Blackhumouristpress's Blog

November 1, 2019

Last Tango in Detroit

Rick asked Tony to watch his house for a few days, feed and let the dogs out and bring in the mail. Tony didn’t mind the idea of camping out at Rick’s house for a while. There was beer and food in the refrigerator and they had the Center Ice NHL package on Direct TV. Tony loved it. If he wanted to watch any game going on, he could- Vancouver, New York, Montreal Las Vegas… All of them.

Tony played hockey, sold hockey equipment, coached a youth hockey team and then more recently, a woman’s hockey team. Rick’s wife entertained the idea of being the women’s team goalie but hated the idea of being shot at, putting on so much equipment and having to stand in front of the net while everyone else got to skate around. Rick told Tony that his wife wasn’t too keen about many of the women on the team but one in particular who just happened to become Tony’s girlfriend since he became the team’s coach. Her name was Susan and she was tall with red hair. Susan liked to go to hockey games and listen to live music. She was a lot of fun but outspoken when it came to shitty goaltending. Part of why Rick’s wife Donna decided to quit was Susan’s comments such as Donna couldn’t stop a cock between her legs anymore than she could a puck. Tony shrugged it off. Hockey is not for everyone and everyone does not like everyone.

Tony had a men’s league game later one night. He boiled a pot of pasta and could only find butter to put on the noodles. The only television at Rick’s house was in the master bedroom. Tony put the television on by hand since he could not find the remote control. For about 5 minutes Rick stood there manually holding the button for the channel to go from 5 to 770-1 for high definition. Detroit was playing Edmonton. Edmonton was off to a good start and Detroit was about where they have been for the past five to six years- nowhere. Tony balanced the soupy plate of pasta while changing the channel to the Islanders against Carolina when the whole plate of pasta fell onto Rick’s bed with a black fitted sheet. Tony swore a bit and scooped the pasta back onto the plate and ate it without a thought. He fell asleep that night on one side of the bed while watching the highlights of the day’s games. Tony’s team lost earlier that night but he was a plus 1 and had two assists playing defense. At the next game, Rick thanked Tony for watching his place and taking care of the dogs. He had one question though for Tony- what the fuck did you do in my bed? Tony thought about telling Rick the truth but created a funny story instead.

“Susan is an old film buff and so she brought over a copy of Last Tango in Paris and we watched it in bed. I then went and got your Land O’ Lakes out of the fridge and rammed it up her ass while recreating the scene after watching Marlon Brando do it… I didn’t use the whole stick of butter. I put back about half in the fridge.”

Rick smiled but was a cross between shocked and jealous. He then thought about having toast that morning with the butter that went up a woman’s ass. He couldn’t remember tasting a difference.

At the end of season party, the boys on the team showed up to the apartment of one of the transplants from Boston. There they all were on the roof of a high-rise drinking and waiting for the lobsters to be boiled. Donna stood glaring at Susan and Tony who were talking quietly to one another and kissing a bit. Donna had just enough drinks to feel brave enough to confront the couple.

“You know what? I might have sucked as a goalie but you suck as a human… Both of you actually. What kind of a tramp allows a man to put a stick of butter up her ass, then fuck her in the ass of a friend’s bed, make a fucking mess and then not have the decency to take the sheets and simply wash them… That’s not enough! Then take the stick of butter and put it back in the fridge. It’s disgusting at a minimum. Kinky and exciting for my husband but repulsing for me…”

Susan studied Tony’s face while he nervously laughed and smiled. Tony had two women angrily looking intently into his face. Susan demanded an explanation.

“Babe… It was watery pasta that fell off the plate while I was watching hockey one night. That’s all it was plain and simple. I hate to pop Rick’s bubble but there was no anal sex… But I thought it would be a funny story. I can tell you this- Rick loses his man card for telling his wife something so lurid such as that. Somethings like that are better left untold between men…”

September 21, 2019

Hockey Men And Their Softer Sides

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 11:34 pm
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Jake worked late the night before, got home to a eat a beautiful pork chop with Italian bread crumbs, walked the puppy for the night and came up to bed to find his wife and daughter asleep in bed. His daughter had one leg and an arm over her mother who lay in bed like the letter X. Jake thought about sleeping in his daughter’s bed with it’s springs about to poke through the mattress or going back down to the couch and risk the crying puppy wanting out of the cage to be with him. Instead he climbed into bed with barely enough space to accommodate him on his side. He dozed off watching polar bears chase sea lions and penguins hatch eggs and protect their young from the cold. Shit… Speaking of penguins. Jake had signed up to play at 6am with some men who rented the ice before the figure skaters and the learn to skate kids. It was nearly 2am. He would have to be up by 5am, walk the dog, feed the dog, stop for coffee and a Kind Bar, get dressed and ready to play at 6am.

Jake dozed off and woke. He looked at his Fitbit and dozed back off to the soft sawing sound of his wife’s snores and his daughter’s mouth breathing. 2:53, 3:38, 4:12, 4:38 and then the alarm at 5am. The street was empty except for a few obsessive-compulsive joggers in the dark. The dog took a shit next to a minivan packed with shit from some travelling hoarder. Think of Jack Kerouac with some mental quirks requiring medication. The man slept in the front seat of his van on the passenger side with a surgical mask and the car covered in bumper stickers.

 

Jake caged the dog, got his coffee and dressed in time to get on the ice. The cool air and coffee jump-started him. He played defense with a guy with a Michigan University Jersey. He asked if he went or played there. He said his money was going there to pay for his daughter. Jake had several assists and was a plus 3. He got home before anyone was awake and took the dog for a proper walk. At the park, he ran into his hockey buddy by the name of Corey. He was wearing a T-shirt with the sleeves cut off from his girlfriend’s Yoga studio. Jake was wearing a T-shirt from his wife’s ballet studio. Jake and Corey’s eyes met. Nothing was said at first. Corey spoke first.

