Just before the Avs won their first Stanley Cup in ’96, the basics of hockey were explained to me: this is icing, this is how many dudes can skate around at one time, that guy’s in the plastic box thingy because of high sticking … that kinda stuff.
When a dude is passionate about a particular sport, if he bothers explaining what the hell is going on and what’s at stake, I’m suddenly interested.
It’s a win-win for both parties, especially since I’m far less likely to throw myself on the ground, ask what he’s thinking and demand a State of Our Union address while the game is still on because I’m too busy drinking beer and shouting at the other team.
So it was a brilliant move on the boyfriend’s part; the more questions I asked, the more he got into explaining it. The not-so-brilliant move came after I cheered when a goal was scored.
“No, no, no,” he said, shaking his head with pity, but smiling at the prospect of sharing more hockey gospel. “It doesn’t count. That wasn’t a goal. Didn’t count.”
He pointed at the screen.
“It wasn’t a backhanded wrist-shot.”
I bought that bullshit because I am gullible. And he didn’t correct it, because he knew exactly what I’d do with that information.
Later that week, we were watching the playoffs at a friend’s. Most of the men were in one room and most of the women were in another, but all of us were drinking beer, watching the game and shouting a lot.
First period, the puck landed in the net, everyone cheered and then, shaking my head with pity, but smiling because I was about to share hockey gospel, I informed the women, “No, no. It doesn’t count. That wasn’t a goal. Didn’t count.”
I stood up and pointed at the screen.
“Wasn’t a backhanded wrist-shot.”
To make matters worse, I then demonstrated the move while repeating the term “backhanded wrist-shot” about three times.
Only after that did I hear laughing in the next room.
Being both innately gullible and an insufferable know-it-all is a terrible combination, but it’s my cross to bear.
The sumbitch found it funny to trick me and frankly, I couldn’t deny that. (It’s perfectly acceptable to both hate and respect your boyfriend at times.)
He’s gone, but the glee that comes from making shit up you know I’ll play town crier to is the gift that keeps on giving. This July I wrote a bestie asking for help with a stick-on mustache emergency: I needed a lot of them, and fast.
She wrote back, “Yes, there’s a man who has one of those rolly booths on Pearl. I’m pretty sure he only sells fake moustaches and fake pipes/cigars/candy cigs. The top of his cart has a ginormous black top hat sitting on top of it; can’t miss it. Last time I saw him, he was down by Illegal Pete’s.”
Guess where this yellow hair went for lunch that day?
But last weekend, I was reminded I’m not alone.
Mike just taught his pal, Megan, the basics of fantasy football. He told her about picking players from different teams and how the scoring worked and then she asked what was at stake.
“Do you win money?”
“Well, sorta,” he said, “You win fantasy money. But with that fantasy money, you buy fantasy things. I’m saving up to buy fantasy skis, poles and boots. I don’t know, maybe I’ll get a fantasy ski condo.”
Soon, poor Megan was talking to her brother about his fantasy football team.
“So how is it going!?” she asked. “It’s so cool; like the Sims … how big is your fantasy mansion?”
Megan and I should probably team up and show these good friends our backhanded wrist-shots — right after we find that damned mustache cart on Pearl.
Jeanine Fritz explores penalty boxes and mustaches every Friday in the Colorado Daily.