What Do You Say to a Woman With Two Black Eyes?

Domestic battery is no joking matter. I mean, every three minutes a woman is beaten. You'd think she'd either shut up for once, or just leave the house. (lackluster rim shot/cymbal crash)

I remember twenty years ago or so, seeing the now classic Nolte/Murphy comedy 48 Hours. In one early scene, Nolte greets a couple of fellow cops, asking one of them, "How's the wife?"

"Mean as a snake," he replies.

As a thirteen year-old, this kind of humor escapes you, but seeing the film again years later, I found this remark not only hilarious, but at times I might even relate to it.

Like virtually every couple, Mrs. P and I have our occasional spats (this blog entry, for instance, might start another one). To even things up around the household, I gave Mrs. P, among other things, cutlery for Christmas. Recently, my friends Brother James, Skip and I discussed the pros and pons of such a gift:

Brother James I'll never give my wife knives. She actually pulled a knife on me once when she was pissed.
Prego Sh*t. I had no idea she had such a temper.
Brother James
Dude, you have no idea.
Prego The worse I've been assaulted with was a flying loaf of French bread.

Skip Actually, if you're going to get stabbed with a kitchen knife, you're better off getting stabbed by a good one. It'd give you a clean cut, which is easier to close up.
Prego That's true. That would be easier to suture. Or if things turn out for the worse, it might make for a quicker death.

Seriously, despite being struck in the forehead with the aforementioned crusty projectile, I have never once considered striking the missus, regardless of how psychotic she might get. We also have the murder-suicide pact in place (if she considers it, she does the suicide part first).

We pretty much have our routine:
  1. She flips out for something I deem insignificant and begins a tirarde.
  2. I calmly tell her I don't want to talk about it.
  3. This gets her angrier and more irrational.
  4. I start twirling my finger around my right ear in the Internationally recognized "Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs" sign, leaving the room.
  5. Mrs. P goes off the deep end and follows me from room to room.
  6. I begin to seethe a bit and a couple "Will you shut-the-f*ck-up?" begin to emerge.
  7. Mrs. P storms off to cry it out.
  8. I go walk the dog or something.
  9. One of us apologizes, we may or may not have "make-up" sex... and
  10. Rinse and repeat every three or four months.
Mrs. P is very lucky I've got the "On/Off" switch permanently set to "Off." You know the one. The one that gets switched "on" right before the police arrive to cart off the 38 year old male, wearing a tank top and a surly yet embarrassed expression on his mug. One of her relatives, however, found herself to be not as fortunate.

I can picture the scene this past Christmas Eve (a useless "holiday" that seems to matter more to the ladies than the gents, regardless of religious denomination). The National Football League must have hired the world's biggest misogynist sh*thead to do the schedule this year, because I'm sure as ferret sh*t that this wasn't an isolated incident.

The Buffalo Bills get handed yet another loss this season, as the stadium empties out 80,000 + inebriated and annoyed fans into households in the Greater Buffalo region... Among them, my wife's relative's husband.

Our protagonist Frank arrives home in the Hamlet of Ebenezer:

Frank hic. hic. hic.... (opens door)
Judy (Voice of Dino Flintstone) Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....
Frank Groan.... hic. hic. hic....
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... Christmas... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... My parents... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... F*cking Bills game... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih..... the presents... Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....

Frank Gesnarfff... hic. hic. hic.... God dammnit... grishmasss tomorrow with the hic. hic. hic....
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....

Frank Shut the f*ck up...
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....!
Frank SHUT THE (hic) UP!
Judy Ya-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih-pih.....!!!!
Frank GwaaaaaaHHHH!

(Flurry of slaps, punches and kicks ensue)
Outro: Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man"

From what I know about the aftermath, it resulted in handcuffs, restraining orders and a probable parting of ways. It's sad, really. I can picture the cops arriving at the scene.

Officer Smith: Hey Jack. How's the wife?
Officer Jones: Mean as a snake.

Of course, Mrs. P wants to know how I feel about the whole scenario, to which I've resorted to giving a stock response - courtesy of comedian Chris Rock:

"I ain't sayin' I agree... but I understand....

(Crusty loaf of Italian bread sails over my head).