“We must look like two fucking bitches wearing chick shirts and walking our lady’s fucking lap dogs…”

Jake smiled showing a chipped tooth that was nicked blocking a slap shot a while back with his face.

“Um… I’m walking a Husky… You have a Poodle with puffs on his tail.”

Corey came to his own defense.

“This is the giant Poodle kind. Not the pussy types you could field goal kick. Namaste is a bad ass actually in the dog park.”

“The dog’s name is Namaste? What the fuck?”

Corey was covered in tattoos and had a good natural tan going on the first full day of fall. He was a fighter on the ice with a heavy slap shot. Jake was the wiry, slight built defenseman who saw the ice well. Corey had a fall out with the Saturday morning guys. He boarded an older guy who hooked him and then had a fistfight with two guys at once on the ice in the first ten minutes of a pick up hockey game. Corey was banned from most men’s leagues and drop in hockey in just about every rink in the area. He spent the morning playing one on one with a guy who was too winded to keep up at a rink in the city. The goalie went home after Corey wound up and hit the goalie in the cage. He called Corey a dumb fuck and went left. Corey asked Jake to try to get him back in the good skate with 20 skaters and 2 goalies.

I’ll try, man… But you have to take it easy. You know what I mean?”

“This fucking game is getting like basketball. You can’t touch nobody anymore…”

“Well… You might be right… I’ll see what I can do but really… No more fighting. Guys can stay home and fight with their wives. They don’t wanna drop the gloves at 6am.”

Corey hit the gym and then welcomed women into his girlfriend’s yoga studio that was having an open house. He walked around handing out Dixie cups of smoothies and green tea. Across town, Jake was an usher for the twinkle toe ballet recital for four and five year old students at his wife’s dance studio. Like most men everywhere- a little of this and a little of that.

September 5, 2019

From Hockey to Yoga

Ali sat in a massage chair at a mall waiting for the Lululemon store to open. The name Ali is short for Alistair and Ali was tired.   How tired? He played hockey late night and then went out to have one with some friends after their game. Ali never got mad a the dumb decision making of the once a week guys on the team who panic when they get the puck and dump it or fire a shot at your head instead of making a pass. The same type of player will look you in the eye when you’re open and decide that they have a better option- a 1 on 3 perhaps with stone hands that will assuredly end in losing the fucking puck… Sorry, the thought of that makes me a little crazy. Where was I? Oh yeah…

So Ali was parked at the Lululemon store Saturday on Woodward in downtown Detroit. He sat in the car as his wife took their twin girls inside to try on over priced yoga pants while he watched a parade of Tigers fans walk towards Comerica Park to catch a game. There were bars on wheels where a dozen people pedaled a device around downtown while drinking and listening to Salsa Music. That seemed like a good time to Ali. Ali got a text.

 

SO THE GIRLS ARE A SIZE TWO AND THEY HAVE BLACK. IT WOULD COME OUT TO ABOUT $160.00 WITH TAX FOR BOTH OF THEM.

 

Ali would have liked to sit in the bleachers for $10.00 but he was sitting in the car waiting close to an hour while stick figure twin daughters tried on over priced Lycra. He had a response for his wife.

FUCK THAT… WE FIND SOMETHING AT THE GAP.

 

Ali’s wife had a response…

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND BUYING YOUR BUSTOUT BUDDIES DRINKS AFTER HOCKEY GAMES? HOW MUCH DO YOU TIP THE CUTE LITTLE THING BEHIND THE BAR? I’M GONNA GUESS THAT WITH THE COST OF HOCKEY, DRINKS AND TIPS, YOU’RE PRETTY GODDAMN CLOSE TO A COUPLE A PAIRS OF YOGA PANTS.

 

Ali stood his ground. He said no to the girls and settled for headbands and scrunches for their wrists and not their hair. The twins were disappointed. He took his wife and the girls to Mexicantown. The ladies wanted to go to Greektown. They ate their Mexican food in angry silence. When they got home, their 3-month-old puppy had shit all over his cage and smeared it all over his fluffy coat. The house smelled… Well, like shit. Ali’s wife weighed in while he cleaned shit off of the cage and she hosed a howling puppy in the backyard.

 

“You will go buy those fucking pants tomorrow… Hockey last night, hockey tonight and hockey tomorrow. Summer league playoffs, right? And possibly stopping off for one. Isn’t that what you guys say to one another? Let’s stop off for one and then you close the damn place. I have to hear how tired you are and how sore you are. Bullshit to that… You either go back downtown tomorrow or go to the mall. The girls asked for one thing each for their birthday and even though Lululemon seems expensive to you, I can tell you that it is less money than the CCM triple XXX asshole stick with the 100 flex and Crosby fucking curve you sent me into buy… I’m supposed to know that you’re a fucking lefty too? And so I go back to get a righty for a mere $250.00. I saw the price of that and almost fainted. You pitch a fit over $160.00 for your daughters’ pants. I have news for you- those yoga pants will last a lot longer than your overpriced stick that Crosby gets for free after you pay the fucking ransom for it… Are we clear on this?”

Ali got into a fight at the night game early in the 3rd period, took a shower and waited at the bar for the guys. He wanted to punch his wife but found someone on the ice to take it out on. Ali told the boys at the bar that they needed to cover him because he needed to buy yoga pants in the morning. He got home at 1am. The puppy got excited in the cage at the sight of Ali and not only shit but pissed. It was about 2am when he got the cage cleaned up. He picked the pup up and let him sleep on his chest while watching the NHL channel until he fell asleep on the couch. About 7am, his daughters came down the stairs like it was Christmas morning. Ali, smelling a bit like gin, snapped at his daughters and told them that they needed to get to school and that there would be no opening presents until after school. The girls were nearly in tears and his wife stood above him on the top step with folded arms and tight lips.

