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Monday, January 26, 2009

Gumby Crests The Hill..Doesn’t Like What He Sees

Killer Strawberries 7 Free Agents 3

Game Report

January 22, 2009

The inimitable P. Gumbington Pettigrew the Third kicked off his 50th Birthday Week Celebration by playing a whale of a game against a determined, but ultimately outgunned, Free Agent team. More like a beached whale of a game.

It is rumoured that, to initiate himself properly into his sixth decade, he awoke promptly at 10:30am on game day and phoned in to work citing “wellness issues” as the most likely cause of his tardiness and highly probable non-appearance later in the day. He then quickly poured himself his favourite libation, toasted the universe’s good luck in still having him around, dropped 1200milligrams of Ibuprofen and called it a day. The day slid by blissfully as he lolligagged about, alone, in his bed, floating in and out of daydreamy consciousness. Only the sharp dig into his side by the corner of his January Playboy magazine disturbed his heavenly slumber.

At 6pm, he dragged himself from his narcoleptic inertia, prepared himself a wholesome dinner of rye and coke, gulped it down and returned to his salacious dreams. At 9pm, he was awakened by the buzzer to his apartment. He had forgotten his promise to the Ice Marshal to be ready at 9 so that he could be chauffered to the game against the Free Agents. Stung by his oversight, he unhurriedly moped about his apartment, got dressed as leisurely as he thought he could get away with, brushed his teeth, gathered his equipment and lumbered nonchalantly out of his lair, descended a few steps, and tossed his equipment into the waiting chariot. With not even a hello, he bellowed “Hurry up, we’ll be late.”

Things went downhill from there. He was 10 minutes late for the start of the game, slurred useless instructions to his teammates throughtout the match, incessantly bombed the bench with gaseous emanations heavily scented with sulfur, threw up twice and generally played like crap. Fortunately, the rest of the Strawbs were firing on all cylinders. Dr. Thug potted two goals and screamed beautifully when 3 others were scored by his line. He screamed so loud, he gave himself another concussion. Freight Train, ever one to let a scoring opportunity go by, missed scoring a sure goal on at least 7 occasions. The Vice played like a much younger man…say 4 years old. The Butcher continued his love affair with the female time keeper by keeping her company as many times as he could without getting kicked out of the game for incurring too many penalties. Archilles Perron turned his nose up at 2 open nets and MagBoy continued to use the end boards as stopping devices. Pyjama Man could have stayed home and been more effective. Slickery was slicker than usual and Shiny shinier than usual. The Leak was uncharacteristically stingy. Warrin’ Peace showed up for his second game in a row. He claims he is finally recovered from the home health test he gave himself with his new vaccuum cleaner, the Turbo Sucker and Prostate Examiner IV.

In the dressing room after the match, Gumbyfest continued. Little was said about his flaccid on-ice performance as he shared the 12 year old Scotch and the 10 year Scotch given to him by the team in honour of his having survived the first 50 years of a wasted existence. Fine words of praise flowed effusively, congratulating him on the fine state of his digestive system, the resilience of his liver, his excellent choice of livery and personal hygiene products, and his amazing way with referees and women who don’t know him.

Later, the team assembled at the Terminal Tavren to top up alcohol levels to just below legal limits. Miss White Go Go Boots was there and presented Gumby with the finest French kiss since the morning Louis The 16th was beheaded. The Field Marsha was there too and allowed our intrepid hockeyman to touch the hem of her regal garment, the bathrobe she wears as she presides magisterially over the Compound For Minor Vice. Present also was Samarra Dessert, long suffering spouse of Warrin’ Peace. From her, Gumby received an open invitation to visit the garage of Bad Ideas on any Monday the 13th which should occur in the next calendar year, February and December excepted.

Ever gracious, Gumby thanked the adoring throng, claimed he was cautiously pessimistic about his future, toasted his own self and promptly fell asleep in his chair. How he got home is still a mystery.

10 Blue, 4 Bud, 2 Appletinis, 8 Guinness, 3 Stella, 5 pounds of chicken wings some fine recollections of a life well wasted were consumed.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gumby throw his own 50th birthday bash.

Some notable Strawbs were in attendance last night for Gumby's 50th birthday bash at the Elk's Lodge. I'll leave the captions to the viewers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More post-game Killer Strawberries photos.

