Sunday, January 16, 2011

Today we are going to the mall. Tonight, if you can believe it, we are going to a hockey game. Thus, I offer you a hockey episode: a taste of Lewis Robinson's very funny story "Puckheads," from his collection Officer Friendly. It's about two high school players who get kicked off the team for brawling and are forced to join the Drama Club cast of Oliver! The scene I'm excerpting explains why they were suspended:
On the power play, one of the Dom's kids streaked up the left boards, took a slap shot from twenty-five feet. Kovach flashed his glove up and caught it. The whistle blew. Kovach stood up from his crouch, calmly removed his glove, took the puck in his sweaty hand, then turned and gunned it into the stands, hitting a black-haired boy in the forehead, knocking him back. He fell from the top row of the bleachers. The benches emptied. Kids clambered over the Plexiglas. The St. Dom's scorekeeper--a man my father's age--jumped on my back, and I pried his hands apart and shook him off, then swung my stick at him to keep him away. I had to get to Kovach, who was in a pile of bodies in front of the net. . . . Those who hadn't joined us on the ice were on their feet, cheering us on, crazed. When I got to Kovach, he was holding a cheerleader in a tight headlock--she was using both elbows to jab him in the stomach--and I could tell he'd broken his nose again.

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