Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A quick chat with Larry T-Bomb

The following conversation took place a few months ago over the phone. I don't know how legal this is. I mean, I don't think Larry knew I was recording him, but in this day and age it's basically an unspoken assumption right?

LT: Jay! Guess who.
JV: Sorry?
LT: "Sorry?" I don't like that word Jay, makes you sound weak.
JV: Oh hey Larry, I was just- it's kinda early Larry.
LT: Early? Do you know how much sudoku I've done this morning? Jay you aren't going to make VP of anything by sleeping in till 6.
JV: I don't work for you Larry.
LT: But you're an honest guy Jay, a really honest guy and I appreciate that. You won't make VP of anything with that kind of honesty but you're good to have around. Anyway, look I want your opinion.
JV: I have lots of opinions. For example, I saw this movie the other day about this chimpanzee who learns to skate and-
LT: Jay, I know you're young. You obviously don't remember Tampa's first season. The league has bylaws against that kind of thing now. Come on, give me something I can use.
JV: Ok well, I was also thinking about how every one loves penguins right?
LT: I don't. They waddle around in their coat tails thinking they're better than me. But my grandkids love them, so I concede your point.
JV: Right. So in between periods you could release a flock of penguins and some frozen fish into the rink. Kids would love it. Oh, you could dress them up in little penguin sized jerseys too and then auction them off for charity.
LT: Auction the penguins? I'd have to check that with Legal.
JV: No, I meant the jerseys. Auction the jerseys.
LT: Don't know if that would work here Jay, but I'll pass the idea onto Mario, see what he can do with it. Speaking of, I have a quick nine with him in ten. I'll let you know what he thinks.
JV: Ok-


Monday, February 09, 2009

Dispatches from afar

Machu Pichu, Peru - 10:36 PM February 6, 2009 

I met a Toronto guy today. Another one. This place is lousy with them. You wont be surprised when I tell you Kevin's another expat Leafs fan. He said he was from Collingwood, I think. A high school history teacher. He's taking his sabbatical, “Nothing keeping me in the city these days, you know?” He’s been knocking off landmarks all over the world. He just spent a week in Rio. Europe before that. Saw some churches. He sold his season tickets to finance everything. Heard that one before too. Those tickets were in the family for years and years, he said. Him and his brother, they split the proceeds, split town, and then split up in Berlin. Kevin lowers his voice, “he was into this weird sex thing.”

I try to change the subject, put the conversation somewhere safer. “You hear Blake is doing good these days?” Kevin’s eyes cloud over, he shows a little discomfort, but then he shakes his head and he’s smiling amicably again. “Sorry?” “Jason Blake? He leads the team in points actually, and yeah I know that’s not saying-” “Oh you’re talking about h-h-” “Hockey, yeah.” He looks like he is sweating, though it is early morning on the summit and the air is cool. He runs a hand through his thinning hair. He stammers, “I haven’t been following the uh, the uh…” “Not too many bars in Lima showing Hockey Night, right?” I laugh.

Kevin apologises, makes an excuse. He needs to find his tour guide. “But it was good seeing a friendly face.” His eye is twitching. He turns and leaves. “I’m sorry,” I want to shout. There is a reason men search out ruins built on the world’s rooftop. There is a reason men drown themselves in bizarre carnal acts. Who was I to pack his troubles into a novelty tin of peanuts? Nobody who runs that far needs those snakes in his face.