The Killer Strawberries win their game on Gumby's birthday, have a bad photo taken by the ref in between periods, and convene to the terminal tavren afterwards to celebrate.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fun Takes A Holiday

Game Report

January 19, 2009

Killer Strawberries 3 Red Stripes 3

What a letdown. In the Strawbs’ game previous to last night’s tussle with the Red Stripes, all the qualities of a great matchup were present: good play, fair play, excellent play, and laughable errors of execution and judgement. In short, the previous game was a celebration of hockey.

Last night was almost as far from the apotheosis of enjoyable hockey as you could imagine. It started out badly. The 2 worst referees in the universe, south, east and west of Alpha Centauri, showed up to weave their inimitable magic. One has been the bane of Strawbs’ existence since the days when dirt was still a rock. Referee (and I use the term “referee” loosely) Napoleon Fizzlecracker has been banned from officiating in more leagues than George Bush has had bad ideas. Typically, he does his best to be incompetent, loves to taunt those who can’t talk back without receiving a misconduct, and succeeds in ruining every game he touches. His counterpart, referee Blithely Useless, is always content to let things go for a while and then to pounce upon the most marginal of infractions and to make the most incomprehensible of calls. A collective shudder went through the team when they saw who had been assigned to officiate the game. It was clear signal to the team to forego buying any lottery tickets after the match.

As everyone knows, the Strawbs are not what is normally termed a “dirty team”. Yes, we have our own butcher, but he is a benevolent butcher who loves kittens. Yes, we have the aggressive MagBoy, but he is a controlled aggressive MagBoy who is still learning how to stop just before he reaches the end boards. The rest of us are not angels…just naughty enough to be very very attractive to women. We normally don’t start any hostilities but we’ll be damned if anyone will transgress the bounds of fair play with impunity. Slash us and we’ll slash you back. High stick us and we’ll take your girlfriend out on date to prove to her your uselessness/inadequacy to the cosmos and to her personal needs. We are nice guys till we get crossed or crosschecked.

Last night’s match, as was described earlier, did not look auspicious from the outset. Despite the enormous potential for crappy refereeing, the Strawberries put their best skates forward. They took a 3-0 lead which lasted till the last minute of the first period. The Red Stripes were not pleased. Their lack of sportsmanship showed and increased with their frustration. Nevertheless, they made the score 3-1 by period’s end.

The second period was ugly…uglier than Dr. Thug in a purple thong. It was chippy, vindictive, and joyless with refereeing to match. The final score was 3-3 and the game did not end soon enough.

It may all sound like sour grapes. Perhaps it is, somewhat. We did blow a 3-0 lead. But I think we all know, that in the big scheme of things, victories come and victories go. Losses come and losses go. The true joy in hockey comes from playing the game well without having to worry whether you will be able to get out of bed the next day still in good health. You know it’s been a great game when, at the end of the match, you have earned the respect of your opponent and your opponent has been elevated in your esteem. You want to shake hands and thank each other for a game well and respectfully played, no matter the numbers on the scoreboard when the final whistle goes. Unfortunately, last evening, this did not happen.

The Strawbs did not assemble, post-game, at the Terminal Tavren.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Strawberries 3 ALU Warriors 3

Game Report

January 15, 2009

It’s minus 32 degrees celsius as the Vice, always the second to arrive before a game, trudges half-awake, half-pumped, half-assed across the frozen tundra which serves as the arena parking lot. Tonight, he is the first to show up. Dr. Thug, the team’s perennial early bird, will not make it to the game on this evening, having once again self-administered a concussion by foolishly trying to stop a puck with his face in a match the day earlier. His physician, whom the Strawbs have on speed-dial, has informed the Executive that the aging veteran could be out for another 2 games or so. Precautionary.

A few moments after the Vice esconces himself on his customary perch on the bench by the toilet, the Ice Marshall and his invariably tardy passenger, the almost 50 year old Gawdawful Gumby, darken the dressing room door. The Vice has sat in this seat so often, one can easily make out the butt imprint he has been grinding into the wood since the days when he weighed 155 pounds. As with his liver, the imprint increases in size, year by year.

The Ice Marshall sits down beside his buddy’s perch and compliments him on …well it wasn’t exactly a compliment. Gumby shuffles to his favourite spot beside the hot air exchanger. The irony is lost on no one. Next Shiny Sean comes in, still miffed the Packers won’t be playing on Sunday next. Gumby, ever the diplomat, reminds Shiny of the 3 unforced errors Shiny committed in the previous game. He even has advice on what to do in similar situations in future. Always thinking.

The Leak arrives at precisely 15 minutes to game time. He is a stickler to routine. One of his routines is to let in a soft goal in the first minute of every match. Predictably, he informs the perched Executive, pre-game, that tonight will be different. The game tape will show otherwise.