Seriously, I realize alcohol is an anti-inhibitor - those of you who've bedded a 300 lb. member of the opposite sex can attest to that (cough... my brother). We've all made some dubiouos choices. I was sober when I met Mrs. P, but was three hockey beers to the wind when I proposed. Let's hope somebody gave Frank an "On/Off" switch for Christmas and taught him how to set it permanently to "off"...

You'll have bad times And he'll have good times
Doing things that you don't understand

But if you love him you'll forgive him

Even though he's hard to understand...


That was the year my brother came up with his hackneyed idea to go to Alaska for the summer to make some cash gutting fish.

"You're not going alone," I told him.

A week later I quit my sh*tty cubicle banking job, packed up his Hyundai Excel hatchback with everything we thought we needed & drove across the country. After a stop in Minneapolis, MN, (nearly killing ourselves on the road the next day) and Billings, MT (where we thought we were going to get iced by a couple of 'cowboys') we arrived in Seattle. After milling about that burg for a couple days we flew into Valdez, AK, where we spent months jamming sharp objects into a fish's touch-hole "for a living."

I'll never forget our first day there, where after leaving our belongings in the factory's dormitory we took a stroll to the local liquor store.

"What kind of beer should we get?" my brother queried as we scanned the long list.

Our eyes made our way down the list, not by label but by price.

"Lucky Lager," we both agreed. Given our limited finances, the 99¢ price tag for 40 oz. was our best bet. We'd never heard of it, and franky it probably tasted like unpalatable sh*t, but it carried us through that summer along with "other stuff,"goofy hippie chicks and the feeling of not having a f*cking care in the world.

To me, 1994 is the touchstone... one I will strive to have again, yet know full well it's unattainable. Bad-Ass Atul hosts this week's and wants to know "What's yours?" What was the best year you ever had? Do you wish you were eighteen again or do you yearn for a whole summer, getting drunk with your brother whilst standing in fish entrails and living in a tent with maggots for neighbours?


"Stardust" Memories

I got a Christmas present from Apple this week. My iPod took a sh*t, wiping out 8,392 songs. Oh well. My fault for not backing up all the files. Out of the misery, though comes this little bit of sunshine. While rifling through some unlabled discs I found this classic rock video, starring a then two-year-old O-Dog.

Unfortunately, these days he's a little too self-aware to pull off an impromptu performance. Hopefully he'll grow out of this phase soon, since I told him he's one of the last hopes to save rock from the doldrums. He's already enlisted the Flecthmonster to help him do so.

Rock over London! Rock on Chicago!


Happy Christmas

Have a nice, quiet Christmas day.

(Below is a Prego original. When it comes to my Christmas cards, nobody ever 'gets' them, though a lot of people get them.)

Prego & Family


Holiday Four Play!

For some reason, Christmas ups the ante for songwriters. Yeah, hits come and go, but if you write yourself a kick-ass Christmas ditty, you might find yourself immortalized along with Leroy Anderson, Tepper & Brodsky, and that *sshole who wrote the "Two Front Teeth" song.

Even churchy music never sounded so good. As a kid, I always looked forward to the time when they busted out the holiday hymnal.

Godless as I am, I still enjoy holiday music today. I'm not a big fan of the goofy, tongue-in-cheek ilk, such as "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". For some reason they always find some windy, extroverted Broadway-type kid to belt it out as if his fledgling career depended on it. I do, however, enjoy sh*t like Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and choral arrangements like the "Carol of the Bells."

Then, there's the off-the-beaten-path classics. For instance, the works of Captain Sensible, Ze Malibu Kids, the Descendents and the Pogues.

"Who?" you ask. Well, I won't go into biographical details. I'll just let the music speak for itself.

From the maudlin to the forlorn... the farcical to the cynical, here's a selection you'll not likely hear on KRAP-FM.


My Christmas Was in June mp3 Ze Malibu Kids
My Christmas Was in June mp3 "glossy" Beu Sisters version
One Christmas Catalogue mp3 Captain Sensible
Fairytale of New York mp3 The Pogues w/Kirsty MacColl
Christmas Vacation mp3 Descendents


Back to the Drawing Board

In keeping with the 'spirit' of the holidays, I thought I'd dig up this old chestnut.

It actually started as a Christmas card I sent a while back, but it launched a 'career.'

I had a brief stint as an editorial cartoonist with a local rag. I had to shelve it when I got a little too busy with my college courses. Now that I'm done I'm hoping I can get back in the saddle somehow in 2007.