Ali decided to get to the mall up north and buy the damn pants. Two pairs. He guessed that 9am would be opening time but was wrong. He sat in the massage chair while old people walked around getting exercise before stores opened at 10am. Ali knew he was in the doghouse and constructed a beautiful text.

 

I FORGET A LOT OF SHIT THAT I EXPERIENCED IN LIFE. IT’S SORT OF LIKE SEEING A MOVIE YEARS AGO. I SAW IT A LONG TIME AGO BUT FORGOT MOST OF IT. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE DAY WE MARRIED OR THE DAY THE GIRLS WERE BORN. I REMEMBER EVERY DETAIL OF BOTH DAYS. THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS IN MY LIFE. I AM GETTING THE PANTS AND WE WILL GO TO MEDIEVIL TIMES TONIGHT… THEY WILL BE IN BED BY 9:30. I WILL OPEN THAT EXPENSIVE BOTTLE OF WINE WE BOUGHT IN NAPA. I WANT YOU TO WEAR THAT BLACK NIGHT GOWN WITH THE DENTAL FLOSS UNDERWEAR. I WILL PEEL THOSE OFF OF YOU AND FLING THEM LIKE A SLINGSHOT ACROSS THE ROOM. I WILL LIGHT THE CANDLES AND PLAY THAT MUSIC YOU LIKE… I HAVE TOLD THE GUYS THAT I CANNOT MAKE TONIGHT’S GAME EVEN THOUGH IT IS A PLAYOFF GAME. YOU AND THE GIRLS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOCKEY TO ME AND THAT IS SAYING A LOT. I LOVE YOU.

 

Ali loved hockey a lot and it might have been a tie between hockey and the women in his life but he did the right thing and for that, he wanted a pat on the ass. And every man wants one.

August 23, 2019

Anything Goes

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 1:28 am
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JP met Curt some time back at an early morning skate. Curt didn’t like his name so he had everyone call him Bouddha. Curt was unaware that he spelled Buddha wrong. He even got a tattoo with “Bouddha” on it. JP was the separated and went to live in an apartment with Bouddha. They were an odd couple to be sure.

 

JP held out hope that he would get back together with his wife.   She wasn’t interested. JP got word that his wife was seeing a hockey player from another men’s league team. It was a terrible scene. JP checked the door open with his shoulder to find his wife on a futon in a studio apartment watching Slapshot in bed, in the arms of another man that he was familiar with. JP beat the man for a while until his hands hurt and then grabbed a souvenir 5030 Sherwood wood hockey stick that had been once used by the actually Paul Coffey. He snapped it over his knee and clubbed the man who lay under a sheet naked like a baby seal. JP heard his wife calling the police in the other room and decided it was time to depart. Before leaving the apartment, JP grabbed the television and ran at the living room window and pushed it through. The television hit the concrete from the second floor and sounded like an atomic bomb exploded in the serene night air. Waiting next to the minivan practicing stickhandling with a golf ball was Bouddha. Bouddha was wearing a white leisure suit that he bought at a thrift shop and had some spiffy white shoes to go with it. His platinum dyed hair went well with his ensemble.

“Oooh damn… Hot damn! Did you shoot off a gun?”

“No, man… His television had an accident. Let’s get the fuck outta here.”

The two went a Polish nightclub where cleaning women looked like runway models by night. Bouddha found a woman who looked a bit like Renee Zellwenger from Bridget Jones Diary. Bouddha kept calling her Bridget and they danced and drank. Bouddha took off his suit jacket and silk shirt with big lapels and danced in a tank top under shirt. White of course. It had holes all over and looked like a rag. One of his nipples poked through the shirt. Sitting alone drinking a rum and Coke was JP, replaying everything that he saw and did. Bouddha came up to him with Bridget and a smaller woman and forced JP to dance with the woman, a friend of Bridget’s.

 

At 4am the bar closed and the sky was becoming light blue. They all went back to the apartment of the smaller woman named Linda. She could sense that something was on the mind of JP. She invited him to her bedroom but told him that there was no way that he would be getting some. She rubbed his back with some sort of essential oils with his shirt off and he fell dead asleep. Meanwhile in the other room, Boudhha made something as close to love as he ever would make and then wind milled his nuts and cock while they listened to Van Halen loudly at about 6am. Bouddha packed the musket several times and pounded Bridget like he was a prizefighter. Love… Or something close.

 

The next evening at hockey, JP and Bouddha played a game with the police team even though they weren’t police. Bouddha scored two goals and JP played defense and passed the puck a lot. The cops beat the firemen and after the team went to a local watering hole. JP confided in a cop named Percy what he had done and wanted to know if there would be a warrant for his arrest. After a few drinks, JP and Bouddha followed Percy to the station to look up on the computer if there was in fact a warrant for his arrest. They sat across from Percy who was rubbing the scruff on his chin as he looked at the computer screen with a furrowed brow. He shook his head a few times and then looked up at the ceiling.

“Listen… I gotta take you both into custody. There is a warrant for both of your arrests. JP… This clown who was fucking your wife pressed charges and you Bouddha… It says here you got into a fistfight at a bar on Western last year. You gouged the guy’s eyes and then stuck your fingers up his ass… I shit you not. They got a warrant for your arrest. Assault and battery as well as sexual perversion… I’m going to have to arrest both of you. There’s cameras everywhere and they know I looked you two up on the computer… I have to arrest you both. Listen… I can bond you both out within an hour before they send you to county. I just gotta get to a cash machine.”

