Living in Virginia, meeting other hockey fans was a luxury. As a result, you really couldn’t care less which team someone rooted for. Despite being an AHL market, I was just happy to meet someone that knew what icing was. It’s no secret why I became good friends, and eventually started a podcast, with a Rangers fan. Despite being a Ranger’s fan, this friend of mine really knew his hockey and it’s always been fun to talk puck with him, even if most of our discussion focuses on the Winged Wheel or the Blueshirts.
So when my buddy (who’s name won’t be mentioned because if an employer found this… oh man…) asked me what I would do to see my team play in the finals, it made me think a lot. Given that Detroit seems to go to the finals three times per lockout, and win two of the three, I told him I’d just wait for the next one. This of course is my way of getting under my buddy’s skin, as he’s been waiting for this finals appearance for 20 years. My friend faces a dilemma- he’s scheduled for a double shift that day. The day shift is no problem, the night shift is clearly a life-or-death scenario.
Given that I’ve been mentioned in a few schemes to get out of work during playoff games, my friend turned to me for answers. What follows is a timeline of yesterday’s events and how we managed to get my friend a chance to watch his New York Rangers in game 1, and the terrible price he paid to do so.
(Author’s note- The Wiki Holiday thing mentioned above? It doesn’t work, don’t bother with it.)
(Editor’s note- Octopus Thrower does NOT endorse or recommend this strategy in any way. Do not try this at home. Seriously, I cannot emphasize enough how much the author and his friend are idiots for even thinking of doing this.)
(Author’s note- Dude, shut up.)
7:40 AM- As I settle into work, my friend asks me what he can buy that will make him sick for a couple of hours because no one will trade shifts for him. What are friends for? I spent four years doing medical work in the Navy, and while I can remember a variety of ways to prevent sickness, nothing comes to find that would make someone sick enough to get out of work. Not without risking a trip to the hospital at least. I advise my friend that there’s two symptoms no employer in his right mind would ever want to keep someone at work with- vomitting and diarrhea.
8:01 AM- My friend stops at the drug store on the way to work at picks up a pack of Exlax (Gaurenteed relief every time). This is a laxative in the form of delicious chocolate bars. Used to “relieve occasional constipation, generally produces a bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours”. My friend has to complete his day shift, so taking it now is too risky.
9:30 AM- Our hero arrives at work, going about the opening duties and making sure everyone in earshot knows he isn’t feeling very good today. He hopes that no one will remember he asked them to take his night shift tonight and put two and two together.
12:08 PM- The nation’s bravest Rangers fan isn’t very good with moderation. ExLax’s instructions clearly say to “chew two pieces once or twice daily” the keyword there being “pieces”. My friend eats an entire bar of ExLax, because he can’t take any chances. He also informs me that he plans to consume the other bar, meaning he will have consumed the entire box, within the hour. I plea with him that if the first bar doesn’t do the trick the second one won’t help. I also warn him about dehydration and I look up a local poison control phone number for his area, because I can’t take any chances either.
(Editor’s note- Seriously, don’t do it.)
3:41 PM- The night manager arrives and my buddy still hasn’t gotten anything going. He makes sure the manager knows he isn’t feeling well and hopes something will get going.
4:40 PM- Still nothing for our hero. My friend is ready to let it happen without going to a bathroom “Because then I’m definantely out of here.” I do my best to convince my friend that this really shouldn’t be necessary, but he wants to make sure his boss knows he isn’t faking.
5:38 PM- “Rumblings start” just as the night manager tells my friend he can go home. It seems the ExLax wasn’t necessary at all because they aren’t very busy tonight. My friend performs the last of his side work and ends up counting his tips for the day from a toilet. He spends 30-45 minutes more at work than he originally would have had to.
8:20ish PM- Puck is dropped, game starts.
9:22 PM- The game is well underway, Rangers leading 2-0. My friend informs me that he has “the ready to crap my pants feeling… and ready to vomit too.” This is actually pretty normal for him when he’s watching an important sporting event.
10:02 PM- Drew Doughty ties the game. Our rangers friend misses seeing the goal, but hears it just fine from the hallway bathroom and screams to the point where any neighbor would call the police. But like I said, that’s normal for him and I’m pretty sure his neighbors are used to it by now.
10:51 PM- Our friend has worked the laxative from his system. The game is going to OT and he claims he can’t breath.
11:13 PM- Justin Williams scores in overtime, my friend dies a little inside. I think next game he’ll go with ipecac because you know, superstitions.
We could make fun of my friend all we want, but realistically, wouldn’t we all do the same? Or at least wish we could? The man should be looked at as a severely dedicated fan, not a delusional idiot. Because no one on their death bed ever said “I wish I spent more time at work.” Because when your favorite team is in the finals, you want to embrace every second of it that you possibly can. Because any NHLer would be thrilled to know someone was this committed to watching him, although maybe a little grossed out too.
Because it’s the cup.