Here's a link to my personal favourite.



There I Go, Turn the Page

RW started a story... but writers block being what it is... Stop by Chasing Vincenzo to help him flesh it out.

It's one of those 'tag team story' exercises. Let's see which direction it takes.


Sores for Sight Eyes

A while ago, I was riding shotgun in my brother's car, enjoying a Whoppertunity, when my brother points out a gaggle of attractive college hotness.

"Check 'em out... Check 'em out!"
"Dude, we're eating f*cking hamburgers. Nobody looks sexy eating a hamburger."

My brother got a good laugh over this observation and concurred. There's no point in establishing eye contact with the opposite gender with burger-juice dripping on your chin. I remembered this exchange as I watched a robust woman driving her S.U.V. whilst handling a hefty sandwich.

Unfortunately, if you're well-upholsered, you never look good eating. I saw this personified during the last faculty meeting, as I watched a co-worker who probably tips the scale at close to three bills alternately munching on potato chips and Doritos™. Aside from the guilt-ridden thoughts of "no wonder," the mere aesthetics of watching you reach into a crinkly bag make this top the don't do list.

Not that I'm an authority on this, but I am going to take the liberty in pointing out other situations one might not look best. Fat, skinny, old, slack-jawed, hirsute, tall... take heed. You do not look good when:

Handcuffed - Regardless of the situation*, it is impossible to look your best when manacled. It greys your complexion and darkens your aura. The police report might read disorderly conduct, but you know we're all thinking date rape, assault and battery, petty theft or getting caught soliciting sexual acts from a pimply midget...

* (...unless, of course, you're cuffed to a bedpost of a blazing hot red-head with nipples the size of stop signs and the demeanor of a rabid ocelot. If she defecates on your chest and leaves with your wallet, the above assessment applies.)

In Court - No Armani or Donna Karan suit in the world can hide the fact that you are somehow a threat to the public, a philandering wife/husband, child abuser, scofflaw or attorney. If you are a defendant, despite the fact that you are a sharp dresser, you are no better than the guy wearing the striped Zubaz pants and Kansas City Chiefs t-shirt who's facing domestic abuse charges.

Purchasing Sh*t-tickets - I understand that we all have to wipe our *sses or cooches, but there is no way to look alluring when throwing the 66¢ rolls of supermarket brand a**wipes atop your arugula, edamame and whole grain Monks' bread. My suggestion is to wait until 3 a.m., when the sh*theels stuck with the graveyard shift can ring you up. They're usually sleeping while we're awake, thus lessening the chance of overhearing them tell a friend that "there's the guy who wipes his turdcutter with the cheap sandpaper toilet tissue."

In Queues - This is particularly bad if you're waiting in line for something free, in the company of other skin-flints or the pauperized. Occasionally this can't be helped, such as in the supermarket but you definitely help your cause by following the aforementioned 3 a.m. sh*t ticket rule. Standing in line for something like RENT has a high choad-factor, and getting a pair of tickets for you and your boyfriend to go see Because I Said So make you look like a heartless wench. Other queues you don't want to find yourself in are the at the boot camp medical examiners', the methadone clinic, a porn shop or (gasp) communion.

At All-You-Can-Eat Establishments - Somehow we found ourselves where we started, though there is no way to look toothsome while piling a plate full of waxy mashed potatoes, shoe-leather steaks or the salad bar, where the lettuce is more bruised than a housewife that doesn't know then to shut up. The "closed for business" sign on your blind date's chocha will spring up quicker than you can say, "Mmmm. Sausage."

You don't have to be Diamond Jim to find affordable eats. There's no need to look like a gluttonous water buffalo for $7.99. You might also want to avoid those places that let you throw peanut shells on the floor.

There you have it... but as LeVar Burton says "You don't have to take my word for it."

Gotta go. My wife wants me to take her to Denny's for a Moon Over My Hammy®. I have to find a bag to put over my head.


What a Draaaag it is Getting Oooold...

I had a physical recently, and thankfully they didn't have to jam a kielbasa-sized finger in my *ss to check the prostate. I'm entitled to that treat next year. I shouldn't complain much, since the ladies are poked and prodded periodically during their physical examinations. Moreover, my dad beat that prostate cancer sh*t a little while ago - that hit a little close to home.

