Hockey Camp

my older brother used to beat the shit out of me all the time growing up before i went to boarding school. all the time, every day. he used to throw me in the dryer and turn it on, used to tie me to trees and leave me there, etc. etc.

so one night, when i was 9 and still in the deep end of a military fascination, i decided enough was enough and it was time for a change (RIP Blue Blazer). at the Norwalk army navy store in the late 80s they used to sell hollowed out hand grenades to use as paper weights and shit. mom bought me a few and i used to have little reanctments of the Tet offensive and shit in my back yard. enter: evil genius heady.

it was the night before officer heady (my brother) was going to fly to Can/Am hockey camp in TO (Bobby Carpenter was the NHLer there). he was his usual dick self, i was my usual tired of him self. he goes to bed, after having packed. taped his sticks all special and whathaveyou (the grip movie by twisting the roll and making a little rope).   still has a sick slapper.

in the middle of the night i sneak out of bed, past his room and my parents room Army Crawl style. sliding on my stomach down the stairs head first step by step to avoid creaking, i get to the all and find his fucking EXCALIBUR hockey bag….which was to me the most ideal place to store two hollowed out grenades. i went back up stairs walking on the edge of the same stairs to once again avoid creak and smiled myself to sleep.

he goes off the next day. hugs to mom, hugs to dad, dead arm to me INTO knocking my Minnesota Northstars hat off my noggin. I go to my own hockey practice. get home, do some summer reading, take a shower and plop down for some quality quiet time knowing that now i won’t have to look over my shoulder ever 20 minutes for fear of an well thrown tape ball or floor hockey stick.

Our wall phone (what up 1987….) rings. Ma Esq answers it. I pay no mind. Then I hear her shouting. Then panic. She then is in the kitchen for 30 minutes on an extended call where I have never heard her more polite in my life. “Yes sir, no sir, i understand and we are truly sorry.” This goes on and on and finally she hangs up.

I didn’t necessarily hear her as she crossed the dining room, into the tv room, but i felt the back of a very expertly thrown open hand slap to the back of my brain stem.

“you little shit.”

pa esq hops up and yells at her to calm down. and he, of all people, defuses the situation.

“your son just cost us $X today, carroll.”
“how?”
“that was JFK.”
“why would JFK call, is everything okay? did Jimmy’s flight get delayed.”
“No it took off….without him on it.”
Now mad: “What did Jimmy do now?”
“Not Jimmy, him!” *pointing and yelling*

They disappear, and come back halfway through whatever I was watching. They stand in front of the tv and turn it off. I know now I am fucked, because in my 33 years on this earth, I have never sen my dad turn off one of his shows halfway through, and this was pre DVR.

“Stevie” Thick Maine accent. “Do you want to explain why you thought putting 2 grenades in your brother’s hockey bag before he went to the airport was funny.”
“I never meant it to be funny, I wanted to get him arrested.”

Jimmy was pulled from the security line and thrown into a tiny 8 x 10 room with a swinging light bulb and an airport security director that had no funny bone. After he was grilled for an hour or two, they left him in the room by himself while his buddies and the plane left for Can Am. He sobbed like a little girl. After they finally decided on what to do they called my mom and told them about it all. The whole time Jimmy had no idea how they got there, but the security guys didn’t believe him.

He was a broken little boy when he caught the next flight and when he came home he never fucked with me to the point he did again. He realized I was a fucked up individual. He is more or less right.

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Mad Men, Best Buy and Regeanomics

I played Pee Wee hockey with this kid from Larchmont, New York, named Frankie Fleizach, whose dad was an ad guy in NYC. Class act, his dad, super down to earth, tied a mean skate, told me that the arcade game Outrun was not realistic in its crash scenes, blah blah blah, but I digress…

I was just watching Mad Men, mainly to see what kind of ill fitting but delectable top that red head that’s married to the snozzberry guy from the opening scene in Super Troopers* was in, when to my fascination there was a new commercial for Best Buy.

Best Buy is still in business? I thought that like in the same vein “somebody” finally beat the Whiz it would have been dead and in a heap on the side of Boston Post Road along with countless left baby shoes (don’t ask).

In this commercial a very respectable family of color is buying a television from the super duperly viewer friendly actor playing “Eugene” (his name tag slightly sagging on his audience tested “husky” frame). Somewhere along in this relationship, between this tandem that defies all conventions and goes right for our sentimental jugular vein, he waxes them into getting a Blue Ray (I still have no idea what that means) with a VIOS ludicrous speed modem. Oh and it’s like a 45 inch screen flat high def screen, which for sports is like “oh wow the seams on the split finger fast ball just pop right at you during the slow right-to-left dip across the plate” but in daytime talk show is more like “wow, I can actually see the  Formaldehyde dripping from Barbara Walters’ nostrils.”

So as I am sitting here and am taking in this commercial I realize there are two schools of thought on what is being thrown down by Eugene, apparently somehow the guy at corporate wanted to be the face, the very very wide face, of Best Buy. One: wow this guy, this “un-threatening but slightly obese” guy is incredibly smooth in his delivery (which lends one to ask why he isn’t in a match.com commercial…). The other: this ENTIRE family that is out buying this “Brontasaurian” television and Blue Ray is way the fuck out of their economic element. I mean think about it: if you can afford to buy a 45 inch flat screen television with blue ray and all the accoutrement then why bring your entire family to the store? This looks to the casual viewer to be a corner-stone in the family montage to be aired after Eugene dies, I mean who doesn’t go shopping with their grandmother, mother-in-law, nephew, son, grand son and great grand son? Oh that’s right: white people.

BUT this gets better or worse, depending on your alcohol intake while reading this. Eugene gave us his rainmaker. It was his board room pitch to Donald. It was his Shark Tank pitch to that bitch from Douglas Elliman. It was that thing that the Bedstuy Police Department should have yelled at that naked homeless guy standing on the portico of a deli before they tazed him and he subsequently fell to his death. He threw out the line that he knew….that he felt in his heart of husky hearts would seal the deal on the Junior Varsity Huxtables. And I quote this word for word so the absurdity can shoot right out at you, drenching you entirely in “what the fuck”:

“And you can tell people “bam” I just updated my Facebook status from the couch.”

Really?

Let me dissect this on a few levels.

First: if they are the kind of family that can buy an egregiously enormous television, then chances are one of them has an iPhone, and last I checked, Facebook status (however annoying, dull or self serving it is) can be updated on that.

Second: You are on the couch. That cushiony yet immobile vessel for the lazy that is in the middle of your living room. I mean really?!?!?!? What could you possibly be updating me on? “on the couch, LOL.” “oh hey look, there’s the coffee table!!!!”

Finally: I have 3 black friends and they are all still on myspace.

I mean, honestly, Eugene, this is the best you can do on a nationally televised spot? The fact that I was watching you do this during the commercial break for Mad Men, a show about pitching products and selling dreams/ideals/options, and this is what you give me? You make me want to puke.  Don Draper deserves better….well in this context at least.

I hope Frankie Fleizach’s dad is still alive and he can somehow sense the wrong that you, Best Buy and VIOS, have committed to society in general tonight.

Status update: on couch looking at lap top, disgusted with self for caring about this topic so much, ROTFLMAO9magent&@(#!!!!

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