JP and Bouddha were handcuffed and put in a cell alone. After 20 minutes, Percy came back and uncuffed them. They both thanked him profusely for bonding them out. They asked how much it cost. Percy had an answer.

“Priceless… The look on faces of you two assholes was enough for me. There’s no warrant for your arrests. That bastard knew he had a beating coming and took it like a man… And you, you blond disaster… You couldn’t remember if maybe you put your fingers in some guy’s ass during a fist fight?”

“Well… Sometimes… Anything goes.”

May 9, 2019

To Be Honest With You…

Roland was a no nonsense sort of guy. He was sort of one-dimensional when it came to ice hockey. Hockey was everything to him. Whether it was the NHL or five and six year olds playing in the park district. Roland was also fixated on the truth and living an honest life.

Roland’s daughter was married to guy who was really a great guy and he got along well with his daughter Cassie. Russ, Cassie’s husband started Internet dating with a woman from Brazil and just up and moved. There was a letter about how much he loved Cassie but there was something better for him in another country and when it came to love and true happiness, it was necessary to be selfish. Roland left his home in Detroit to live in suburban Chicago near his daughter. Roland talked Cassie into letting Roland enroll her daughter Gwen into hockey a few years back and Gwen was becoming a formidable player.

Many people talk about hockey’s old days but Roland lived it. Roland played in a semi-professional league that had Saturday night games in towns in Michigan like Marshall and Battle Creek. He would make his $50.00 a night and show up to work on the Chrysler assembly plant Monday morning. Twice Roland stitched up his own face between periods. He had a chipped front tooth and several scars on his face.

On the first day of spring league, Roland was astounded that eight and nine year olds were so beginner. At eight years old, most young hockey players have been skating for four years. Roland was going to have to start at square one with many of them.

“On face-offs, we all have a job to do. Standing there waving to grandma is not one of them. Waddling around like a penguin is not one either. There is no right field in this sport so we don’t walk out to a remote outpost… Am I reaching any of you?”

All youth teams put their hands in the middle at the beginning of the game and between periods and had a obligatory cheer. The coach asks things like- who are we? Monsters! What are we gonna do? Win! Roland had them all put their hands in the middle and then asked them who had ever been in a fistfight before.

“What’s the best way to win a fist fight?”

The players looked at him like they didn’t understand English. Nobody answered but Gwen wanted to because she had been asked this many times by her grandfather since she began skating at the age of four.

“Gwen?”

“Um… You wanna get the first punch and then you don’t wanna stop til they stop moving and if you get them by the nutsack, you wanna squeeze til they scream.”

“Right… On the count of three, yell squeeze… 1, 2, 3… SQUEEZE!”

Gwen had a hat trick and three penalties for hooking, tripping and checking in a non-check game. She would often tell her grandfather that she was going to get a Gordie Howe hat trick for him- a goal, an assist and a fight. Roland’s team lost 9-3. Roland got on the kids about not trying hard enough, about positioning, about trying to skate out of their zone with the puck and turning it over, the lack of passing and lack of determination to get the puck. As Roland left the locker room, a mom approached Roland.

“Hi… We haven’t met yet but I’m Stevie’s mom.”

Roland thought about Stevie coming into the locker room with the English au pair acting like he was a dinosaur, making dumb sounds and not getting dressed until Roland yelled in his face until his lips quivered. That only happened once.

“I wanted to ask you what you think of his skill and effort and what he can do to improve because he really loves the sport…”

“To be honest with you…”

Most people, who begin a sentence that way, say it to give them time to lie, to water it down and be less than honest with you. Not Roland.

“I would start with boxing or martial arts to toughen him up. He’s afraid of contact and this is a contact sport. I would then tell him that to buy all the equipment and pay to be on a team is like equal to buying a used car and for the money, do you really wanna do this? I could go to Jamaica for two weeks comfortably for what it costs to outfit you and watch you walk around the ice instead of skate. I would then tell him that if he does not push himself to his fullest, you’d pull him. I suspect between Mary Poppins who brings him to practice and the games you rarely make, this is sort of like babysitting for you. When hockey is played correctly, it should sound like a symphony… This team is out of tune and no tempo… Stevie is blowing clams out of his horn… You get where I’m going?”

“Wow… Is this how you see it?”

“Listen… Nobody just wakes up and decides they are going to play hockey unless they can skate and I mean skate well. Then when you got that down, you have to develop hands and a skill like chess with your heads so that you’re not constantly giving it away… Hockey is like a foreign language. To have a conversation, you have to learn the language… To be honest with you, Stevie isn’t practicing his horn… Many on the team are learning to say more than their name… Stevie doesn’t much care if he has an accent or if he even learns to speak Dutch… You following me?”

Yes, but not happily. But for sure… honestly.

March 23, 2019

The New Hockey

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Uncategorized,youth hockey — blackhumouristpress @ 12:06 am
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The Whackers had a season that most coaches only wish they could have. 35 wins and 1 loss. The one loss was a sore point with Luke and Francis. They were going up against the team across town called the Beaters. The Whackers were flat that day back in February and the Beaters beat them soundly. Luke said a few select words to his impressionable 13 and 14-year-old boys.

“I watched those fuck sticks do drills over and over around cones and tires… How many cones and tires did you find on the ice tonight? You got the bald fuck who can’t skate who stands at center ice and points all over the place like a field marshal Don’t know what a field marshal is? Google it when you’re not looking at jack-off movies. Then the young tool with the goatee… His little butt buddy. They had slow, fat children playing D and nobody got around them. Every loose puck, they beat us to. You thought you had this game in the bag before we took the ice and they handed you your own asses… This shit will not happen again this season. If I have to find five willing to play the way I want, I’ll do that and the rest of you can sit up in the stands with your parents and criticize what I do… Are we fucking clear? Francis… Anything you want to add?”

