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Des Informations, des Idées, et des Opinions Suspectes - rarement mises à jour et de qualité douteuse.

Hockey Night in Taco Bell

Ah, the beautiful ballet that is hockey...

OK, right off even though I am Canadian, I cannot skate and I hate hockey. The skating I blame on my evil and heartless mother who years ago, as part of her perverted efforts to constantly economize would shove my always rather large feet into used, dull skates, that were two sizes too small. My earliest memories are of limping along the ice during some public skate at Nathan Phillips Square and wondering how all of the other children could possibly be having so much fun. I just couldn't wait for it to be over so I could get to the bench and pull those torture chamber pieces of garbage off my feet. Now that I am in my twilight years, my feet are a size 14 and custom size-14 skates cost something like $20,000 so I'm pretty sure I won't be picking up skating anytime soon.

As for the hockey...well, hockey just sucks. I can't follow the puck at all and the fighting is idiotic. I mean, I like fighting as much as the next guy but hockey players get mad and fight for the most absurd reasons. I can say (without a trace of shame) that I have never been to a hockey game, and have never watched a hockey game from beginning to end. I don't even understand the rules and I don't want to. Now, that's all I'm going to say on the subject because as you may know Canadians love their hockey and if I go on in this vein I risk being assassinated. Anyway, the only reason I am even telling you about the skating and the hockey is to set up what happened to me the other day.

The other day is when I managed to sneak past Patti and out of the house and over to my favourite place in the world to decompress - Taco Bell. I like Taco Bell for a few reasons. The food is conveniently predigested - have you seen the meat? - and it's always empty and they have a pile of complimentary newspapers for the customers. Well, they're Toronto Suns so they're not real newspapers but they're good enough for reading material while I drink my bathtub-sized Dr. Pepper and eat my 1/2 pound bean burrito (for $1.79!! which is like, totally awesome! Where else can you get a 1/2 pound of food for only $1.79?!)

So on this occasion, as was my wont I was happily dribbling hot sauce on my Gordita (literally and figuratively) when some friendly guy walking by my table saw my newspaper open to the front page of the sports section (because I was reading something on the facing page) and saw the big editorial headline about whether or not to trade "Sundin". He stopped, one hockey fan to another, and said to me: "Yeah, what do you think? You think Toronto should get rid of him?"

Before I go on I should say that this has happened to me before. You can't really tell from my sparkling and intelligent eyes that I know nothing about hockey, so on occasion I do get asked things like:

"You see the game last night?" (which is an easy one to answer - NO.)

or

"You think the Leafs will win the Stanley Cup this year?" (again easy - NO.)

But for the more complicated hockey questions like this one, I usually apologetically explain that I don't follow hockey and I was just trying to find out my horoscope and biorhythm for the day and then I invariably have to good-naturedly put up with some well-meaning comments questioning my nationality/sexuality/patriotism, etc. etc. ha. ha. ha.

This time I figured it would be faster if I could muddle my way past the question by providing an answer. I figured I had a 50-50 shot at it right? So I looked at him and said: "I sure hope not" and bent my head back down to appear as if I was once again deeply engrossed in the sports editorial. Despite my prayers, the man stopped dead in his tracks and said to me:

"Now, why on earth would you say that?" but actually it sounded more like: "Now-wah bow-wah...whyah you done gone n' said sumpum like dat?!"

and then he spat some "chaw" onto the floor and did a long slow wipe of his chin with the back of his hand. All conversation in the Taco Bell stopped. The disinterested teenaged staff became interested. Even though it was February a lone cricket chirped. I heard the sound of a gun cocking. It was very hot in Taco Bell all of a sudden.

I thought: "Shit! Of course! Hoppe's law states that I will always pick the wrong $#$! answer!" So I said authoritatively:

"Well, uhhh...you know...ummm..."

And the hockey fan interjected:

"If we had gotten rid of Sundin, we could have gotten four draft picks young guys...unrestricted...take-the-summer-off...sign Sundin back again in the fall...no trade clause...blah, blah, blah..."

And I was all nodding in total agreement, my head bobbing up and down with cult-like abandon blabbering on about how "that's exactly what I meant to say" and "I couldn't agree more..." and "can I wash your car for you?" and I felt like a total ass.

So, that experience taught me a lesson. The next time I get a sports question I'll just say: Mon coeur appartient à les Habs!!! ...and leave it at that.

Hockey Night in Taco Bell

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Maybe read No Big Deal, a story I consider to be the very best thing I ever wrote.