Dr. Beth Any problems?
Me Other than occasionally sh*tting a rose bush and a bit of pain in my rotator cuff...
Dr. Beth Well anytime you want to get that taken care of... You're looking at a couple months without hockey.
Me Whew. Shoulder's good. Shoulder's good.

I've grown accustomed to getting thrown a clean bill of health as I'm shown the exit - with one eye kept on the blood pressure. This time the doc chided me for blowing off the blood tests last year.

"All right... All right. I'll go."

It took me about two or three months to get around to it, with the Dr.'s request form becoming increasingly smudged with foot prints on the floor of my car. I went in for my complimentary pricking and came home to take a nap.

Fast forward a couple of weeks:

Mrs. P
Did you call the doctor's office?
Me No. Why?
Mrs. P They left a message.


I'd never gotten a call over a blood test before, so I knew it couldn't be good. Of course I didn't call the doc back for a couple of days.

Mrs. P Did you call the doctor's office yet?
Me Uh... not yet.
Mrs. P CALL them!

Three days later...


Me Hello.
S0 & So Hi. This is So & So from Dr. Beth's office.
Me Oh yes. I meant to call you.
So & So Uh-huh. I'm just calling about your blood test.
Me Oh?

So & So Yeah. Just a couple things. You really need to watch that cholesterol. It's a little up there. Fortunately you also have high levels of good cholesterol...
Me There's good cholesterol?
So & So Yeah, which is why it's not that much of a concern, but you should still watch it.
Me No problem...

So & So Then there's the issue of your blood sugar.
Me My what?
So & So We ran a couple tests on it, just in case you snuck in a sugar doughnut or two that evening.
Me Heh.
So & So But it looks like you're sugar's a little high. You're bordering on diabetic.
Me You're kidding me?
So & So Yeah. You really need to watch that, too. So if you eat a lot of ice cream for example... maybe skip a couple days or two.

Me All right. Thanks.
So & So You're welcome. We'd like to test you again in about six months to see how you're doing.
Me Ok.
So & So Will you remember?
Me Sure.

I hung up the phone, put a couple of cookies in my mouth and went to hang out with the boys. After years of deluding myself with the idea the misconception that I'd been taken care of myself, I now envisioned myself clutching my chest at the Fletchmonster's kindergarten graduation or losing my foot like f*cking Ralph Cramden in that movie with Tom Hanks.

While out to lunch with the Fletchmonster and Mrs. P, I suggested that what the doctor in fact did was ruin every f*cking meal I'd ingest for the rest of my life. It'd either be healthy and taste like sh*t, or I'd actually look for my sad reflection in the grease, knowing that each mouthful would push me closer to the grave.

On the other hand, it could be a blessing in disguise. Mrs. P went on the warpath for something I already forgot about. I was re-caping the events for my best friend Doug.

Me Yeah. I used to think about stepping in front of a truck when she gets like that. Now I just felt like jamming a couple of Twinkies™ in my mouth.
Doug Heh. With a side of bacon.

Well, nothing lasts forever... even cold November rain. Even still, I would like to at least stick around to watch the Fletchmonster make it to second grade. I suppose an alfalfa sprout sandwich washed down with soy milk is a small price to pay.
I'll give you one guess as to what my first activity is in the morning.

(rrrrnnnnnnnttttt) WRONG! It's checking to see what my "fantasy hockey" players did the previous night -- then I take a sh*t.

John Sadowski hosts this week's and would like to know, where does your surfing day begin.

(plop. plip. flush...... That was a mercy flush, brothers and sisters.)


Dirty Laundry

Mrs. P and I have a lot of "difference of opinion" issues. I, for one, cannot stand television, particularly Rachel Ray shows or where OR scrubs are part of the wardrobe. Actually, we have a lot of "wardrobe" issues. For instance, I think she could show a bit of those nice Mrs. P gams or cleavage once in a while, rather than the modestly conservative garb she dons. I like to have the kids dress a little "edgy," where as she thinks the jeans with the torn knees that O-Dog refers to as his punk rock pants make us look poor if he wears them to kindergarten (not that we aren't).

One of the most frequent events in which we find ourselves at loggerheads concerns the laundry process itself. On more than one occasion, Mrs. P has gone off on a tirade because I have left either a fountain pen or a crayon in my pants, thus causing an entire load of wash to be sullied with ink or wax.