Francis was a man of few words. He put it plainly and quietly.

“Boys… You shit the bed…”

The Whackers got back on track and tore through the season and beat the Beaters in the semi-final and then faced the rich kid prep school with their track suits, matching hockey bags and stick bags with the school emblem. King of all Kings Prep School was the hands down favorite to walk away in the final. The Whackers were nervous and on edge until Luke gave his pre-game speech.

“You won all your games this season except one. If you lose today, it will suck greatly to have to shake their hands with tears in your eyes. It will suck to get the almost won banner and miniscule trophy too with it. It will suck to go home in your daddy’s Ford Truck and watch the prep fuckers roll out in Range Rovers and Bentleys. Play every shift like it was your last one. Play like there is an empty net behind you. Be willing to do anything and you might just win.”

The Whackers skated to a 0-0 tie after three periods. In the overtime, a Whacker defenseman whipped the puck around the boards to clear the zone. It hit the stick of prep player and glided towards the prep goalie. A Whacker wing skated harder than hard to beat the defenseman and approaching prep goalie. The Whacker wing dove and whacked the puck past the approaching prep goalie and watched it trickle in past the goal line. The Whackers threw their gloves and helmets up in the air and mobbed the winger who won the game. The parents cheered and hugged one another. Out of 60 teams at the bantam level, the Whackers emerged as the best of the best. Great story, right?

Monday morning after a weekend of drinking and backslapping with parents. Testimonials and funny stories about this player or that, the hockey director called Luke and Francis into her office. In the office smiling like the cats that ate the canaries were the Beater coaches. The Whacker club lost their full time hockey director due to budget cuts so they gave the job to the twenty something year old speed skating director. In her infinite wisdom, she watched the playoff games and felt that the Beater coaches were better suited for what she felt was necessary to develop the Whacker program going forward. She liked the serpentine drills with cones and tires. She liked that the bald coach was quiet and methodical and that his sidekick had sold her on truly growing the program by working in tandem with Luke and Francis. The Beater coaches had convinced the Whacker hockey director that if they put Luke and Francis in a role of mentors, the four of them could really create something special. It sounded so good to Tiffany and the name Tiffany sounds really tough for a hockey director. She explained the new plan going forward with a lot of “likes” and “umms”. Luke listened in shock and awe. Tiffany used words like family and community to define the new configuration. Luke interrupted.

“I’m a plain man… In plain English are you saying that we are mentoring these guys?”

“Yes, that is correct.”

“And what you mean by mentoring is that we are their assistant coaches. We move the tires, we move the cones and bend over and pick up the pucks at the end of practices, right? Fill the water bottles and so on.”

Tiffany wrinkled up her nose and pushed back her glasses, she nervously hunched her shoulders before speaking again.

“Umm… It’s not really like that… It’s like one big team working together to create something really special..”

Umm Yes. Like really special… And yet really weird.

November 30, 2018

Third Period- Running Time

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 3:12 am
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Joe told the parents back when they were little mites, about five to six years old- give it time, they will learn and they will be good. Joe went through years of tying skates, checking on players who collided with opposing players and lay there like they were shot, only to spring up and skate back to the bench on their own. It took time to learn the offside rule, to cover the points in their own zone, to pass when they should and so on. As squirts they got a little better. Two years later as pee wees, they became quite formidable and two years beyond that as bantams, they were a machine. The passing was fast, shots precise, hard fore-checking, hard hitting and their defense made it such that they hardly allowed a shot on goal. The forwards back checked well and the defense was smothering. The goalie mostly watched the game from the far end, occasionally piling up snow in the corners. The ice in their zone would be clear after the first period and the other side looked like it needed the Zamboni. As pee wees, they came close to winning it all but as bantams, they were ready. The team was like a family and the family was a machine. Joe stood on the bench with his arms folded the way Rommel or Patton did on top of tanks after conquering new lands during World War II. They were great.

 

Joe remembered back to a tournament when the boys were 9 and 10 year old squirts and how they got absolutely rocked by a team from across town. That team had garment bags for their jerseys with their names on it and monogramed bags with their names on it, as well as stick bags and warm up suits. They were good for their ages and under their coach’s direction, ran up the score against Joe four years earlier, 22-0. Not only did they lose by that score but they kept the score up on the board. He had crying kids who wanted to quit after that game. Joe had to beg his goalie to stay with it. Parents questioned everything Joe did and told them that things were not going well. Joe talked them into staying with things and it paid off. Joe saw the opposing coach with his slicked back black hair, chewing his gum in a circular motion. After the warm up, Joe asked the players if they remembered the team, the coach and score. They did.

“I want you to keep in mind what that motherfucker did to us and so here’s what I want from you…”

Joe pulled the goalie after the drop of the puck and put out a sixth skater. Joe’s team cycled in their own end, the neutral zone and the other team’s zone. They held the puck for two periods without the other team so much as touching the puck but Joe’s team refused to shoot. After the second period, the slick coach stood on the bench and yelled over at Joe.

“This is horse shit what you’re doing. Play the game!”

“Oh, we’re about to open this bitch wide open now. We just were getting warmed up for two periods.”

Joe ran up the score to exactly 22 goals in a period and then went back to cycling in their own end until time ran out. When it came time for the handshake, the slick coach with a tightened jaw gripped Joe’s hand and told him that he was a dick and that it was horrible and that there was no reason to do what he did. Joe refreshed his memory.

“You beat us by this same score four years ago… Remember me now? That game was an inspiration to us all… I had to deal with crying little kids that day. They got better, didn’t they? Thanks for finishing the game…As they said in Goodfellas and you look like someone from that movie- now go home and get your fucking shine box.”

