Sunday, March 5

Hockey and Manners

My hubby has a knack for getting something for nothing, and yesterday he did it again. He had a vendor dinner to attend last night, one of those things where they try to sell you their product while wining and dining you and giving away goodies at the same time. Last night's dinner also included tickets to a Winterhawks hockey game. Eddie found out that the sales rep was bringing his wife and two kids and asked if he could bring his too. The rep said yes, and so we all enjoyed a free dinner of caesar salad, pizza, chicken, and delicious cookies, along with free hockey pucks (what in the world are we going to do with those?) and a hockey game which our team even won!

Since we don't like crowds much and really don't do a lot of things you have to pay for (we're kind of cheap...and broke), we don't spend much time among the masses, though I almost always come away with something to think about when we do. Last night was no exception. We weren't a full minute into the game when the first of about five fights broke out on the ice. Helmets came off and fists were flying. What's up with that? The crowd LOVED it. I was annoyed. I wanted to see hockey, not WWF wrestling. I've seen hockey before (okay, just one other time), and the same thing happened then. I'm not sure what annoyed me worse, the players or the crowd howling for more. Fortunately, the players got it out of their system pretty fast. Most of the brawls took place in the first period and they got down to actual hockey after that.

The crowd was enthusiastic and loud! I know I have a low threshold when it comes to noise, but I am amazed that people seem to love making as much racket as they can. The cheer sticks and horns were banged and blown nonstop the whole evening, and of course there was the plain old screaming and yelling going on. I was happy it wasn't a packed arena. In fact, the row behind us was empty until two young men took the immediate seats behind us. The first sentences out of their mouths contained a stream of profanity. Again, I was annoyed. I took a deep breath, turned around and gave to the offender as sweet a smile as I possibly could while at the same time giving him a look that said, "Come on, guys, please DON'T make me and my family listen to this all night." He looked at me and then at the kids and genuinely said, "Oh, sorry." They were pretty decent after that, only saying the occasional minor expletive and no more F words. Of course I'm sure he took great pleasure in blowing his horn in my ear as often and as loud as he possibly could. I was so relieved when after the first period they moved down five or six seats.

It was a fun experience, and since we've been wanting to go see a hockey game, I'm so pleased we got to go for free. But all in all, I could do without seeing live sporting events. I'd much rather see a play or go to a museum. I guess I'm boring, but boring is quiet. I'll take quiet any day. Oh, did I mention, I won the doorprize from the sales meeting...a Winterhawks jersey. Don't you love irony?

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