila.

Twelve years later, Pam was the mother of a boy who looked a lot like what Pam remembered of the man she slept with one night only that sired her offspring. Larry was a different sort of lad and had a hard time keeping friends and an even harder time staying focused on things that did not interest him. Larry was put on Ritalin and went to special classes and then moved entirely to a Montessori school to hide his ADD. At the Montessori school, if Larry wanted to read about snakes or walk around the room making dinosaur sounds with his shirt pulled over his head, he could do that and a nice, young underpaid teacher, would tell him how well he did at imitating a dinosaur. Even at the unique school, Larry was having a hard time finding friends and fitting in. The young social worker that Larry would see weekly, suggested Larry take up ice hockey. Now Pam detested sports but thought the idea had merit and went to the local park district and put him in learn to skate classes and within a short period of time, Larry was put on a peewee team before he was ready. Hockey is like a language. If you cannot skate, you cannot play or even fake it. If you do not know a foreign language, you cannot converse in that language.

Picture a child taking Portuguese once a week for a month and then being plopped in a room of people speaking Portuguese… Bem Obrigado… And very little beyond that. Larry struggled to skate forward without leaning on the stick. Skating backwards was a butt-twisting waddle with no lateral movement. Receiving passes was as difficult as trying to shoot the puck without missing.

Larry drew a grizzled veteran who after coaching for many years, found himself coaching house league pee wees. Otto thought the kids were nice and attentive but he often grew impatient with their lack of ability. In practices and games Otto would often speak openly and plainly to the young boys.

“I know you all swear… I know you’re all looking at graphic porn on those phones when mum is not around. I’m not the police and neither are any of you. What I say stays in this locker room and does not go home to mum… Agreed?”

The boys nodded a yes and wondered where the coach was going with things as he paced back and forth in the locker room.

“People will tell you that winning isn’t important… Those people are lying to you. Do you think Ovechkin would have skated around the rink jumping up and down if he lost? Do you think Hillary Clinton threw a party for coming close and losing? Fuck no. I say fuck for emphasis, boys. Fucking comes later in life but we use the word now for emphasis… There is no and fuck no. I don’t ever want to fucking lose. I hate to lose but I can live with a loss if everyone moves their ass and does everything they can on every shift. If you are standing around like a right fielder in a little league game, I will let you know strongly. Play every shift like it’s your last and you will always try hard. Pretend that your goalie is not in front of that net and you will play good defense. Pass when you should instead of when you absolutely have to and think before you get the puck and you will be a smarter player… Let’s get out there and do what we practice and win this bitch.”

Otto’s goalie was a scarecrow in the net and let nearly every shot in. One line played well and the other was behind the action. Larry stood around watching everyone race around after face offs. As a right wing, he never covered the points and stood only feet away from the defense as they struggled to clear the zone. The concept of going the opposite direction in the second period perplexed Larry. The idea of not going into the other team’s zone before the puck, made no sense to Larry. Tagging up too was a difficult concept. Larry had killed momentum five times by going offside in just one period alone. Otto called a time out and got in face of Larry before a face off in the other team’s zone in a tied game with twenty two seconds to go in the game. Otto thought about passing up Larry and a few other of his lesser players on the team but he already had to discuss with the hockey director, an attractive young woman who figure skated as a girl that did not play ice hockey, that occasionally in order to win, you have to put out a power line, you have to have the right center and so on. Otto had to listen to a lecture about balanced ice time among all players. In a snarky reply, Otto told the director that Larry’s balance on the ice is reliant on leaning on his stick. Otto looked at Larry during the time out and gave him a pep talk.

“Our center is going to tie up their center and not play the puck. The defense is going to come in and get the puck and fire it at the net. I need you to get your ass to the net with your stick on the ice. Don’t fuck this up. Puck drops get to the net… Am I clear?”

It all worked like planned. The center tied up the opposing center and pushed him back just far enough to not get an interference call. The defenseman came in got the puck and fired it on net. Larry panicked thinking that the shot would hit him. As he raised his stick and twisted his body to avoid being hit, the puck bounced off of his stick and found the back of the net. Larry was tackled by the players on the ice and got the game puck. As Otto was sneaking out the side door to get to his car, there waiting for him was Larry’s mother Pam. She had on a knit hat with pussycat ears and a puffy jacket with political buttons up and down both sides. Otto was ready to hear something whacked out as he approached his car. Pam asked Otto a question that he was not ready for.

“Would you like to go out for a drink some time?”

