Blackhumouristpress's Blog

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.”

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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 17, 2017

Domesticis Angustia

WHY DID YOU PUT THE FUCKING DOG IN THE BASEMENT WHEN I ASKED YOU NOT
TO?  I WOKE UP TO A HOWLING PUPPY COMING THROUGH THE VENTS FROM THE
BASEMENT. AND WHY DID YOU CALL THE GIRLS AT 6;30 THIS MORNING WHEN YOU
KNOW THEY WERE OFF OF SCHOOL  THEY GET TO SLEEP IN AND YOU WAKE ALL OF
US UP WITH AN EARLY MORNING PHONE CALL.  INCREDIBLE

I THOUGHT PUTTING THE DOG IN THE BASEMENT MIGHT ALLOW YOU TO ALL GET
MORE SLEEP.  I POCKET DIALED THE GIRLS.  I’M REALLY SORRY AROUT THAT.
I FORGOT TO LOCK THE PHONE BACK UP AND IT CALLED THEM.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU.  REALLY I DON’T.

I KNOW YOU DON’T AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU EITHER.  WHY DO WE HAVE A
DOG? A PUPPY? AND UNTRAINED PUPPY?  YOUR EX-HUSBAND CAN’T FIGURE OUT
WHAT TO DO WITH HIS OWN KIDS WHEN HE’S WITH THEM SO HE TAKES THEM TO
IKEA TO LOOK AT SHIT THEY WON’T BUY AND TO ANIMAL RESCUES TO PET DOGS
HE WON’T HAVE.  YOU WORKED OUT BUYING A DOG WITH YOUR EX-HUSBAND BUT
HE’S NOT WALKING THEM OR CLEANING UP THE SHIT AND PISS.  I GUESS I
DON’T UNDERTAND THAT.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU MADE MY SON SKATE A 60 SECOND DRILL IN
FRONT OF THE WHOLE TEAM AND SINGLED HIM OUT WHEN OTHER KIDS WERE
FUCKING OFF.

OTHER KIDS GOT YELLED AT.  YOUR SON WAS SMILING WHILE I WAS YELLING
ABOUT HORSING AROUND DURING A CONTROLLED SCRIMMAGE.  THAT PROMPTED THE
60 SECOND DRILL.  I SHOULD HAVE JUST THROWN HIM OFF THE ICE.  I KNEW
THAT YOU WOULD COME TO HIS RESCUE WHEN HE’S WRONG.

IS THIS THE REASON WHY YOU SEPARATED HIM FROM ALL HIS FRIENDS DURING
THE SCRIMMAGE AND PUT HIM WITH KIDS WHO CAN’T KEEP UP?

A SCRIMMAGE IS A PRACTICE GAME.  A MAKE BELIEVE GAME.  WE DIDN’T KEEP
SCORE.  NOBODY CHEERED WHEN THEY SCORED.  IT WAS ALL FOR THE GREATER
GOOD OF GETTING BETTER FOR THE DAYS WHEN REFS SHOW UP AND WE DO KEEP
SCORE ON THE SCORE BOARD.  ANY OTHER COMPLAINTS ABOUT ME?  HIS DAD WAS
OUT HAVING A COLD ONE WITH FRIENDS WHILE I COACH HIS CHILD JUST SO HE
CAN SHOW UP FOR THE REAL GAMES AND PROUDLY PROCLAIM- THAT’S MY BOY.  I
GET THE GRIEF, HE GETS THE GRAVY.  HE FINDS THE DOG, WE TAKE CARE OF
IT.  I’M ON THE WRONG END OF THIS I SUPPOSE.

YOU KNOW WHAT’S WRONG?  I SPENT MONEY FOR YOUR DAUGHTER TO EAT A
CHEESEBURGER AT MY FATHER’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND SHE CHANGED HER
ORDER TO MAC AND CHEESE WHICH SHE DIDN’T EVEN FINISH.

