Friday, March 11, 2011
I'm a bit of a prankster but not as much as one of my pals who was dynamite back before call waiting when it came to prank phone calls. One day during my drifting time I was sitting at home getting high and watching the tube when the phone rang.
It was a girl. Which immediately made it an event.
She told me that she was a regular customer at the video store and that she thought I was a pretty funny guy (true) and that I was cute (very true) and she was hoping I didn't mind that she got my number from one of my coworkers, which of course I did not, and would I be interested in grabbing a coffee.
Which of course I was. Because that is how I roll.
So she said that she might call me in a couple of days but before she let me go she had a question that she was wondering if I could answer and me, the cockles of my heart warm and fuzzy, answered of course and so she said:
Is it true that you have big balls?
And I heard my buddy roar in the background.
(Its true btw about the big balls, one of them is a real hanger. The same fellow stood in my wedding and gave a "Top ten list of things that Pat doesn't want me to talk about at his wedding", just a teaser list. One of them was "The Longest Ball" which brought looks of confusion from the majority of the crowd and outbursts of laughter from those in the know. As one guy said "when he said that I shit my pants".)
Frank always did good work and his schemes were often elaborate. He created a fake email account and sent a profile in one of our buddy's names to his university alumni magazine when they were looking for an update on the latest goings on of graduates, describing a life lived with a number of cats and an obsession with gymnastics. There was also the time that he submitted Sudbury Saturday Night song verses to the local paper when it was holding a contest for an upcoming Stomping Tom gig. I wandered into the living room after a night of drinking, picked up a paper and found my name attached to a bit of poetry. Also in the paper - entries from most of our friends.
As for myself, well this wasn't meant to be a practical joke but it ended up to be pretty funny. Back in the day I was talking to a buddy and I'm not sure exactly how it came about except we were talking about painting and he labelled me, in an homage to my offbeat personality, Joe Offwhite. Just one of those oddball segues that makes no sense but sticks somehow, at least for a time.
Years later we are preparing for our wedding. We lived in Florida at the time and we were getting married on the Island and so there was a lot of long distance coordination going on. My niece was going to be the flower girl and my sister and I were talking and she asked me about the dress she needed to get for her daughter. Jenn had told me offwhite was the colour so I told my sister, why I have no idea:
Jenn said offwhite, you know, Joe Offwhite
Now a couple of weeks pass and I'm talking to my sister again and she tends to be easily agitated and she is pretty worked up.
You're going to have to tell Jenn she has to buy this dress herself. I've been to every fucking shop in Sudbury and nobody has even heard of Joe Offwhite - they all have regular offwhite or ivory - so she's going to have to go with that or give me another colour!
And of course then I had to explain.
This season was destined for the dumpster all along but the events of the past few weeks have conspired to turn it into an absolute farce. Almost immediately after one of the best players on the team is traded Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky are injured, Hall for the rest of the season. Hemsky may return for a handful of games, these likely to be the last he plays in an Oliers' uniform. Theo Peckham goes down leaving a defence corps where Tom Gilbert either has to play 55 minutes a game or they go with two of Vandermeer, Foster, Strudwick and the latest rookie fodder (was Plante, now Petry again) as their second pair.
The veteran goalie is knocked out with an eye injury sustained by an ice chip. His replacement immediately arrives, wins, and then is sent back to the minors when Khabibulin returns. Gerber, who is probably the better goalie, makes a fraction of what Khabibulin makes and is not signed for another two years. In his first game back Khabibulin takes a penalty for playing the puck outside the trapezoid and then tries to outskate Jason Chimera to a loose puck, this despite the fact that Gilbert had the angle on Chimera, who also happens to be a pretty fast dude.
Faster than a hasbeen goalie anyhow.
And now Sam Gagner is done for the year, his hand sliced open by Ryan Jones' skate as he SAT ON THE BENCH.
There are two ways to look at this.
The hockey gods, much as they did last year, are ensuring that the long suffering fans of the Oilers get the first pick overall. Last year Tambellini and Lowe built a crappy team but not crappy enough. By decimating it with injuries it became clear to management that after four awful years it might be time to rebuild. And this year we have had more freakish mishaps to ensure that we will not pass Ottawa or Colorado.
Its the spring of 2007 all over again. I'm waiting for my call to suit up. Its coming.
So its possible that the hockey gods are showing sympathy for us and at the same time are trying to give us something to laugh about. An ice chip in the eye. Season ending injuries caused by unseen ruts in the ice. An injury while sitting on the bench. Next I expect Eberle will fall down the stairs after a dream about spiders or Gilbert will light himself on fire while ironing his hair. The whole idea being that when they win the Cup in four to six years we will look back and laugh at these pratfalls and misfortunes.
Of course the other possibility is that the hockey gods have no sympathy for Oiler fans, blessed a generation ago with the greatest collection of hockey talent to ever put on skates. In other words, this is just the beginning.
Time for a drink! And maybe a little whack to take off the edge.
Posted by Black Dog at 11:15 AM