Five minutes later, a tsunami of bedraggled pours through the door, led by Archilles Perron, exhausted from all the housework he has had to perform while his wife idles on a cruise ship somewhere off the coast of Spain. A vacuum cleaner attachment falls from his bag onto the floor. He is too tired to pick it up. Right behind him, MagBoy picks up the fallen attachment and informs the assembled that it is a 1999, Model T4a Kenmore Dirt Sucker attachment which can also used, in a pinch, as an exhaust manifold for any Yamaha dirt bike built in the late 1980s. A large quantity of the word “bullshit” is sucked out of the room through the hot air exchanger.

Freight Train Laronde comes lumbering in, weighted down by a doctoral thesis that won’t go away. He is chipper though. Hockey is in his blood, having exited his mother’s womb, wearing a pair of skates, an ancient melon-protector and a rather large jock for one so young. Slickery Mac soon sits down beside him. Doesn’t talk much. Can’t get a word in edgewise as Gumby continues his critiques and positive reinforcements…although ones wonders if the statement “Shiny, you’re pretty nimble for a fat guy” qualifies as positive reinforcement.

As the Zamboni completes its last sweep on the ice surface, Bonehead Butcher Brophey and Pyjama Man try to squeeze through the door, side by side. Paris Hilton has a better chance of revirginization. Brophey’s equipment is still frozen. Funny how leaving said equipment in an unheated garage for a week in winter does that. “Never happens in the summer” he states authoritatively. Sad thing is, he teaches some of our kids. Pyjama Man dresses fast, fast like a teenager about to be caught pantless in the back seat of his girlfriend’s girlfriend’s parents’ car. If only he were this fast on the rink.

The only other missing tonight is Warrin’ Peace. Got stuck in his Garage of Bad Ideas last Friday and hasn’t been able to get out since. Can’t climb the mountain of empties accumulating by the only door out.

It’s 30 seconds to game time. The Strawbs grunt their way up the stairs to the ice surface. Shiny takes the elevator. As the Leak comes into view, the fan goes wild. Whoops. No it wasn’t a fan…just some little kid who got his fingers caught in a door. No matter. The Strawbs are now pumped.

The game starts. The Warriors score an early goal. They score again. The Strawbs fight back 2-1, 2-2, 3-2 Strawbs. The match is a beauty. The quintessence of Canadian hockey. Back and forth. Forth and back. The two teams push themselves. Gasping on the bench. Herculean efforts in the corners. Every ounce of energy expended. The warriors score. 3-3. The last 5 minutes are furious. Dash. Feint. Shot. Shot. Save. Dash Shot. Save Shot Save. And the buzzer goes.

The 2 teams line up to shake hands. Everyone is smiling. Both sides know the tanks are empty. And they are happy. Happy because they have played well and will play well again.

The Strawbs reassembled post game to keep alive the glow of a game well-fought. Team mates were toasted and the opposition highly praised. Another hockey night in Canada.

4 Blue, 4 Guinness, 2 Bud, 1 Stella, 2 Rickards, 3 pounds of seasoned wings and a fondly welcomed tiredness were consumed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dally, Rally, Lose in Finale

Game Report

January 12, 2009

Spitfires 4 Killer Strawberries 3

It was a ragged performance for the first 35 minutes of play, as the Killer Strawberries, still carrying an average of 25 pounds of extra body putty per person put on over the Christmas break, struggled to find their inner Crosbies. Apparently, the Crosbies were on vacation because the despised Spitfires were up 4-1 with 5 minutes to play.

Sensing the embarrassment of the score, the Strawbs ramped her up into second gear, scored a couple of quick goals and almost pulled off the tie, shorthanded and frustrated, as time cruelly expired.

It was much like the situation every teenage boy has faced since time immemorial: girlfriend’s parents out for the evening, no one else home, teenage boy sneaks in through the basement window 3 minutes after parents’ departure and a blessed 2 hours before parents set to return, the cat shooed off the couch , couch horizontally occupied by two corpi of hormones at the ready, moves attempted and thwarted mercilessly, libidos frustrated as the favoured parts of his anatomy turn blue, time flying, still time to try a few things but time running out, 5 minutes left before parents’ return and only one button undone, desperation sets in, boldness trumps discretion, desperate moves starting to work and, oh no!!! the fucking parents’ car pulls up into the driveway. Blood flows north like the great Orinoco in spring and the teenage boy trudges home, bowlegged, a loser.

