Monday, March 01, 2010
The day the country turned blue
The Olympics are over. I have mixed feelings about the whole Olympicorporation, though I do admire the athletes and their dedication. Today, I am happy to have my city return to some kind of normal.
Yesterday though, my ambivalence was on vacation. Gone so far it could not even text me a little reminder. No matter how I feel about the Olympics, I AM a hockey fan. Multiply fan by a thousand and you have the level of passion for the sport felt by my beloved and his father. So yesterday, we went en famille (me, husband, son, father-in-law and mother-in-law) to the packed local pub to watch the game on the big screen.
The game was a nail biter, though when only 24 seconds were left and we were a goal ahead it seemed time to start celebrating gold. Then; "OH NO!!!", and people across our puck-crazed Dominion groaned when the U.S. scored. I swear I heard a guy in Corner Brook scream "SON OF A BITCH! Lads, pass the screech, quick!" In the pub we shook our heads, disbelieving that the game was tied and would go into sudden death overtime.
In the interval, I commiserated by phone with my sister, who was watching from New Zealand. (She is a bigger hockey fan than I am, once mortifying me at a Canucks game by standing and screaming "I love you Trevor", after Linden was sent to the penalty box.) The pub patrons wondered how they could bear the tension. Many more pitchers of Molson Canadian seemed the answer at most tables. (I saw one young woman at a nearby table drinking a Corona. She must be foreign.)
The puck dropped for the overtime period. The din in the pub made the lampposts outside tremble. A rowdy woman kept shrieking at the T.V., "GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT!GET IT OUT!" It was my 80 year old mother-in-law. I looked nervously at my 89 year old father-in-law, who was half out of his chair, fists clenched. I mentally reviewed my CPR training. After five minutes , the tension and the beer forced me to take a very speedy trip to the ladies'. Too bad medals are not given for fastest trip to the loo. The score was still zip all when I breathlessly returned. Then the beer caught up with my son and he jogged off to the Gents'. Just as Son was out of sight, Crosby scored for Canada, and the Country let out its collective breath. My son came running back. "I missed it," he wailed. Many of you have seen the ensuing decorus pleasure shown by us reserved, shy Canadians. We went ape shit.
My mother claims that my father had a talent for being in the bathroom whenever something important happened. It looks like that gift has skipped a generation.