I can’t tell you if they talked about marching bands or ate salty peanuts in a lounge. I can’t tell you if there was champagne or Viagra involved or if they worked on making a sibling for young Larry. People want happy endings. Things were weird between Pam and Otto before their date and they got even weirder after. Larry never made the power play or learned to speak Portuguese very well. Otto often ignored Pam’s text messages and calls. And that’s just how things go.

Make Believe

August 27, 2018
Kurt ran the plates of the young woman who was swerving while texting in an old Buick.  The car’s registration was expired, the driver’s license was expired and she had no insurance.  She cried as he explained to her that she would be ticketed and the car towed.

“If I had the money for insurance and to get the license tag renewed, I would have done it.  I am flat broke right now until I get my first check.  If you would find it in your heart to let me park here and take the bus home, I will get someone to take me in and register the car…”

Kurt, a police officer used to dealing with so much gang violence on Chicago’s west side, actually felt bad for the young lady.  It did not hurt that she was fit and pretty, dressed well and her car was clean and did not smell of booze or weed.

“Okay Ms. Tonisha…  I will let you get this automobile home without towing or ticketing you.  You have to get everything in order.  The next cop you come across will not be so kind…  I have a favor to ask of you and you do not have to say yes.  There is no gun to your head figuratively speaking of course…”

Now Tonisha felt that white people were the devil and those they were all of privilege, responsible for slavery and for all the misfortunes of the black community and the world.  Only thing worse than a white man was a white male cop.  She saw them as predatory profilers.  Kurt while driving his beat, thought that many blacks were animals that preyed on each other and pointed everywhere except at themselves over problems in their community.  Like most people, Kurt didn’t see himself as racist.  He has a black friend he drinks with that also is a cop and a former soldier.  Every white person has a black friend and they often begin a sentence while speaking to black people by saying- I have a black friend…  Kurt was never drawn to black women particularly but saw how beautiful Tonisha looked and thought hanging with her for the night would be fun and really amusing. The thought came to Tonisha that he was going to ask for a sexual favor.  She hit the record button on her phone.  The question was weird but there was an opportunity to make some money.

Kurt showed up at the banquet hall in a convertible Jeep in a suit, Tonisha in a tight fitting black dress, with pearls to contrast against the tight velvet dress.

“All you have to do is roll with me…  I want to have fun with this all tonight,” said Kurt.

Kurt was fit for a man of nearly 50 years of age.  Kurt had not been to his previous 10 and 20-year reunions but told some old friends that he had lost contact with that he would come. Kurt didn’t believe in Facebook or Twitter and nobody really knew much about him.  He had attended a high school in a northern suburb north of Chicago, joined the military and then became a cop.  He grew up a hockey playing Punk Rock kid with a bald head, tight jeans, Doc Martin Boots, plain shirts with suspenders and hated the world.  He hated his mom for marrying a man he hated back then and the anger of Skinhead Punk Rock, appealed to Kurt.  Thirty years later, Kurt was still playing hockey, was divorced from his wife and living away from his children in another state.  Kurt had a great disdain for the people he went to high school with.  They made fun of the culture he had adopted and didn’t accept him in their circles of friends.  Even the guys on the hockey team felt he was a weirdo albeit a good player.  Kurt put his nametag on and one for Tonisha.  Kurt gave Tonisha his last name on the tag.

“Do you like Champagne?”

“Um…  Hell yes.”

A group of men who used to be on the hockey team were sitting at a table together with their wives.  Kurt walked up and pulled the chair out for Tonisha and then pushed the chair in.

“Wow…  Thirty years…  My god, where has the time gone?  Toni…  These are all guys I told you about that I played high school hockey with…  Lester, Tom, Jim, Horse…  You don’t wanna know why we called him horse…  Bill the goalie.”

Tonisha could feel all the eyes of people old enough to be her parents, burning into her.  The men were thinking that he had managed to land a very pretty, young, black woman… Black woman.  They knew that Kurt was one of those bald kids who hated everything and everyone back in the day.  The Skinheads hated everyone who was not like them and thirty years later, their star defenseman married a black woman?  No way.  After drinks and more drinks, some dancing and then dinner, the questions started coming.

“Toni was driving fast…  I mean really fast.  Texting, swerving, changing lanes without signals, blowing red lights just to get away from me…  Because I’m a police officer, not just some crazed white dude after a pretty African-American princess…  Naw…  I’m just kidding.  She has a thing for ice hockey players and white dudes in general and she happened to be at the rink watching another white dude that she broke up with to be with me.  After a few years, we married and have… two girls…  Twins.”

