My Cup Runneth Over
You may have noticed that I have not been posting much lately. This is because I have been confined to my couch, recovering from multiple, hockey-induced heart attacks. If you are a long time reader, you may know that I am from Chicago, and if you are from Canada or are one of the seven people in the United States who cares about hockey, you would correctly assume that I am a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. And if you read page 47c in your local newspaper’s sports section today, buried below the middle school jai alai scores, you’d know that the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last night by scoring two goals in seventeen seconds very, very late in the game. This is not unheard of in hockey. You will be absolutely unbeatable one moment and the next, a fluke shot that caroms off of a referee’s taint will end your season in the cruelest fashion possible. It is gut-wrenching beyond belief, and I am getting too old for this shit.
Anyway, we hung on for a hard fought victory, and by “we” I mean the Chicago Blackhawks and me. This is how it works in sports. If the team you like wins, you get to say “We won!” You’ll go on and on about how hard “we” worked during the season, even when things looked bad, but “we” gutted through it, played through pain, etc., etc., even though the only thing you did personally was engage in toenail hygiene while sitting on the couch, drinking vodka in bulk.
If, however, the team you like loses, you’ll find yourself saying, “They blew it!” You’ll rant about how “they” didn’t want it badly enough, how “they” are spoiled millionaires who don’t play with any passion or discipline, and so on and so forth. And in hockey, “We won!” can become “Those fucking shitheels blew it in the last goddamn minute!” with stunning speed.
As a Chicago sports fan, I like to think that we suffer from a lack of championships. This isn’t necessarily true. Since 1985, we’ve won 10 titles in the four major sports, an average of one every 2.8 years, which isn’t too shabby. But I’m also a Cubs fan, and the last time they won the World Series, an Australopithecus threw out the first pitch. (Yes, that was archaeology humor. Very cutting edge stuff.)
So I’ve got this ridiculous belief that my beloved Chicago teams are long overdue, and a loss in the playoffs is incredibly painful for me. This is why I shouldn’t watch hockey. Anyone who watches or listens to overtime hockey in the playoffs knows how it goes:
Announcer: He swings it back to the point, a blast… OFF THE POST! OFF THE POST! THE PUCK IS SITTING ON THE GOAL LINE… OOOHHHHHHHH!!! AN INCREDIBLE SAVE BY… OHHHHHHH! OFF THE POST AGAIN! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE! WHAT A SAVE! NOW JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF HAS RETURNED TO DELIVER SALVATION, BUT FIRST HE SHOOTS AND… OOOOHHHH MY GOD, WHAT AN AMAZING SAVE! WAIT! THE PUCK HAS RATTLED OFF OF THE POST 47 TIMES IN A ROW!!!
And it goes one like this for ages. If your team is lucky enough to be putting all this pressure on, you’re clearly doomed because in the next five seconds, a freak bounce will almost instantly result in the puck bouncing into your own goal for a soul-crushing loss. If, however, your team is constantly on the verge of disaster, you will be dead from the sheer stress of it all and will likely never even see the game winning goal your guy scores by deflecting the puck off of his vasectomy scar and into the back of the net.
It’s goddamn exhausting. But we did it!!!
Anyway, I didn’t start writing this post to gloat about how I almost single-handedly rooted the Blackhawks to victory (although, clearly, that was the case). I had a point in mind. What was it? … Oh yeah, right…
They say that for a Blackhawks fan, the best day of the year is when the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup or, failing that, when the Detroit Red Wings don’t. We’ve got a rather heated rivalry with the Red Wings, who are a lot like the Yankees in baseball: They’ve had an embarrassment of riches going on over there for quite some time, and the Blackhawks (as well as the rest of the league) all too often pay the price for it.
Historically, when the Red Wings have lost in the playoffs, I’ve done my Sour Grapes Dance of Gratitude diligently and with gusto. This year, however, although I took pleasure in watching the Blackhawks dash the Red Wings’ hopes after falling behind 3-1 in their best of 7 series, I felt a twinge of regret. This is because of Dogs on Drugs Hall of Fame Commenter, Juice, who I consider a friend despite the very real handicap of also being a rabid Red Wings fan.
