When I was really little, back in the days the Hockey family lived just south of the Arctic Circle, there was snow from September until after Easter. I thought the whole world experienced winter as I did, with four pairs of socks inside my mittens to prevent frostbite.
Before I was enrolled in the school which had recently been enlarged from one room to two I played in the snow all day. Of course when you are that far north day only lasts an hour or two in the cold heart of winter.
I remember standing in my snowsuit in the front of the little house on the sub-tundra where we watched Bugs Bunny, the Roadrunner and Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night. The sun was bright and the snow was high. With my mittens I pushed around enough snow so I could stand on the frozen Earth surrounded by snow up to my belly button. In the snow, with the thumbs of my mittens, I made little impressions that represented the controls of my space ship, and I took off to the furthest reaches of space.
It was cold out there in space, it was good thing I had on four pairs of socks under my mittens and the finest snowsuit a little kid's parents in Northern Motherfucking Alberta could buy. There were lots of space people out there in space. I waved at them with my frosty mittens like I waved to people on the road from the Hockey family car.
"Hey space people," I would shout from out the windows of my frozen space ship if they did not look too scary and were close enough to hear me.
"Hey Beer! What are you doing way out here in space?"
"Oh you know," I would answer, "I'm looking for someone to play in goal for the Leafs. My dad says there is no one on Earth good enough to stop all the rubber the Leafs' goalie has to stop now."
Mostly the space people told me good luck as I searched the universe for a goaler good enough to win the Leafs a few games. My dad said, "Dave Keon cannot do it all by himself for God's sake!"
One day, as my space ship ripped up the roads of the universe, I came upon some space people who thought they knew of a goaler made for the bad situation in Toronto. "Follow us to the rink spaceman," they told me.
When we got to the rink I found out the space people were not kidding me. The teams on the rink were playing a game of hockey that involved eight pucks on the ice at the same time and nets twice as big as a standard NHL hemp hut. At one end of the ice a goaler was getting ventilated like a Toronto goaler on a typical Saturday night. At the other end a goaler with five eyes and eight arms was standing on his head stopping everything.
After the game was over I asked the brilliant goaler if he would like to go to Toronto with me in my space ship and win the Stanley Cup. He asked, "What is this Toronto?" I told him, "It is the Centre of the Universe space goaler." He said, "Let's go." I asked him, "Is it ok if we stop by the Hockey house on the way there? My mom gets worried if I am not home for supper." The space goaler agreed, packed his enormous hockey bag onto the space ship and away we flew back to Earth.
We walked in the back door of the house into the kitchen. Mom and dad, who was home from work now, were sitting at the table drinking wine and listening to the CBC on the radio. I said, "I have brought a visitor from outer space to play goal for the Leafs against the Frogs on Saturday night. It is still a long ride in my space ship to Toronto so I thought we better stop here for some dinner first. Space goaler says he loves seal flipper pie."
My mom and dad asked the space goaler to spin around so they could have a good look at him. Guess they did not want me wasting gas going to Toronto for nothing.
My dad nodded, "Those extra arms will come in handy against the Frogs. Just make sure you are home in time to watch the game so we can see how he does."