Shortly before puck drop last night I texted Boss Lady with an urgent message for Mom, who for some reason refuses to carry her cell phone. This is the message I sent:
“Tell Mom to focus. It’s time to get her game on!”
I watched what I could of the game, and the Habs were leading 2-1 halfway through the 2nd period when I had to rush around to get ready for work. While I was changing I heard my Dad yelling at me.
“Who scored?” I gasped, rushing back into my inner sanctum.
“Tomas Plekanec,” said Dad, and since it was the Islanders’ the Habs were kicking around instead of his favorite team, the Ottawa Senators, refrained from adding his usual “The Bastard” tag after mentioning Pleky’s name.
He was playing nice about my team for a change, chilling his ass on my Habs sofa, in my Habs den, with his feet up on my coffee table and sipping the Glenfiddich I had bought for him.
With the score now 3-1 in favor of the Canadiens I hopped into the car and hauled ass to work. I dashed downstairs into the plant and called Dad.
“What’s the score?”
“Oh I dunno. I don’t think it’s changed from when you left.”
“You’re not watching anymore?” I momentarily forgot he wasn’t a Habs fan. “What is wrong with you?”
I cut him off and checked my twitter. The score was now 3-2. I recoiled in horror. Clearly Jacques Martin hadn’t seen my tweet recommending he not take his foot off the gas in the 3rd. Just then Mom came around the corner.
“What did you text to Boss Lady?”
“Why? What did she tell you?”
As I have mentioned before, the post office is undergoing a postal transformation. Mom had spoken up during a meeting earlier in the night, taking issue with one of the upcoming changes. Later on Boss Lady had wandered over to her.
“You need to focus, you know,” she told Mom.
“I know that,” said Mom, who by now was having a good night at work and couldn’t understand why Boss Lady was suddenly trying to pep her up.
“It’s time to get with the game plan and just focus on this job.”
Mom stared at her. “What is this about? I AM focused. I’m doing my job over here. What do you want? What is this about all of a sudden?”
“I dunno,” said Boss Lady, “I got this text from one of your kids…”
“You can’t listen to my kids,” admonished Mom. “They’re completely crazy!”
I laughed when Mom relayed this to me. “I was trying to get you to focus on the Habs game.”
“What’s the score anyway?”
“3-2 for the Habs. You need to focus. They need that goal back.”
Mom grinned and agreed to try, then wandered off back to work.
I waited a few minutes and checked twitter again. It was now 4-2 Habs. Way to go Mom! I did some work and keep popping in and out on my twitter feed. 4-3 Habs.
“Gak!” I said, and shot out of my work station like I’d been fired out of a cannon. Another employee headed for the bathroom apparently heard my wail.
“Gak?” he inquired, but I was already blowing by at warp speed.
“You stopped focusing!” I accused Mom, who was leaning over a machine with her back turned to me.
She jumped up and got this look on her face. “Why? What’s the score now?”
“4-3! You need to focus!”
“OK, OK,” she said dismissively, and I resisted the urge to grab her by the scruff of the neck and give her a good shake. Did she not realize the importance of her mental powers? I mean, it’s not like the Habs were going to do this on their own merits or anything.
Once Andrei Kostitsyn put the game away with an empty netter, my blood pressure finally dropped out of the red zone. Mom dared to come back into my work area.
“Did they win?”
“Yeah, 5-2. Thank you.”
“Did Cammalleri get one?”
“No. Kostitsyn got the final goal.”
“Cammalleri didn’t get any? I was focusing on Cammalleri.”
I stopped putting the mail into the walks and paused to look at her. “Well you can focus on Cammalleri getting a goal again on Friday.”
“I like Cammalleri.”
Apparently. This was new.
“I wanted him to get it. My boy Cammalleri’s not hearing me.”
Her boy? If there’s any justice in this world Sid the Kid is reading this blog and gnashing his teeth in frustration and worry. Can it be he’s been usurped in my mother’s hockey affections?
“He might on Friday,” I told her. “You can focus on that. A lot. For Pouliot too.” What the hell, I thought, putting in a plug for a player of my own.
Thus mollified she prepared to go for the night as her shift was over.
“I forgot my lunch,” I told her. “Could you bring me something to eat?”
“What would you like?”
“Chicken wings? It’s after midnight! Where the hell am I going to get chicken wings at this hour?”
I suppressed my laughter. “Forget it. Just get me a burger or something.”
“I can go to Sobey’s and get you a WHOLE chicken I suppose…”
“Never mind. A burger will do fine.”
“They have chicken burgers at Burger King.”
I turned to Buffalo Bill, he of the famous Smoke on the Water tale, and asked him if he’d tried this chicken burger.
“It’s good if you don’t plan on eating anymore salt for a few days,” was his opinion.
I passed on the chicken burger and then teased Buffalo Bill about his Maple Leafs being in the top of the standings. After decades of disappointment, he’s not the most optimistic guy about his team.
“It won’t last,” he predicted. “Although they are getting good goaltending so far this year.”
“You’ll have to come over and watch the next Leafs-Habs matchup on the big screen in my Habs den,” I told him. “We’ll smack talk each other’s teams. It’ll be fun.”
He laughingly agreed and I walked away shaking my head at what I done, which is invite a Leafs fan into my beloved Habs sanctuary.
Today when I woke up, what did I find on the kitchen counter?
“I bought you chicken,” said Mom. “A whole chicken.”
She’s now expecting me to eat a whole chicken.
You see what I go through for my team? Let this be a lesson to you. Beware the unforeseen hazards of being a Habs fan.