UM…  SHE HAD IT FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT AND SHARED IT WITH YOUR KIDS WHO
HAD NOT EATEN YET WHEN WE CAME BACK FROM HOCKEY PRACTICE.  YOUR FRIEND
ARRIVES WITH A BOTTLE OF PROSECCO TO SIT OUT BACK WITH YOU.  MEANWHILE
BACK AT THE RANCH, I’M MAKING SLIDERS AND FRENCH FRIES FOR ALL THE
KIDS, THE HOUSE LOOKS LIKE HELL BECAUSE OF THE BROKEN GARBAGE DISPOSAL
AND A PUPPY.  I REALLY WISH YOU EX COULD BE THE ONE TO CATCH ALL THIS
BULLSHIT.  HE GETS YOU TO BUY THE KIDS A DOG.  YOU PAY FOR IT, YOU
TAKE CARE OF IT AND HE GETS A FULL NIGHT REST.  GREAT FUCKING DEAL.

I ASKED YOU TO LEAVE THE CONE ON THE DOG’S NECK BUT YOU DON’T.  THE
STITCHES WHERE HIS BALLS USED TO BE COULD EASILY COME OUT AND IF THEY
DO, YOU WILL TAKE HIM TO THE VET.  DOG IN THE CAGE, IN THE BASEMENT
WITH NO CONE.  EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

THE FUCKING DOG IS TRYING TO SLEEP WITH ME ON THE COUCH WITH A PLASTIC
CONE AROUND IT’S HEAD.  NOT POSSIBLE TO DO.

YOUR FRIEND THE PAINTER JUST SHOWED UP LATE TO PAINT AGAIN AND IS
TALKING ABOUT THE SIZE OF HIS SON-IN-LAW’S COCK. WTF?! RIGHT IN FRONT
OF THE GIRLS.  WHERE DO YOU FIND FRIENDS LIKE THIS?

I COULD ASK WHY THAT WOULD EVEN COME UP BUT NEVERMIND. I NEVER ASKED
YOU TO HIRE HIM.  WE COACHED AND PLAYED HOCKEY TOGETHER BUT I NEVER
HIRE HIM FOR ANYTHING.  HE IS A SLOB.

YOU’RE OUT PLAYING HOCKEY AND I’M BABYSITTING YOUR TALKATIVE PAINTER
FRIEND.  HOPE YOU’RE HAVING FUN.

I’M SITTING NAKED IN THE FUCKING LOCKER ROOM TEXTING YOU INSTEAD OF
WARMING UP.  GUYS ASKED ME IF I’M WRITING A BOOK.  I TOLD THEM NO
BECAUSE I CAN’T GET ONE PUBLISHED.  THEY LAUGHED.  I’M NOT LAUGHING.
THANKS FOR A GREAT SEND OFF.

FUCK YOU FOR MAKING THE DOG HOWL, WAKING UP THE GIRLS WITH YOUR
BLACKBERRY PHONE THAT NOBODY USES ANYMORE, FOR NOT GETTING GLASSES AND
NOT SEEING DOG SHIT IN THE CARPET FROM THE PUPPY THAT WAS UNCRATED
BEFORE YOU LOCKED HIM IN THE BASEMENT, NO CONE, LICKING HIS MISSING
BALLS.  FUCK YOU FOR SINGLING OUT MY CHILD AT HOCKEY LAST NIGHT AND
MAKING SURE HE WAS ON A SHITTY SIDE THAT COULD NOT SCORE…  DID I LEAVE
ANYTHING OUT?

NOPE.  THAT’S GREAT.  GOING ON THE ICE NOW SO I DON’T STROKE OUT AND
DIE FROM FRUSTRATION AND ANGER.

March 3, 2015

Half Families, Ice Hockey and Wonderpets

Filed under: humor,humour,Short Story,Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 6:29 am
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Every couple, every family has that thing that puts them over the edge. For Coach Monahan and his wife Lynn, the team manager of the squirt house league ice Devils hockey team was a bacon cheeseburger on a pretzel bun.

It would be too simplistic to blame the burger. Of course it was the overbearing, unrealistic parents with stopwatches and whining about “balanced ice time” and the problem of living life in America. Lynn would approach her husband about parental concerns while Coach Monahan would watch NHL highlights late night after their kids went to bed, long after practices and games.

“J wants to know why his son J jr. never gets to play on the power play or penalty kill and why it is that when there are faceoffs in our zone, you pull his line off the ice.”