November 18, 2018

First Liners and Speaking Portuguese

Filed under: humor,humour,Ice hockey,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 2:32 am
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Pam was anti everything as a young woman. She didn’t like religion or government or patriotism or marriage and for sure not sports. She was a dowdy young thing that didn’t care to tweeze her eyebrows and only showered sparingly. She went to college to play tuba in the college marching band.

It was in her mid twenties that she met an older man at a bar. He befriended her by commenting on how good the USC marching band sounded at halftime while eating really salty peanuts at a lounge inside a hotel. Pam commented on USC and other schools with really good marching bands. The conversation moved to what she did and what he did and three drinks later, Pam had gone upstairs with the middle-aged businessman. It went from simple making out to fifty shades of gray around the temples in no time. A bottle of Viagra and Champagne, a few rounds of what felt like love to Pam and as they say in French-voila.

Twelve years later, Pam was the mother of a boy who looked a lot like what Pam remembered of the man she slept with one night only that sired her offspring. Larry was a different sort of lad and had a hard time keeping friends and an even harder time staying focused on things that did not interest him. Larry was put on Ritalin and went to special classes and then moved entirely to a Montessori school to hide his ADD. At the Montessori school, if Larry wanted to read about snakes or walk around the room making dinosaur sounds with his shirt pulled over his head, he could do that and a nice, young underpaid teacher, would tell him how well he did at imitating a dinosaur. Even at the unique school, Larry was having a hard time finding friends and fitting in. The young social worker that Larry would see weekly, suggested Larry take up ice hockey. Now Pam detested sports but thought the idea had merit and went to the local park district and put him in learn to skate classes and within a short period of time, Larry was put on a peewee team before he was ready. Hockey is like a language. If you cannot skate, you cannot play or even fake it. If you do not know a foreign language, you cannot converse in that language.

Picture a child taking Portuguese once a week for a month and then being plopped in a room of people speaking Portuguese… Bem Obrigado… And very little beyond that. Larry struggled to skate forward without leaning on the stick. Skating backwards was a butt-twisting waddle with no lateral movement. Receiving passes was as difficult as trying to shoot the puck without missing.

Larry drew a grizzled veteran who after coaching for many years, found himself coaching house league pee wees. Otto thought the kids were nice and attentive but he often grew impatient with their lack of ability. In practices and games Otto would often speak openly and plainly to the young boys.

“I know you all swear… I know you’re all looking at graphic porn on those phones when mum is not around. I’m not the police and neither are any of you. What I say stays in this locker room and does not go home to mum… Agreed?”

The boys nodded a yes and wondered where the coach was going with things as he paced back and forth in the locker room.

“People will tell you that winning isn’t important… Those people are lying to you. Do you think Ovechkin would have skated around the rink jumping up and down if he lost? Do you think Hillary Clinton threw a party for coming close and losing? Fuck no. I say fuck for emphasis, boys. Fucking comes later in life but we use the word now for emphasis… There is no and fuck no. I don’t ever want to fucking lose. I hate to lose but I can live with a loss if everyone moves their ass and does everything they can on every shift. If you are standing around like a right fielder in a little league game, I will let you know strongly. Play every shift like it’s your last and you will always try hard. Pretend that your goalie is not in front of that net and you will play good defense. Pass when you should instead of when you absolutely have to and think before you get the puck and you will be a smarter player… Let’s get out there and do what we practice and win this bitch.”

Otto’s goalie was a scarecrow in the net and let nearly every shot in. One line played well and the other was behind the action. Larry stood around watching everyone race around after face offs. As a right wing, he never covered the points and stood only feet away from the defense as they struggled to clear the zone. The concept of going the opposite direction in the second period perplexed Larry. The idea of not going into the other team’s zone before the puck, made no sense to Larry. Tagging up too was a difficult concept. Larry had killed momentum five times by going offside in just one period alone. Otto called a time out and got in face of Larry before a face off in the other team’s zone in a tied game with twenty two seconds to go in the game. Otto thought about passing up Larry and a few other of his lesser players on the team but he already had to discuss with the hockey director, an attractive young woman who figure skated as a girl that did not play ice hockey, that occasionally in order to win, you have to put out a power line, you have to have the right center and so on. Otto had to listen to a lecture about balanced ice time among all players. In a snarky reply, Otto told the director that Larry’s balance on the ice is reliant on leaning on his stick. Otto looked at Larry during the time out and gave him a pep talk.

“Our center is going to tie up their center and not play the puck. The defense is going to come in and get the puck and fire it at the net. I need you to get your ass to the net with your stick on the ice. Don’t fuck this up. Puck drops get to the net… Am I clear?”

It all worked like planned. The center tied up the opposing center and pushed him back just far enough to not get an interference call. The defenseman came in got the puck and fired it on net. Larry panicked thinking that the shot would hit him. As he raised his stick and twisted his body to avoid being hit, the puck bounced off of his stick and found the back of the net. Larry was tackled by the players on the ice and got the game puck. As Otto was sneaking out the side door to get to his car, there waiting for him was Larry’s mother Pam. She had on a knit hat with pussycat ears and a puffy jacket with political buttons up and down both sides. Otto was ready to hear something whacked out as he approached his car. Pam asked Otto a question that he was not ready for.

“Would you like to go out for a drink some time?”

I can’t tell you if they talked about marching bands or ate salty peanuts in a lounge. I can’t tell you if there was champagne or Viagra involved or if they worked on making a sibling for young Larry. People want happy endings. Things were weird between Pam and Otto before their date and they got even weirder after. Larry never made the power play or learned to speak Portuguese very well. Otto often ignored Pam’s text messages and calls. And that’s just how things go.