Final score: Parents 1, teenage boy 0, Spitfires 4 Strawberries 3.

All was not wasted on the night however. The more manly of the Strawbs convened at the Terminal Tavren to go over the gamus petus interruptus. The soothing balm of malt based elixers soon blurred the painful edges of the disappointing evening. Stories of past victories and conquests were recounted, backs slapped and credulity suspended as tales of long forgotten glory stretched to the land of improbability.

3 Blue, 4 Guinness, 5 Black and Tan, 2 Steamwhistle, 1 Bud, 3 pounds of chicken wings and visions of what might have been were bittersweetly consumed.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Flaccid Free Agents Get Stiffed By Strawbs

Strawberries 6 Free Agents 3

Game Report

January 8, 2009-01-11

Despite a stiff resolve to start the second half of the season with gusto, the Killer Strawberries, last night, came out flaccid and languid, yet managed to stick one to an even flaccider squad of dispirited Free Agents, who were apparently still smarting from seasonal overconsumption of turkey, Nat King Cole and oversized Christmas shooters.

Perhaps it was the overwhelming smell of new Spandex in the Strawbs’ pre-game dressing room which caused some of the poor on ice play. Spandex, which may look good on Britney Spears and Miss White Go Go Boots, is known to throw off noxious fumes and to cause lightheadedness. The olfactory emanations from rubber patching job on Butcher Brophey’s underpants alone could have taken out the Taliban. So disoriented was the Butcher that he played like Dr. Thug as he repeatedly succeeded in battering the only female on the Free Agents’ team, a slip of a girl so small she could easily be squeezed through the mail slot of a Barbie and Ken dollhouse.

Dr. Thug continued his descent into senility, as over and over, he attempted to complete full 10 minute shifts without even pretending to want to come off the ice. Time after time, he feigned deafness as his team mates implored him, with various rude and creative epithets, to get the hell off the ice and give somebody else a chance to work up a sweat. “I felt like a pony out there,” he proudly asserted. Unfortunately, he played like a Hyundai Pony which, as everyone knows, is rust prone and obsolete.

Magboy was a slight cut above his linemate, Dr. Wontcomeoff. He flitted aimlessly about the frozen surface like an exhausted crack-addled ADHD sex addict left, without proper adult supervision, in a boudoir full of brand new un-blownup blowup dolls. The intent was there but the execution sorely lacking.

Sir Gawdawful Gumby suited up for the match with a sense of purpose rarely displayed by this rugged blueliner. Over the holidays he had gone to visit his folks at their marijuana farm, Ganja Gardens, on Salt Spring Island. He came back with a couple of unpaid fines, genital herpes and plenty of bad advice. Among the rostrums handed down to him on his westerly sojourn was the one which went like this:”you need to travel more, son.” Our intrepid Gumby took the advice to heart as he made repeated (and rather unnecessary) trips to the Sin Bin. His poor interpretation of the term "travel" almost cost the Strawbs the game.

Whoahorny Richardson, again, was a non-factor in the outcome, having previously been asked to retire from the Killer Strawberries in September, 2008. His jersey and socks did, however, made it to the game, as a tax-deductible gift from his newly-formed charitable organization, Warnie’s Strategic Writeoffs Inc.. The donated gear was scheduled to be used by Whoahorny 2.0, aka Slickery McMillan, who failed to show up to the match or even to call in with his regrets. What’s with this equipment? Is it destined never to grace a committed Strawb? Is it cursed?

The real bright spot in the game was Archilles Perron, who until this point in the season has been content to ride the coattails of the irrepressible Ice Marshall. In the first period, Archilles screamed down his off-wing, crossed blue line without losing control of the puck or his feet and wired a beauty into the top corner of a net defended by a slip of a girl still reeling from the Butcher’s previous terror tactics. As Archilles unleashed his blast, you could almost hear the simultaneous involuntary glandular retractions of the incredulous Strawbs watching from the bench. Fortunately, the puck did not hit the slip of a girl. Had it done so, she would have dropped like a Kennedy.

All in all, it was a bad game with a great result. So great in fact, that the Strawberries were forced to celebrate their first victory of the year by assembling for post-game libations at the Terminal Tavren. Follies were recounted, Jesse’s excellent goaltending performance over-praised and funds raised to help Gumby pay off his West coast fines.

4 Black and Tan, 2 Bud, 6 Guinness, 4 Harp, 1 Steamwhistle, 6 Blue, 5 pounds of local wings, and some lingering Spandex fumes were consumed.