Monahan looked over at his wife who was monitoring the mundane lives of Facebook friends and catching up on email beside him on the couch. She would rather be watching Kardashians but would let Monahan watch hockey highlights. Monahan got a free pass for going to watch 50 Shades of Gray instead of staying home to watch the Detroit Red Wings play the San Jose Sharks in real-time. Monahan taped it instead. 50 Shades seemed improbable and too Harlequin to be real for Monahan but he was a trooper and for that reason, Lynn was a trooper right back. She did have to ask her husband the coach how she the team manager should answer a group question copied to the whole team. Monahan answered Lynn.

“Junior is twenty to thirty pounds too heavy. J who knows nothing about the fucking sport of ice hockey and should be happy that his little butterball gets as much equitable ice time as I can afford without giving the game away because his little liability is huffing and puffing like a middle-aged man making love… Ask J why it was that he didn’t have the nutsack to ask me these questions tonight when he was standing over me while I tied my skates to get on the fucking ice. He talked about how cold it was outside and how much his kid is learning from me and then goes home and poses questions he could have asked me in person. Ask why it is that he needs an open forum to ask a question that he knows the answer to- his kid is fat, slow and ineffective and uninspired to move his fat ass to the best of his ability. Video games and high fructose drinks have caused him to develop tits and love handles at a young age. When the boy smiles, his eyes disappear… Am I going to fast, dear?”

Lynn did not answer Monahan. Instead she wrote the email verbatim paused for a moment before hitting the send button much the way pilot paused before hitting the drop button on the Enola Gay before releasing the first atomic bomb on Japan in 1945.

The answer did not sit well with some parents and with others it was exactly how they felt only they would never have constructed such a frank response. J, the father of Junior, did not attend the next game but he did make sure that several officials from the league were in attendance to monitor the game. The game went poorly. The goalie was sick and so a stand in had to face a firing squad of competent skaters and shooters and stood there like a deer in the headlights, like a scarecrow in a field a corn field- you get the picture.

After the game, before the pilgrimage home, the family unit stopped for food. Monahan’s step-daughter ordered a bacon pretzel deluxe but failed to mention that she did not want onion, mustard, mayonnaise, catsup and lettuce. The pubescent curled her lip at the food as if she had a pile of shit on her tray.

“This is not what you wanted?”

“I didn’t want all this stuff on it.”

“Did you tell them you wanted nothing but a burger, bacon and a bun?”

“Well… She didn’t ask me.”

Monahan took a deep breath, took the sandwich to the woman behind the counter and asked her to scrape off everything and give it back to him. Monahan’s step-daughter opened the burger and was astute enough to see that it was not a new burger but the same burger which had been scraped of condiments. This caused momma to come to her daughter’s rescue.

“You could yell and scream at kids and refs for an hour and a half but you don’t have the fortitude to go ask a small woman behind the counter to just give us a plain burger. It’s not coming out of her pocket. She won’t be offended… And I’ll tell you this- your daughter will not wear her coat in an ice box ice rink when I tell her too, will not urinate when I remind her to, will not drink lemonade because it’s pink and none of that matters to you. You want to give MY daughter a hard time over a burger. I will buy the fucking burger myself. I will go face that tough looking woman behind the counter and ask for another burger. Sit here with your daughter and ask her why she cannot drink lemonade that is pink.”

It was at that moment that Monahan pictured himself walking out of the restaurant, getting into the car and driving to the most southern point in the United States- Key West. No ice except in glasses, no hockey, no parents, no wife, no kids, no problems. Just a Mai-Tai and warm water.

On the ride home, Monahan’s daughter was quietly listening to a Taylor Swift song next to Lynn’s daughter. Lynn looked out of the passenger window with tightly folded arms. Monahan knew there was nothing he could say to make Lynn speak to him at that moment. He knew that being a coach was a thankless job that he did for the kids and that being the team manager was a thankless job his wife did to share in something he loves and to be with him. Monahan turned down the radio and began to sing a song that he learned watching the Wonderpets with his daughter when she was a toddler. Monahan always thought that the idea of a talking duck, guinea pig and turtle was pretty lame but the song popped into his head and he knew his wife would soften up and laugh if he could get the girls to just sing along with him.

“This is sew-ious, there’s a baby bewd in twouble somewhere… What’s gonna work? Teamwork! What’s gonna work? Teamwork!”

Yes, it was teamwork that melted the ice in Lynn’s heart, made the pre-teen forget about her hamburger debacle, the grade schooler forget about lemonade being pink, made Monahan not look like a too serious ice hockey coach who was afraid to rectify a burger gone wrong.

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