October 4, 2018

Genetically Modified Men

I thought maybe it was just me. I thought maybe it was just my age and that I didn’t understand that things change and people change along with them. I began to notice that some men just disappeared and then others made a dramatic change from who they were. When the NFL banned tackling and the NHL banned body checking, I began to wonder what was going on. How could so many men change at once and others just vanish?

 

As A medical doctor, I began to examine men who went through big personality changes and found that most grew center punch man buns and beards. They began to develop breasts and discussed things that were less than manly.

“My wife and I found a lovely little town in the country that is basically a strip of antique shops. We found some fabulous deals and stayed at a really charming bed and breakfast that they claimed that Ulysses Grant once stayed at during the Civil War… If you would like information on this, let me know, doctor…”

This was coming from a man who once drove a truck for a living and now works in the children’s section of the local library.  Words like “lovely”, “fabulous” and “charming”, were never part of his lexicon in the past. Every other word in the past was profanity such as, “My fucking back hurts and I’m having a really hard time taking a shit, doctor.” It was quite a change. I’m not a particularly political person but I began to bring up the president to men that I felt had lost their masculinity.

“That man is not my president. He is a horrible man and he needs to be stopped by any means necessary!”

“What about our GDP or unemployment or Wall Street going through the roof?”

“And what about those poor children ripped from their mother’s arms and sent around the country like it was Auschwitz. What about that? No human is illegal, doctor and borders are not who we are…”

“Really? Hmm… Fred… Let me ask you about playing hockey recreationally. How is that going? Are you still playing several times a week?”

“Well doctor, my wife and I take ballroom dancing and Pilates together and go for nightly walks now…”

“Interesting… Can you tell me who you believe will win the Stanley Cup this year?”

“Doctor… I really don’t have time to follow that stuff. I have a list given to me by my wife that I need to complete of things that need to be done around the house. I’m happiest when doing those things rather than sitting in front of the television all night.”

What could it be? What was going on? Why wasn’t I falling victim to this mass transformation? One day I thought I would treat myself to $5.00 latte and went into a Starbucks. The counter girl had a nose ring and a rainbow shirt with a big button that said Resist. I was taken back by her question.

“The usual, sir?”

“Usual? I haven’t been to a Starbucks for years.”

“Is that so… Well, then this one is on us, sir and we hope to see you everyday going forward.”

I drank the coffee and had an overwhelming desire to have another. For no reason I put on the View and asked my wife if she was interested in seeing a romantic comedy rather than playing softball with my team and drinking until the bar closed. All day long I sweat and fought back the desire to leave and get another latte. All night I sat on the couch rocking and thinking about having another latte. When I woke, it had passed. I felt myself again- I ate, dressed and went off to work. I began to loiter at a local Starbucks and noticed the same people coming in over and over again. Men who looked like androgynous hipsters who once looked like frumpy fat men. Weeks later I examined a man who appeared to be examining me.

He eventually couldn’t refrain from telling me what he discovered once he was sure that I wasn’t one of them.

“I’m a garbage man by trade. My job is to collect refuse and take it to a dump sight. Nothing unusual, right? Well I noticed a pig farm next to the dump and wondered what was going on at 4am. I walked through the mire to a fence where they had lights lit up enough to play baseball by. I noticed body bags on the back of trucks… Hundreds of dead bodies and a conveyor belt of old, dead white men. Their nutsacks were being cut from their bodies and dumped into buckets and then fed to pigs. The bodies then went into a crematorium. The people doing the castrating were all large women. I imagine them to be lesbian but maybe just large European types. I was amazed. I wondered where all the old white men were going. I found it, doctor. Tell me you’re not with them! Please tell me!”

I wasn’t one of them and I had to see it for myself and it was just as described. I began to notice that everyone except Eddy the garbage man had become like them and I didn’t know what could be done. I woke this morning to find a latte next to my breakfast cereal. My wife was smiling as if waiting to watch me swallow arsenic. I refused to drink the latte, grabbed my things and headed for the door.

 

“ Someday you will want it. All men want it. They need it. They live for it and when you do get it, it will come at a price, love.   You will pay for who you are.”

“What am I?”

“You know who you are, I don’t need to tell you…”

“I’m not that sharp, Susan. What am I?”

“A man who is white… And you know what that means.”

 

I ran out and began speeding towards the office. I was stopped two blocks from home by a female police officer. She approached the car and never asked me why I was going so fast. She put two hands on the door and looked at me dead in the eye and asked me if I had my latte this morning. I panicked and took off. Here I am at my office with the door locked. I can hear them through the door. Women with sweet, calm voices trying to convince me to unlock the door.

“You have to come around, doctor. All the others are changing and you will change right along with them… It’s futile to resist… Resist… Resist.”

 

I woke up sweating and looked over to find my wife sleeping. It was a dream but it was so real that I sat there for a moment wondering. Just wondering.

August 27, 2018

Make Believe

 

Kurt ran the plates of the young woman who was swerving while texting in an old Buick.  The car’s registration was expired, the driver’s license was expired and she had no insurance.  She cried as he explained to her that she would be ticketed and the car towed.

“If I had the money for insurance and to get the license tag renewed, I would have done it.  I am flat broke right now until I get my first check.  If you would find it in your heart to let me park here and take the bus home, I will get someone to take me in and register the car…”

Kurt, a police officer used to dealing with so much gang violence on Chicago’s west side, actually felt bad for the young lady.  It did not hurt that she was fit and pretty, dressed well and her car was clean and did not smell of booze or weed.

