I’ve talked a few times about goals; mostly in the context of hockey, although I’ve exploited the different meanings of the word ‘goal’ to make fun of some stuff. Whatever, but it’s mostly been about hockey. In particular, I’ve mentioned that I have two main goals when playing hockey (and doing a lot of other things): don’t get hurt and don’t barf.
Yesterday I stretched the first one just a little.
I was sitting on the bench (The white team had two people on the bench. Luxury — in summer people go on holiday and things tend to get a little thin on the ground. Er, ice.) when our left winger skated to the bench and said “Left wing.” (That’s a ‘thing’ in pick-up hockey — most of the time, no one has a defined position; there’s a FIFO queue on the bench and the person at the head of the queue takes the position of the person coming off. So what he was doing was telling me (since I was at the head of the queue) that I should get off the bench and play left wing.)
Left wing was on the far side of the ice so I skated that way, trying to figure out where everyone was, where everyone was going and where the play was headed. While I got my bearings I dodged a player in white going this-a-way, a player in black going that-a-way but I didn’t see the player (in white — not that it matters) heading back towards our blue line at fairly high speed.
Unfortunately, he didn’t see me either.
You can kind of imagine what happened next. He went down. I went down. Sticks flew. Loose equipment came, well, loose. (I remember a single glove sitting lonely on the ice a good twenty feet from either of us. I think it was his.) In short, hilarity ensued. (Well, maybe not hilarity exactly but it probably gave several people their minimum daily requirement of schadenfreude.)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I decided to shorten my shift — a sit on the bench looked pretty darned attractive. Moreso than usual, I mean.) On the bench the now-first-in-the-queue guy asked the obligatory question: “Are you OK?” “Yah, a little wobbly but otherwise OK.” “Remember that it’s only pick-up hockey; take it easy.” “Well” I said, “I only have two goals whenever I play: don’t barf and…” “…and don’t get hurt” he added. “Those are pretty good goals.” Just then someone arrived and he had to leave.
Time passed. I was on the bench and he skated to the gate at the end of his shift. “Right wing” he shouted, “and don’t barf.”
Guess I made an impression.