The women looked at the young woman with a waist the size of a neck and wondered how she got that figure back.  The women there were older, lumpier, wrinkled and Kurt looked like the fountain of youth with a shapely and pretty young thing that would jump-start any man’s libido.  When the night was over, Kurt stopped at a pizza place that never closes in Berwyn and in fancy clothes; they stopped to have a slice of pizza each.  After hours of dancing and drinking, they had worked up an appetite.  Tonisha talked about mundane things with Kurt as they laughed and ate but she had to know why Kurt went through such an elaborate lie with people he used to know.  Tonisha stood to earn $100.00 and keep the clothes he purchased for her and yet she had to know his reasoning for such a bizarre night.

“Those people all live in a Facebook world.  They might take forty pictures of their annoyed wife and kids but they post that one where everyone smiles and looks happy to be together on vacation somewhere.  I’m so happy for you that your kid got a trophy or that you’re at the Grand Canyon…  That’s fantastic…  Why should I give a good goddamn?  It’s not real.  You never hear that their lives are fucked up and that they are stressed out, maxed out on credit cards and suicidal.  They want each other to think everything is fabulous.  I was interested to see if I look as bad, better or the same as those fucks.  I’m trying really hard to fight the effects of aging.  It was purely scientific.  I appreciate your help with this whole make believe night.  I know it’s silly but I really wanted to put on a show for these people tonight.  What are they saying to on another on the way home?  Wow, she is so young, so beautiful and so… Not white.  I may never see them again in my life but I left them wondering…  Come on, I’ll take you home.  Your mom is probably waiting at the window to make sure the cop didn’t kill you…”

Kurt flipped channels as he pet his dog that was sleeping on the couch beside him.  Baseball highlights, hurricane footage from Hawaii.  Kurt was drifting off to sleep when his cell phone buzzed.

I HAD A GREAT TIME TONIGHT.  MAYBE WE ARE FROM DIFFERENT WORLDS AND MAYBE THAT’S NOT BAD.

 

YER WELCOME.  YES.  DIFFER WORLD NOT A BAD THING

 

After close to a half hour a response from Tonisha came in.

I WOULD NOT MIND GOING OUT AGAIN IF YOU WOULD WANT.  I CAN GET BABYSITTING FOR THE TWINS ANYTIME ; )

 

Kurt responded immediately.

 

I WOULD REALLY LIKE THAT.  REALLY I WOULD : )

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A Little Different Than Detroit

