The Hockey Dad Chronicles 

Episode 7

Episode 7
Two weeks ago, my son"s travel hockey team played a doubleheader at Perry Park in Greenwood against the visiting Decatur Flames. I was sitting out in the lobby while my boy"s coach gave his pre-game chalk talk to the team (no parents allowed). A kid sitting next to me on the bench where I"d perched was watching Nickelodeon on the lone TV in the lobby. He"d obviously just played a game himself - he was wearing his hockey pants, skates, a down coat over a soaking-wet T shirt and a stocking cap that looked to be about three sizes too big. It towered above his head like a big black finger, flapping back and forth as he moved his noggin. The kid was methodically consuming a flavored ice drink by scooping the contents out of the cup with one of those combination straw/spoon things. He"d scoop, raise, slurp; scoop, raise, slurp. The pacing was completely even. Scoop, raise, slurp. Scoop, raise, slurp. The sound could"ve served as a backbeat for a hip-hop act. Scoop, raise, slurp. I imagined a bass line matching the rhythm of the kid"s work. Scoop, raise, slurp. Suddenly the kid stopped. He looked at the bottom of his cup. Empty. The child then exhibited one of the natural instincts of the youth hockey player. For a youth hockey player, the secondary purpose for any kind of disposable item whose primary function has been completed, depleted or exhausted is best expressed as: Puck. Ball of stick tape that you"ve just peeled off the blade? Now it"s a puck. Empty plastic Powerade bottle? Puck. Discarded hubcap? Puck. Old shoe? Puck. Dead squirrel? Well, I"ve heard a story in the locker room about that disgusting scenario. The kid crumpled up the cup, dropped it on the floor, picked up his stick (which was leaning against the wall under the sign which read "NO HOCKEY IN THE LOBBY") and tried to smack the cup into a trash can across the room. A crumpled paper cup with a wax coating has aerodynamic properties that are decidedly different than those of a hard rubber disc 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch think. Said cup also has another major difference from said puck: It is impossible to empty a Slurpee cup of all its contents, unless, of course, you launch it across a room with a hockey stick. The kid wound up and gave the cup a terrific slap shot. The cup arced across the room, spinning delicately in the air as it sprayed a fine mist of cherry-red Slurpee goo over the heads of several hockey moms and dads from Decatur. The kid had missed the trash can wide left by at least 7 feet, but had somehow managed to drop the cup directly into someone"s serving of cheesy nachos at the snack bar. When the owner of the nachos bellowed, "HEY!" in a booming, angry baritone, the kid snapped to attention as if he"d been awakened from a dream. The child had simply been performing involuntary motor functions up to that point. He didn"t know where he was, he didn"t care, it didn"t matter - garbage equals puck, stick must meet puck. There were no variations. Unfortunately for the kid, his old man had witnessed the whole event. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Justice was meted out swiftly. Pop hauled junior out of the lobby by the collar of his coat, snarling at the kid through his teeth. "How many goddamn times do I hafta tell ya about this sorta thing Ö" The kid was wide-eyed with fear. What would the sentence be? The stocks? The gallows? No Nicktoons for a month? Nacho man chuckled. A Decatur parent harrumphed. She murmured just loud enough for a good portion of the lobby to hear: "These Indy children. You would never see our little men on the Flames do such a thing." That afternoon, the Decatur Flames set a record for penalty minutes at Perry Park. Wank & O"Brien make slurping sounds each weekday morning on RadioNow, 93.1.

Tags: ,

Around the Web


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

This Week's Flyers

About The Author

Ed Wank

Today's Best Bets | All of today's events

Around the Web

All contents copyright © 2016 NUVO Inc.
3951 N. Meridian St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Website powered by Foundation