It’s the Stanley Cup playoffs.
As a Canadian I feel as if I should care more. As if I have an obligation to care about hockey. After all, it’s OUR sport. Or so all Canadians are meant to feel. Me? I’ve never followed hockey.
Except if a team I liked was in the playoffs. And I was working in a bar. And scheduled to work that game. Then I watched hockey. Between orders. Later in life, I’d watch hockey if there was a party. I love party food. Usually no one even noticed that I pretty much stayed near the snack table and drank all the tequila. Once in awhile I’d ask someone a surreptitious question that I thought wouldn’t highlight my complete ignorance too much. Like “Are you allowed to kick it in?” And they would give me a startled glance.
Still, every year I dutifully turn on the Playoffs and sit there wondering what the hell is happening. My friends know. My family knows. They think I know too. I don’t disabuse them of the notion that I’m following the game. All I’m actually doing is eating snacks and yelling when they do. I’m a social animal after all.
“And Bonjourman passes to Bougre. He flips it to Haprabeau who sends it over to Wathernaksh who skips it into the neutral zone. There’s an icing call and everyone gets a piece of cake and some tea.”
No. Apparently not.
Neutral zone…I perked up for a second. I know what the neutral zone is…it’s where the Klingon’s are not supposed to be but always are.
Anyway, I sat watching in bemusement. As usual there is a lot of passing, fast skating, crashing into each other. Some fighting, some gloves torn off, some very deliberate shoving into the side wall. Which is called a ‘board’. And shoving is called ‘checking’. So checking into the board is…whatever. A foul? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. I can’t tell what the criteria for a foul is. Someone loses a helmet. Another one breaks his stick. Lots of talk about blue lines, neutral zones…it’s all happening so fast I really can’t believe someone hasn’t lost an eye. Just from sheer speed. Or getting kicked in the face with a skate.
There’s some talk about a crease. I perk up again. I know what a crease is. It’s that thing on the side of my face in the morning when I have to get up too early.
No. Apparently not.
I shout ‘Kick it in!’ and everyone looks at me for a second. I eat some cake. It seemed like a good idea to me, kicking it in.
I go in the kitchen and have some cheese and stack up some plates, lick the icing off from around the edge of the cake plate. Wander back into the living room. The BlackHawks score. This is a bad thing.
I get blamed for it. Somehow. I sit for awhile and then see a kitty walking by. Must pet kitty. I take kitty to another room and try and get him to sit on a fuzzy green blanket. He usually loves that blanket but he gets all cactusy and pointy and sproingy so I let him up.
I return to the room. The BlackHawks score again. I get some dirty looks…it’s decided that every time I leave the room and come back the Black Hawks score.
I eat some pineapple and yell ‘Kick it in!’ trying to get into the spirit of the game. It certainly seems easier that flailing around in front of the net with a stick.
After awhile I realize something is happening. There must be. It’s a big world. So I get up and go in my room and look out the window. I love doing that.
I hear a massive groan from the living room and come back in. There’s a commotion in front of the net. The Black Hawks score. Again. The living room is silent 5 pairs of eyes staring at me. (I’m counting the dog-he was also giving me a look) They ask each other if anyone saw me leave. They ask me to sit down and not move. So I do.
Then I realize I have to pee. It’s a tie game. Kings 3 Black Hawks 3. I sneak out thinking I can be back before they know I’m gone. I come back in the room and the Black Hawks score.
And they win.
What the hell? They should be grateful. They get to watch game 7 tomorrow.