Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ben Still Doesn't Know Anything About Sports: Hockey

Seems like there's still too much space between my posts these days, isn't there? (And in this case, basically another month. Whoops.) Once again, I blame novel work. I'm down to the last very two chapters and epilogue, and once I finish the last of these revisions, it's time to begin the long, arduous, and inevitably soul-crushing process of chucking my work at agents while bellowing "YOU READ IT, YOU READ IT!" and maybe a "YOU MAKE ME MONIES!" for good measure. Because it might be nice to have some of those monies for once in life, maybe a means of eventually getting out and actually doing the whole starting of one's life thing. I've heard some talk that the literary publishing world's getting ready to start moving forward and taking chances again as of late, which should help, seeing as the economy's just starting to begin its painful recovery, and we're starting to see more books selling again. I'd kinda like to see my book join those, hopefully give people something to enjoy.

So, fall began just over a week ago. (Up here where the world doesn't run in REVERSE.) People seem to like to watch that sports stuff on TV a whole lot when fall arrives. It's been a long time since I last wrote about sports. Almost as though I don't actually care about athletics in any meaningful capacity. But of course, you're all about that stuff, aren't you? Whether you're about those frequently fatal hot dog eating contests or that one game the rest of the world really likes where you kick a ball with your feet. What was that game called again?

Friday the 13th's Jason is a good representation of hockey at its best.At any rate, I figure I may as well use that athletics tag a bit more and explain everything to you about some more sports I know nothing about and don't care to know anything about. Let's start with hockey. (That's the one everybody spends half the year fixated on, right? With the end zones and field goals and crap like that.) Hockey's fun. If the game goes well, all the players and the entire audience will be dead by the end of the game. Now that's a SPORT! (A blood sport, maybe, hurr hurr hurr ow. Why must I say these things?)

So there's some ice, but the important thing is that everyone's wearing skates - skates are sharp. You don't want to get cut by those, but frankly, that's the whole point of the game. That and punching. (Brass and barbed-wire knuckles are standard issue equipment.) You want to punch each other - ideally making good use of those hockey sticks/bludgeons in there somewhere too - until you knock teeth out of the opposing team's players (And in some cases the same team's) so you can score points based on toothcount. It's a fact.

If a player manages to accumulate ten teeth, they can take a trip to the penalty box, where they keep the game's "tooth fairy." (A hobo recruited off the street for each game, plied by bottle of Jack Daniel's and given a pair of fairy wings and a shotgun.) The player in question sits out for the next five minutes while the "fairy" fires his shotgun (All fairies have these. But you already knew that, right?) indiscriminately at other players and into the audience. You can think of him as the "loose cannon" or "wild card" of the game. A good tooth fairy can end the game in ten to fifteen minutes. But chances are they'll be so drunk that they probably won't.

TMNT's Casey Jones taught kids about proper hockey conduct in the '90s.Some hockey enthusiasts are probably protesting as they read this post. "But Ben! Hockey's not like this at all! You didn't even mention the puck!" Jesus, what is it with you purists? Of course I was getting to the puck, but get over your pucking hangup already! It's not the most important part of the game, okay!? Why is that some people can't stand it when I just tell it like it is? Some people can't handle a straight shooter. So obviously, there's a little black disc on the ground called the puck. Named after the character from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the puck in hockey is a jester to the players much in the same sense that the character Puck was to the fairy king Oberon. As Puck was there to create mischief, the puck in hockey so exists to distract players from the real point of the game. (Hence all THESE JERKS who just won't let up about how the game is played. YOU'VE ALL BEEN TRICKED! GET OVER IT!) They want you to think you're supposed to hit the puck into a goal on the other side of the rink, but this couldn't be further from the truth. The reality of it is, the puck's only real use in hockey is as a long range projectile to knock out other players at a long distance once they've lost their helmets. (First rule of hockey: WORK THE FACE. If you make it through the game without becoming horribly disfigured, you're DOING IT WRONG. This also applies to hockey fans in the audience. Sorry, mutilation's the name of the game. I DON'T WRITE THESE RULES STOP COMPLAINING.) You also get bonus points if you break someone's teeth or nose by using the puck as a melee weapon in close-range combat. (Note: Use THE Puck, not Wolfgang Puck. Otherwise you won't get to eat after the game and you'll have no one but yourself to blame.)

The puck-crazed crowd also seems to have a fixation on those goal nets on either side of the rink. You aren't supposed to see those. What's wrong with you guys? Have you been shooting smack into your eyeballs again? (Generally not well-advised behavior.) There's only supposed to be two junkies in the rink at any given time, the "goalies," who hallucinate the existence of these "goals" as so to give them more direction than the rest of the players. With everyone else on the offensive, you want at least two strictly defensive players out there to shake things up. Otherwise the whole game'd get dreadfully boring. (And once the novelty wears off, there's nothing more boring than wanton violence.) And most sports are unforgivably boring - especially when they don't involve robots - which is why I don't watch these things. BECAUSE I HAVE TASTE. (Stay tuned for my soon to arrive next post after these long delays, looking at what I've deemed worth watching in the 2009-2010 TV season!) Clearly yours is questionable.

The best thing that can possibly happen at any hockey game is the arrival of a zamboni. (You know, those ice resurfacers.) If a game goes over time, it's the only way to settle things - and it's much more exciting than watching people get flattened by a steamroller. (Which is, in actually, nowhere near as funny as you'd think.) OHH! THE CLOCK'S RUN OUT! AND MR. JONES HAS ARRIVED ON THE ZAMBONI! CAN THAT ONE DISFIGURED GUY OUTSKATE IT!? I DON'T THINK SO, TOM, HE'S LOST A LOT OF BLOOD! IT'S GOOD! TOUCHDOWN! GOAL! (Imagine that last word stretched out for as long an interval as humanly possible. There's no limit to imagination.) Now this is what athleticism is all about.

Next time! Competitive ice skating: like hockey, but slightly harder to kill people. That is to say, I have no idea when I'm going to do another of these. (IT'S A MYSTERY.)

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