Let me just say this about Juice before we go any further: Unlike a lot of the lobotomized Red Wings fans, Juice can form complete sentences, speak with a great deal of intelligence and hockey knowledge, and is exactly the type of fan all teams aspire to have. She loves hockey, and loves her Red Wings, and I respect the hell out of her for that. So much so, that when the Red Wings lost, I truly felt bad for her because had they won, they would have faced the LA Kings, meaning that she’d have had the ability to go cheer them on in person. And I would have been happy for her if that had happened, although I would have felt bad for the sorry, band-wagoneering Kings fan who made the mistake of talking shit about the Red Wings in her presence. They’d be peeling pieces of his botoxed-face off of the rafters for years afterwards.
Anyway, I wound up here because I started out with the goal of writing about Juice’s book, Shaken Not Stirred: The Girl’s Guide To Stylishly Surviving The Big One (Earthquake Preparation For The Chic & Glamorous). Yes, a Red Wings fan wrote a book! (ducks, pleads with Juice for mercy) And not only did she write a book, but she went the extra mile and made sure that it physically existed in the real world. That’s right, none of that fairy e-book bullshit, it’s an actual book that you can feel, touch, caress, and even take into a dimly lit room and do unmentionable things to it with your naughty bits, if that’s what floats your boat. Hell, if you’re a cop who doesn’t play by the rules but gets results, dammit! then you’ll probably want to buy 5 or 6 of these because they’re perfect for whacking a suspect upside the head during an interrogation. Light, but with heft; flexible, but with a firm binding. Simply put, it’s a great clobberin’ book, and you know how rare those are.
Even better: The contents. Now Juice is a lawyer, and I’m going to print an excerpt from her book without her permission, which means that what is left of my corpse will soon be used to grease the Wheels of Infernal Justice, but I don’t care. That’s how much I like this book:
Gezzus, people, even OJ knows better than to prepare to loot and/or set about murdering drifters in a time of chaos…
That line made me laugh my ass off, and not just because murdering drifters is oh, so hilarious. And yeah, I read the book even though it’s The Girl’s Guide to etc., etc. What are you, some kind of misogynistic fuck-head or something?
Another quote, this one with ellipses and brackets:
Greg […] loves […] bacon […] and […] scissor[ing] […] under an overpass.
I’ve always wanted to butcher something like that. Makes me feel like I’m editing the Weekly World News.
Back to Juice’s book, which you should buy or I will come over to your house and remove your lungs with a rusty can-opener, it’s not only funny and well written, but it has honest-to-God good advice in it. I know, right? Anyone who reads this site isn’t used to that shit, but there you go!
You want to know how much I liked this book? When Shaken Not Stirred (a steal of a deal at $11.70) arrived at my house, I made the mistake of setting it aside because I had a couple of other books lined up in the queue, one of which I was midway through. After I’d finished that, I picked up Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, which is a classic and I was all set to devour it except it’s largely a stream-of-consciousness novel, and I’ve got kids which means my entire life is stream-of-consciousness: “I like cookies! Cindy bit me today at school! Why can’t I put more than one finger in my nose? What if God was made of burritos?” I need stream-of-consciousness in my life right now like Andy Dick needs crazy pills.
So I put down Gravity’s Rainbow and picked up Shaken Not Stirred and you know what? I blasted right through it. Juice is way, way better than Thomas Pynchon, and I’m going to need a few volunteers to go over to his house so we can take his shit and give it to Juice, because she deserves it way, way more than that fucktard does. (Honestly, in Gravity’s Rainbow, rockets attack this one dude whenever he gets a hard-on. Is this the kind of thing we want our children to read? Won’t somebody please think of the children?)
So go buy that book! I’ll be sitting here, re-reading my copy on the couch while I recover from the heart attacks.