Wednesday, January 11, 2006


This morning's clash of good and evil

Okay, so maybe I get a bit grandiose and too "in my head" when I play hockey. The Wednesday a.m. scrimmage is getting somewhat out of hand. There are no hockey moms playing, and even the younger kick-ass women skaters have mostly drifted away, to the point where it has become very playground. And I mean "playground" in the pejorative sense: a bunch of guys (only three women) one-upping each other and acting like the lesser players (e.g., me) aren't even there.

Example: Moe sees me wide open for a pass, looks around, passes in the other direction, where -- instant karma -- it is picked off by an opponent.

Example: racing for a loose puck, Jack skates up from behind and attempts to skate through me. I get tripped and slide on my backside into the boards.

But the worst of it is that these guys are very, very good players. I'd like to be that good, but for the last few weeks it seems as if they're pulling away from me rather than me catching up.

My finest moment today came as Jack and I both swatted at a loose puck that had dribbled in between us. It was one of those plays where whoever gets more force on his stick will win the momentary battle for the puck. Our sticks came together in a mighty crash, mingled with the sound of wood shattering. A blade from one of the sticks had snapped off!

I looked at my stick -- intact! -- and at Jack's jagged stump. He had to pick up his blade and skate off the ice to get another stick. Vengeance!

It was like an Arthurian legend -- a ringing clash of swords, one shatters, it was the bad guy's! We have to take our little triumphs where we can find them.

Yeah, but then you're supposed to skewer him with your stick/sword.
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