Now, I'm not one to lead a gift horse to water. I appreciate that she actually does 98% of the wash (another sore subject). However, I do tend to think that ultimate responsibility to "dummy check" the pockets lies with the last person to handle the clothes before they are put into the washing machine -- especially when the owner of the pants is an absent-minded dumb*ss like myself. Mrs. P disagrees.

Apparently, those polled are almost equally divided on the issue. I'm going to stand by my opinion; entrench myself is more like it - in ankle deep piles of spotty underwear.


You Dropped an "F" Bomb on Me, Baby.

My brother has become really irritated with me lately. It bothers him that I've become nearly saint-like when it comes to my language. What really bugs him is when I groan at him, roll my eyes or flat out chastise him for commenting that "She was f*cking fire hot," or yelling "F*ck Mel Gibson, that NAZI *sshole."

It's not that I'm pious or priggish. It's that he does that in front of the goddamned kids. He doesn't have the presence of mind that censors one's choice expletives because there are kids in the back seat, the kitchen or the lobby of the Greater Buffalo International Airport.

I, on the other hand, have grown quite accustomed to spelling sh*t out in front of the lads. I'm not that good, though.

Mrs. P: You're a jerk, you know that.
Prego: Eff - you, man. I'm sick of your S-H-I-crap.

My brother, in the meantime, doesn't let me forget that I once referred to babies as "c*nt turkeys," and that I used the "F" word like a mathematician uses parentheses. Those f*cking days are long gone - at least when speaking. Writing is another story altogether.

Suzanne perfects the fine art of procastination by hosting this week's from Seattle f*cking WA. She wants to know what some of your favourite 'choice' words are.

Some in my daily personal repertoire include (besides S-H-I-crap):
What the fudgescicles!
Jesus, Mary and Curtis Joseph.
Mother pus bucket.
(I don't give a) flying rat's ass.
Shut the H-E
f*cking hell up!

That's just the printable tip of the iceberg. Pay her a friendly f*cking visit...


O-Dog, the Fletchmonster and Arborcide

The boys and I took a walk to the Lexington General Store around the corner, to haul home a Douglas Fir for the holiday season. Part of the charm of living where we live is that we can take a short stroll with the Radio Flyer wagon and haul back anything from a couple of pizzas to a snowboard or a chainsaw. In this case, all we needed was the tree and a half-gallon of milk.

After we got the dead tree home, O-Dog had to leave for yet another birthday party, leaving the Fletchmonster and I to "hang like gentlemen" at home. He took it a bit better than he did last week, and spent the evening entertaining me on the piano while I stood the tree up and put the lights on.

The scope and breadth of the average two year-old's experiences were glaringly evident, as the Fletchmonster announced "This one's called, "I Gotta Go Poopee and Pee-Pee," before he starts pounding on the ivories.

Once the tree and lights were set up, we waited for the O-Dog to come home to help with the ornaments, lets we cause a meltdown of the "I wanted to help with the ornaments!" persuasion. Basically, neither of the boys showed any interest, once the Batman & Robin ornaments were in place, leaving Mrs. P and I to do the bulk of the work.

You'll notice I took care to ensure that my favourite ornament, Oscar the Grouch, was placed prominently at approximate eye level. I do base my life on his teachings, you know.

The Saga Continues...

It looks like I'm getting a couple weeks to atone for my transgressions (even though my opponent and I 'kissed' and made up. I like the use of the word "crime" in my captain's e-mail, though.

Oh, well. Time to find a couple friendly "pick up" games over the next couple weeks. What's funny is that Sunday morning, my good friend and hockey mentor Bill and I found ourselves on opposite teams during our weekly "pick up" game. Going after the same puck, he gives me a stiff forearm across the chest, sending me flying to the ice.

"You're not gooning me, pal."

I've been humbled.

From: E
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 9:11 AM
To: F (Warriors) (E-mail)
Subject: Hockey
Importance: High

Just making sure you know that Prego received a fighting misconduct at last game which means he must sit the next (2) games. That is the minimum suspension time for fighting.


From: F
Subject: RE: Hockey
Date: December 4, 2006 2:40:41 PM EST
To: e
E, I would like to formally appeal this suspension. Although Prego was wrong in throwing the first punch it does take 2 to tango and the opposing player is just as guilty as Prego and should be forced to sit at least a game. I mean Bryan K threw 2 punches after the refs jumped in and the only explanation I got from the refs for not throwing him out was “What would you do if you were punched?”

