Saturday, June 10, 2006

AMHL Thursday: Fashion Statements

“Ladies and gentlemen…Jimmy Dwyer!”

Peter Bagley, first-rate referee (opinions vary among AMHLers) and Master of Ceremonies extraordinaire (not much argument there), may have been the one to introduce me to the crowd gathered in the donut room on Thursday morning.

I don’t remember who announced the beginning of the one-man fashion show because I was so embarrassed about my appearance. Fresh off a 3–9 drubbing at the hands of Adam Berger, Brion Bickerton, and their Bruins teammates, my face turned to the shade of the goalpost I hit with a backhand shot half an hour earlier. The red Nike shorts, which I had put on at about 5:30 a.m. and which I was still wearing after an hour of hard skating, matched the color of my face as my brethren roasted me about my presentation. (I’ll give you the details in a few seconds.)

“You really had to work at that,” Bags continued the mockery.

By “that,” Bagley means the disheveled look of a man who, two hours earlier, had walked out of his home with his hockey bag and sticks wearing his Avalanche jersey, shin pads, burgundy and silver hockey socks, black hockey pants…and black dress shoes. The look of a guy who had forgotten the rest of his work attire in a plastic bag at home.

My wife had driven to the rink, taken pictures for a couple periods, and then left for work. Nothing out of the ordinary there. A teammate or an opponent always drives me to work, less than two miles away.

After the game, I peeled off my hockey get-up. I showered, walked to the bench, and then reached for the plastic bag that wasn’t there. I pondered the options. Get dressed for hockey again and pretend I had another game somewhere else? Nah. Instead, I put on the same underwear, shorts, and white tube socks I had just worn, pulled the Avs jersey over my head, and then stepped into my black dress shoes. Then I gelled up my hair to top off the look before stuffing the stinky clothes and gear in my hockey bag.

I proceeded to the unsuspecting audience to await the color commentary aimed at me. Unable to offer anything more than a mumbled defense, I endured the humiliation. I skulked toward the breakfast spread, and the denizens went back to whatever they were discussing before I entered the room.

A glazed chocolate Munchkin and half a Poppyseed Bagel with cream cheese later, Chris Howell drove me home, where my dress clothes laughed themselves right out of the plastic bag.

I dressed and then walked to work. Ten minutes early, I was all alone in my cubicle, so I sat down and then unceremoniously introduced myself to the PC.
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