News from the Gentlemen's Club with The Kansas Farmer - Curated by Paul Nichol (Jan. 20)
Well, that Christmas blizzard was sure a whopper. But I tell you what - we had it far worse in the old days. No significant weather event or polar vortex could stop us.
When I was a lad, we embraced winter. Us fellars on the 6th Line made merry of it. The Nichols, the McLellans and Carman Bernard would all go out to play road hockey. From time to time we would pull in Lenis Miller as a free agent. Lenis always played goal and had a very interesting technique. He would build snowforts around the net to make it impenetrable. (Of course that didn’t conform to the rules of the International Road Hockey Federation so we had to suspend him.)
We would not bother playing until the temperature dropped to -30°C. If it was warmer than that, the frozen pig turd that we used as a puck wouldn’t skip just right. We played in our shirt sleeves. When it got much colder, we would just roll our sleeves down from the elbows.
Old Tommy Miller always kept a close eye on things. He’d be sure to drive down the road and stop the game as he drove slowly past. He had no particular place to go. He just wanted to inconvenience us.
The McLellans were formidable road hockey players. Carl could shake your martini with a bodycheck. Max stood on defence like the Great Wall of China. David could stickhandle you out of your underpants. And Peggy was as fierce a goalie as Terry Sawchuck. (Pauline was more of a Foster Hewitt . She always preferred to do the play-by-play.) But most of all, we feared Alvin’s blistering slapshot. It could pull the clothes right off your back.
Clem and Edna had one bitch of a dog. (Ha. Ha. Editor Shawn!) She was a mean sort of a mongrel and we all hated her. One day she shows up, she’s snarly as always and looking for an ankle to bite. Well, Alvin has the puck. He beads his eye and takes aim and fires that puck right at the dog. The force of Alvin’s slapshot was so hard, it went right into one ear of the dog and out the other.
Now, what happened next was for the ages. That miserable canine picked the puck up in her mouth and dropped it across the goal line. Score: McLellans 1, Nichols 0. I couldn’t make that up. That dog actually ended up playing a game for the Leafs. No, sorry, my mistake - I was thinking of Darwin McCutcheon.