Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wardrobe Malfunction

The standard e-mail I send to my wife every Thursday morning looks something like this: No points, no penalties, no injuries. We won/lost (insert score).

But other than avoiding injury and not appearing on the score sheet, this morning has been anything but ordinary. Let’s relive it, shall we?

The clock, which is ten or so minutes fast, on the dresser in our bedroom says the time is 5:15 a.m. After I stretch and then pull on my hockey gear (sans the skates and shoulder pads) I’m ready to roll. We load the truck with my gear, clothes (including a fresh dry-cleaned shirt), camera, and this morning’s post-game beverages. Five minutes later, we’re three blocks away from home, halfway to the rink.

It’s 6:00—in New Brunswick! The blue digital letters on the clock in our car read 5:00. Time for a new alarm clock. At 5:05 (local time), I take off my perpetually malodorous hockey pants and then lie on the couch.

As we near the rink at about 6:10, I’m more tired than I was an hour ago. Twelve players—an anomaly for sure—are crammed into a locker room adjacent to Rink One. I hang up my shirt, don my skates, put on my shoulder pads, and then pull my Capitals jersey over my head.

Because we have a goalie and eleven skaters—two sets of defensemen, two lines, and one extra skater—I volunteer to rotate through the corps of regular players. Never done that before. Imagine, yours truly, playing on a line with Dave “Mr. Hockey” Losier! Who knows when that will happen again?

After the 6–4 victory over the Bruins, I shower and then get dressed. The button-down, collarless shirt is missing two middle fasteners. How did that happen? How did I not catch that problem when I pulled the shirt off the rack last night? I don’t have a tie to cover the fashion faux pas, so I go to work like that.

I’m leading a training session for nine new workers, and I can’t the get the new hardware to project an image onto the screen. I call my friend and co-worker Josh (you’ll meet him in Chapter Three of AMHL Glory), to help me. A few minutes later Josh enters the room, grinning, because he sees that the lens cap is still on the projector. I’m supposed to help people with the technical problems! How did I miss that?

I suggest, sardonically, to Josh that he send an e-mail to my co-workers to inform them of my mental miscues as the trainees wonder about their leader’s qualifications.

After the training—successful once the lens cap has been removed and the laughter has left the room—I send that standard e-mail to my wife (I won’t mention the wardrobe malfunction or the projector problem until this evening).

The AMHL photographer’s reply: “You seemed quick today…” I don’t hear that every day.
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