Prego should not have thrown a punch but far worse had been done in this game with no whistles. Slew footing behind the play, boarding, 2 handed slashes and charging to name a few.
Either way he was wrong and should have been thrown out. I am not going to make a big deal about last game but the officiating was as bad as it ever was both ways. They had no control over this game whatsoever and someone could have been seriously injured. The league needs to address both refs involved and have a talk with them. They were terrible.

Please let me know what we can do in regards to the appeal. Prego’s punishment is far worse than the crime.

Thank You,



Enter the "Dra-Goon"

When I was a kid I had the misfortune of having an older sister who liked to "fight my battles." I questioned her motives, wondering if it wasn't so much to protect her kin or because she enjoyed the confrontations. I'm guessing it was more of the latter; though she has long since lost the bloodthirst for physical confrontation, she still enjoys the occasional verbal tête à tête.

What this translated into for Prego were the additional ass-kickings that ensued.

"Your sister's not (punch) here to save your ass now, f*ck-face (kick)."

Eventually, the ass kickings stopped. My sister lost interest and I actually fought back once. It was in Venezuela, circa 1983 when a new kid in the neighbourhood who wanted to prove himself rang the doorbell at my friend's house, announcing "I heard you wanted to fight," right before he swung a punch to the side of my head. The vision in my right eye blurred at the blow while something inside me snapped. I lunged at the *sshole with everything I could muster, catching him off-guard. I forgot how we were finally separated, but for weeks after the fight, the kid would simply walk by me and give me a nod, or a "What's up?"

In a way, that was my personal ass kicker's debutante ball, because I don't think I had to fight anymore after that. Yeah, I got jumped by a Guido in Buffalo around 1987, but I pretty much avoided conflicts altogether. I usually like to keep it that way, unless I'm wearing skates.

I don't know what it is about hockey, but every once in a while the tempers flare. Knowing that I'm donning protective equipment and a cage across my face might add to my bravado, so occasionally I get involved in a tussle. Maybe that's why I find myself near the top of the league in penalty minutes (PIM).

Usually, I find myself on the scoresheet with a couple of tripping or hooking calls. Thursday night, however, I racked some up in a most un-Prego fashion. One of the opposing players took exception to me tying him up in front of my goalie to prevent him from digging up a rebound and scoring. He decides to push back violently with his elbows. I shove back.

The next thing I know, I've got a face full of irate, yelling god knows what - to which I reply, "F*ck you," with a quick gloved swat to his cage.

"Grrrrrrraaaaaaawrrrr! I'm going to f*cking kill you!" he says, as he lunges at me over his teammates' shoulders.
"Go ahead," was my calm reply.
"I'm right here!" he continues, as we are separated by the officials and other players.

As I start skating towards the penalty box, the referee looks at me and points in the other direction.

"You're gone," he explains. "Game misconduct."

One of the guys on the other team explains succinctly "Punch in the face. Bye-bye, f*cking *sshole."

My nemesis remained on the ice. Despite the life threatening remarks and his part in the mêlée, I had thrown the only punch, and was thus ejected. I looked at the clock to see only nine minutes had elapsed. Worse yet, I'd only skated three shifts. As I entered the locker room, I felt quite alone - just me and some empty hockey bags. Though I hadn't even broken a sweat yet, I took a shower and went back to watch the rest of the game.

A couple of my teammates glanced over the glass, smiled or gave me a nod.

"What'd you do, take a psycho pill today?" asked Higgins.

It was a long game to watch, given the fact that ordinarily I'd be participating. I obviously hoped my team would win, making my blowout worthwhile somehow.

We did.

At the end of the game, the teams shake hands. I stood at the entrance to the rink and, who should come skating towards me but the same gentleman with whom I'd tangled. I braced myself for the worst, figuring out what to do if things got ugly again. As soon as he was about ten feet from me a wide smile came across his face as he extended his hand.

I took his hand and we gave each other a friendly hug.

"It's hockey, man," I told him.
"Good game," he replies.

(Yeah. All f*cking nine minutes of it.)

Have I joined the ranks of Stu Grimson, Bobby Probert, Joey Kocur or Dave "Tiger" Williams? Not quite. Doubtfully. Maybe I just joined the ranks of my sister. She was on to something.