Saturday, May 14, 2011

Watching Hockey with the Polish Lady

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, contributed photos.

Lately the content on North by Northside has slipped a bit, and that's been intentional.  The NHL playoffs are ongoing, and this is the one time of the year when I let issues take a back seat to watching the pursuit of the most hallowed trophy in all of sports.  One afternoon, when work in the EcoVillage garden was done, Valeria (aka "The Polish Lady") invited me over for the typical thank-you meal of Polish sausage.  Her husband, The Artisan of Meat (called this because he makes the Polish sausage and sells it at Sentyrz), asked me to join him in watching hockey.

Ok, so "ask" is putting it nicely.  It was more like, "Why the hell you not coming over here to watch hockey?  I got the big screen, I got the sausage, I got Polish beer.  Don't wait no two, three ****ing months to come see me!"

Well, when you put it THAT way, there's not much room for argument.  And when I went over for the first game...

...their Siberian husky puppy just went ballistic, he was so happy to see me.  Miko was running laps around the living room, even jumping up on couches, just to get my attention.  He'd get right in my face while I was trying to see the game.  The Artisan of Meat thought he'd assist in my plight by swatting the husky with a leather belt.  But no matter how hard he swung, the dog just didn't notice.  Except, that is, when he would catch the belt in his mouth to play tug of war.

To make matters worse, The Artisan of Meat had a few beers before I arrived, so is aim wasn't the greatest.  "Sonofabitch!  I MISSED!"  "Well, you didn't exactly miss, but you did miss the dog," I would reply.  And repeat as necessary.

My hosts were gracious enough to provide me with Polish sausage and other Polish cuisine in between periods, so I can't complain too much.  The biggest surprise for me came when I began to complain about the officiating.  Like any good sports fan, I'm biased towards my team, and the beer goggles only make that bias worse.  So when I started to yell at the referees on the TV screen about what was and was not holding or interference, the Polish Lady showed that she really knows her stuff.

"WHAT?!  They called holding on THAT?  Are the refs blind or do they just hate the Red Wings?"

"Oh no honey.  That be holding.  Look at replay and see how he got jersey.  I know you not happy, but that is good call."

And the hell of it is, she was right.

So here I am, getting attacked by a Siberian husky puppy, having the crap beat out of me (inadvertently) by the Artisan of Meat, while he swears like a sailor, and debating the finer points of hockey officiating with an octogenarian Polish Lady.  All the while, I can't help but think to myself, "This is the most fun I've had watching hockey in my LIFE."

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