The Marner Effect
“You don’t realize how happy I am,” I told her.
“Not having Marner on the roster would’ve been worse than a heart attack.
“It was stressful. Turn on the TV, check Twitter; you couldn’t avoid the speculation; and you had to pick a side: Team Marner or Team Dubas.
“But it’s all over now! Marner is signed and won’t miss any action!
“This could be the year!”
She smiled and reached out to me.
“I’m happy the hockey player is playing for your team,” she said. “But there’s a lineup behind you. Can you just take your Timbits and go?”
The (Almost) Candidate
The paperwork was organized and accounted for.
I was ready to make a difference. Represent my riding with integrity and honesty. The political itch was too intense to avoid.
Ottawa, get ready!
But as I stood outside the local Elections Canada office, I was suddenly paralyzed with perspective: I was about to begin a career in politics. I was about to become the entity that gave me fodder.
I tore everything up and ran away as fast as I could. In that moment, I realized I needed to cut back on my vices. It was making me do foolish things.
Sitting silently, eating our ice cream.
We knew it was coming and so did everyone inside the Baskin Robbins.
“It’s over,” she declared. “We’re not right for each other.”
“Is your family making you do this?” I asked.
“They’re not!” she replied angrily. “Could you blame them if they did? You insulted them!”
“They’re Yankee fans,” I said defensively. “Worst fans in baseball. I care about you, but I will not endure such arrogance.”
She stormed out of the shop, uttering words that melted everything in my cone. Never saw her again and haven’t been inside a Baskin Robbins since.
Christmas Day, 1991
The Christmas morning air had extra bite.
While the entire street was opening presents and sipping hot chocolate, I stood outside in a thin robe.
At stake: my friends’ tickets to a Saturday Leafs game. A pair of golds right behind the penalty boxes. All mine if I ran up and down the street au naturel.
I knew it was foolish and only gave hollow pride. However, having the best seats and being seen on Hockey Night in Canada was too enticing.
Belt untied. Robe removed. I prayed that nobody saw me. I asked God not to strike me down.