Tuesday, August 21


NORTE: Dispatch, this desk. I have something akin to an ice cream headache on my left elbow. You might say tennis elbow, and I might say back to you, thats none of your damn business.

They only thing I hate more than famous people are those people who care about famous people. Let me tell you haircuts something....I don’t give a shit who you are. I have encountered famous people and have been faced by most of them. Meat Loaf told me I suffered from adult acne. Billy Barty punched me in the nuts, twice. Clara Peller once spat in my face. John Malcovich beat up my cousin and made me watch. Al Waxman (who our Canadian readers will remember as Larry King on the King of Kensington. My American readers would know him from Cagney and Lacey, I think he was Cagney) touched me in my special place. But hockey players are different.

I will tell a story that my brother, to this day, will swear on a stack of a thousand Satanic bibles didn’t happen. We’re talking circa November 1982. Eye of the Tiger was quickly replacing Physical by Olivia Newton John as my favorite song of all time. I was 10 and probably the greatest ten year old goalie in the world. Wayne Gretzky was with the boys on the bus in GWG. That’s Great Western Garment, bitches. The previous spring, the upstart Vancouver Canucks made it to the finals. Assistant coached by white flag waver and future cancer victim Roger Nielson. First lined by Thomas Gradin, Stan Smyl and Ivan Boldirev. Free moustache rides via human eyebrow Harold Snepts. That was the year that Dave Samenko head butted Tiger Williams in the clinch. And has there been a more awkwardly named tandem of Glen Hanlon and Richard ‘No Relation’ Brodeur? I dont think so. And incidently Glen Hanlon is a redhead so you know what that means?

I digress. My family were on vacation and staying in a hotel. My father, a man so charming he sweats oil, finagled the wait staff in the restaurant to bring me and my brother our breakfast (Steak and Eggs: the real breakfast of champions) to the room. In bed, as it were. That morning the waitress told us that the Vancouver Canucks were downstairs in the restaurant having breakfast. (They were there to play in the Darcy Rota Invitational. An annual golf game for charity held, (shrugs) annually. Apparently Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) was a big problem in Darcy’s hometown of Prince George until he started the charity.

At the time I happened to love that Vancouver Canucks team. With a jersey so putrid it should come with an apology. I wanted to meet them. Shit…I had bet Gerald Plowman one dollar that they would beat the Islanders that year. Cos I thought they would. As I jumped around...my brother, who my parents put in charge, wouldn't let me go by myself and said he would go with me, only after the Superfriends was over. So I sat there watching him watching the superfriends and as they defeated Sinestro, Grodd and Brainiac, I could feel my childhood dreams slipping away. Wonder Twin powers activate; Shape of a teardrop, form of a weeping child. By the time it was over, the Canucks had moved on.

If you knew my brother, I’m sorry.

I did however work in a shoe store in the 90s and once sold Tomas Kaberle and his lady a very fine pair of pointy stiletto boots. Let me tell you about him. He’s like a gigantic 8 year old. I wanted to muss his hair. He said to me, “Yes…coach tell me shoot more…so I shoot more.”

I was happier to meet him than I was the Pope. Don’t know if that says more about me or the Pope.


Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Goalie