December 29, 2017

Bill was a bad ass.  He was one of those sixty-year-old men that could
still kick your ass or make love all night without the aid of pills.
He could lift heavy weights and run many miles.  After receiving a
severance package and retiring early from General Motors in suburban
Detroit, Bill decided to take up his daughter Lulu’s invitation to
visit her in Seattle.
Bill liked Seattle but found it a whole other world different than
Detroit.  Bill liked Detroit and when he inherited his parent’s home
east of Telegraph at about 5 Mile, he stayed living in the city.  Bill
had his bar that he would frequent to watch Tiger’s games in the
summer and Red Wing games in the winter.  He had his ten-dollar a
month gym that played ghetto Rap on the Musak and Bill was fine.  In
Seattle, everyone was fit and trim but a little too waif like in that
they all were Vegan, had odd piercings and were militantly opposed to
the president.  Bill voted for Trump and was proud of it.  Bill
surmised early on that there probably was not one person within the
city limits of Seattle that voted for Trump and so he stayed in the
closet about his admiration for his president.
Christmas came and Bill gave Lulu cash and some gift cards to
Starbucks.  Lulu bought her dad a raincoat and told him he could ditch
the umbrella and then she handed him a certificate.  Bill looked at it
and thanked Lulu.  Lulu explained what it was.
“Daddy…  I have a really good friend who is a life coach and I think
the things he helps people with could really help you when you go back
to Detroit.  Try to keep an open mind to this.  It is for sure
something new for you and at your age, new things help you to keep
your mind fresh.  Your body is in great shape but I wonder if your
routine leaves your mind without a challenge sometimes.  Tomorrow my
friend Rolf will be here to begin to work with you.”
Bill was intrigued and so he graciously thanked his daughter and
awaited what was in store for him.  It came at 7 am the following day.
Standing at the door was a wide-eyed gay man with two dimples.  The
expression on his face made the person looking at him open their eyes
wide also.  Bill tried not to be wide eyed too but he couldn’t keep it
up.
“William…  Mondays for the next month, we will not be carnivores.  We
will eat things like lentils and tofu…  Have you had an exam
recently?”
“It’s been a few years…”
“Exactly what I mean.  You probably are eating steak for breakfast in
Detroit… Okay so no meat today.  Tomorrow and the rest of the week,
you will have a choice between rainbow trout, salmon and maybe tuna.
Lu has given me carte blanche to take over the kitchen and create what
you will need…  We will be having green tea with our steamed veggies,
soup and lentil pasta…  Okay next…  We will not be drinking our water
out of plastic bottles.  We do not do that here in Seattle.  The
amount of oil and water needed to make a disposable water bottle is
ridiculous.  Lu already has a purifier and we will be using glass
bottles and being really careful with them…  Okay next …  you probably
are used to eating chips and the like back home for snacks.  I will
provide you with the proper snacks.  I make great Kale chips that we
can have with nut butter and fruit…  All that I provide for you will
be come from fair trade farmers.  We do not need pesticides or to help
anyone looking to kill forests and little creatures that live in
forests just to farm.  We will be visiting the market together and I
am giving you this really awesome reusable sack with containers that
you can clean and reuse at the salad bar…  Okay…  So…  Any organic
waste, we can put in these bags and I have my own compost heap going
where I live in Redmond… And now for the exercising regiment…  Lu
tells me you’re relatively fit for an old timer.”
Bill followed all the things Rolf threw at him regarding saving the
planet and good nutrition.  When it came to exercise, Bill turned the
tables.  Bill could not be tired out by the things Rolf gave him to
do.  Rolf was a bit stymied by Bill.  Usually older men complained and
huffed and puffed.  Bill was barely winded.  Finally after a few
weeks, Bill proposed a change for Rolf.  Bill asked if Rolf would be
game to let Bill run a day from beginning to end.  Rolf smirked and
went along with it.
Bill picked up Rolf in Lulu’s yellow Smart car.  They stopped at a
Starbucks and had lattes with pastries and then drove to the gym.
Bill and Rolf ran two miles at an 8% grade, bench pressed 245 lbs, did
five sets of pull-ups, leg lifts with a 15 lbs. dumbbell and then swam
two miles.  They then drove to a Mexican restaurant outside of town.
Instead of listening to the weird space music with the sound of the
ocean waves crashing in the background, Bill had on the Rush Limbaugh
radio show.  Rush was talking about Trumps achievements and the
collusion between Mueller, Comey, and the former president Obama,
Hillary and a slew of others.  Rolf looked at Bill horrified and
demanded that Bill change the channel.  When Bill wouldn’t do it, Rolf
reached to do it.  Bill grabbed his hand before he changed the
channel.
“If you believe we still live in a democracy, there should always be
the things out there that you don’t agree with that must be accepted
regardless if you agree with the point of view or not.  For a month, I
listened to what you wanted, I ate what you made me eat, I drank what
you made me drink and I kept an open mind to it all.  Now today, it’s
your turn…  You don’t have to agree but you should permit it if you
truly believe in a free society…  Now with that said…  I found a
restaurant way out east with the NHL channel that will have the Red
Wing’s game on and has strippers.  We will be eating Mexican food,
drinking a pitcher of Margaritas and watching ice hockey and some big
tits…  Are we understanding each other?”
Rolf sat with his arms folded on the way to the restaurant.  Once
there, Bill ordered a steak with beans and rice and Rolf had vegetable
fajitas.  Rolf watched his first hockey game on television and
actually liked it as he got liquored up on tequila and watched women
spinning around poles attached to the ceiling.  Bill dropped Rolf off
at his home east of the city.  In the front yard was Rolf’s wife
gardening.  Rolf’s wife was a smallish man who was trying to keep the
bark inside the liner that went around a tree.  He stood to kiss Rolf
and could smell booze and cigar on his glassy eyed husband and
demanded to know what happened.
“Well darling…  I made a deal with a client from out east that I
would put aside the training for a day and live life the way he does.
It consisted of steak, Rush Limbaugh, breasts, ice hockey, tequila and
cigars after lifting weights, running and swimming with a right winged
geriatric hetero…”
“And I’m supposed to be cool with it all?’
Rolf giggled and kissed his wife on the neck, breathing nasty cigar
breath on him as he lead him inside their home.
“Lovely…  I learned today that we don’t need to agree but we should
tolerate…  Or something like that.  So you don’t have to agree with my
day but it would be really awesome if you just took it for what it is,
shut the fuck up and get into that bedroom because for one day only…
There’s a little bit of Detroit going on in daddy.”

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.

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.