“Okay Ms. Tonisha…  I will let you get this automobile home without towing or ticketing you.  You have to get everything in order.  The next cop you come across will not be so kind…  I have a favor to ask of you and you do not have to say yes.  There is no gun to your head figuratively speaking of course…”

Now Tonisha felt that white people were the devil and those they were all of privilege, responsible for slavery and for all the misfortunes of the black community and the world.  Only thing worse than a white man was a white male cop.  She saw them as predatory profilers.  Kurt while driving his beat, thought that many blacks were animals that preyed on each other and pointed everywhere except at themselves over problems in their community.  Like most people, Kurt didn’t see himself as racist.  He has a black friend he drinks with that also is a cop and a former soldier.  Every white person has a black friend and they often begin a sentence while speaking to black people by saying- I have a black friend…  Kurt was never drawn to black women particularly but saw how beautiful Tonisha looked and thought hanging with her for the night would be fun and really amusing. The thought came to Tonisha that he was going to ask for a sexual favor.  She hit the record button on her phone.  The question was weird but there was an opportunity to make some money.

Kurt showed up at the banquet hall in a convertible Jeep in a suit, Tonisha in a tight fitting black dress, with pearls to contrast against the tight velvet dress.

“All you have to do is roll with me…  I want to have fun with this all tonight,” said Kurt.

Kurt was fit for a man of nearly 50 years of age.  Kurt had not been to his previous 10 and 20-year reunions but told some old friends that he had lost contact with that he would come. Kurt didn’t believe in Facebook or Twitter and nobody really knew much about him.  He had attended a high school in a northern suburb north of Chicago, joined the military and then became a cop.  He grew up a hockey playing Punk Rock kid with a bald head, tight jeans, Doc Martin Boots, plain shirts with suspenders and hated the world.  He hated his mom for marrying a man he hated back then and the anger of Skinhead Punk Rock, appealed to Kurt.  Thirty years later, Kurt was still playing hockey, was divorced from his wife and living away from his children in another state.  Kurt had a great disdain for the people he went to high school with.  They made fun of the culture he had adopted and didn’t accept him in their circles of friends.  Even the guys on the hockey team felt he was a weirdo albeit a good player.  Kurt put his nametag on and one for Tonisha.  Kurt gave Tonisha his last name on the tag.

“Do you like Champagne?”

“Um…  Hell yes.”

A group of men who used to be on the hockey team were sitting at a table together with their wives.  Kurt walked up and pulled the chair out for Tonisha and then pushed the chair in.

“Wow…  Thirty years…  My god, where has the time gone?  Toni…  These are all guys I told you about that I played high school hockey with…  Lester, Tom, Jim, Horse…  You don’t wanna know why we called him horse…  Bill the goalie.”

Tonisha could feel all the eyes of people old enough to be her parents, burning into her.  The men were thinking that he had managed to land a very pretty, young, black woman… Black woman.  They knew that Kurt was one of those bald kids who hated everything and everyone back in the day.  The Skinheads hated everyone who was not like them and thirty years later, their star defenseman married a black woman?  No way.  After drinks and more drinks, some dancing and then dinner, the questions started coming.

“Toni was driving fast…  I mean really fast.  Texting, swerving, changing lanes without signals, blowing red lights just to get away from me…  Because I’m a police officer, not just some crazed white dude after a pretty African-American princess…  Naw…  I’m just kidding.  She has a thing for ice hockey players and white dudes in general and she happened to be at the rink watching another white dude that she broke up with to be with me.  After a few years, we married and have… two girls…  Twins.”

The women looked at the young woman with a waist the size of a neck and wondered how she got that figure back.  The women there were older, lumpier, wrinkled and Kurt looked like the fountain of youth with a shapely and pretty young thing that would jump-start any man’s libido.  When the night was over, Kurt stopped at a pizza place that never closes in Berwyn and in fancy clothes; they stopped to have a slice of pizza each.  After hours of dancing and drinking, they had worked up an appetite.  Tonisha talked about mundane things with Kurt as they laughed and ate but she had to know why Kurt went through such an elaborate lie with people he used to know.  Tonisha stood to earn $100.00 and keep the clothes he purchased for her and yet she had to know his reasoning for such a bizarre night.

“Those people all live in a Facebook world.  They might take forty pictures of their annoyed wife and kids but they post that one where everyone smiles and looks happy to be together on vacation somewhere.  I’m so happy for you that your kid got a trophy or that you’re at the Grand Canyon…  That’s fantastic…  Why should I give a good goddamn?  It’s not real.  You never hear that their lives are fucked up and that they are stressed out, maxed out on credit cards and suicidal.  They want each other to think everything is fabulous.  I was interested to see if I look as bad, better or the same as those fucks.  I’m trying really hard to fight the effects of aging.  It was purely scientific.  I appreciate your help with this whole make believe night.  I know it’s silly but I really wanted to put on a show for these people tonight.  What are they saying to on another on the way home?  Wow, she is so young, so beautiful and so… Not white.  I may never see them again in my life but I left them wondering…  Come on, I’ll take you home.  Your mom is probably waiting at the window to make sure the cop didn’t kill you…”

Kurt flipped channels as he pet his dog that was sleeping on the couch beside him.  Baseball highlights, hurricane footage from Hawaii.  Kurt was drifting off to sleep when his cell phone buzzed.

I HAD A GREAT TIME TONIGHT.  MAYBE WE ARE FROM DIFFERENT WORLDS AND MAYBE THAT’S NOT BAD.

 

YER WELCOME.  YES.  DIFFER WORLD NOT A BAD THING

 

After close to a half hour a response from Tonisha came in.

I WOULD NOT MIND GOING OUT AGAIN IF YOU WOULD WANT.  I CAN GET BABYSITTING FOR THE TWINS ANYTIME ; )

 

Kurt responded immediately.

 

I WOULD REALLY LIKE THAT.  REALLY I WOULD : )

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