…The whole team was somewhat bemused at what had just been announced and we all looked at McDink at about the same time. The coach smiled and left. I can’t be certain but I think the blood and colour suddenly left McDink for his face was as pale and as ashen as Lazareth must have been before he was raised from the dead. There also seemed to be a half smile, or perhaps a side mouthed smirk, that came and went from his countenance as if he was thinking: “Did I hear that right? Is this really happening to me?”
In an instant, as if sensing that all eyes were on him, McDink’s bravado returned.
“No problem, no probleemo. I’ll show that idiot who’s boss here and who can really play this game. I’ll stop him in his tracks, that’s what I’ll do. Give me those damn pads cause I got a lot of work and preparation to do. I’ll see you girls next week.” And then he was gone.
The word on the street? In the schoolyard? At home, everywhere? McDink’s going to play goal, against the Royals, next Saturday afternoon.
Everyone will be there. And all week McDink played the part, obnoxiously so. He was the conceited braggart, a hero in his own mind. The go to guy, the perfect foil, delusional to the Royal’s all star player. His attitude was sickeningly objectionable. Even the Nuns noticed. He walked with a swagger and cussed and cursed anyone and everyone who he felt was not demonstrating the respect that he deemed he deserved. Even when he got the strap he smirked as if to say.
“Lay it on Sister. Give me your best shot.”
Finally, the time had arrived. The Royals were already on the ice, warming up. The fans from their school were hootin and a hollerin to no end. Their star was there, totally non descript, almost shy-like as he avoided any spotlight. He acknowledged his fans as he flicked a few shots at his own goalie but never demonstrating that nuclear missile of a shot of his.
We came out to loud cheers and hoorays from our fans, but boos and verbal abuse from the Royal’s fans. Skating around our end in coherency and symmetry and awaiting our star attraction – our goalie. There was some delay for it seemed to take forever before McDink showed up at the transition point between the door and the surface of the ice. He was almost unrecognizable with all of the equipment on. Not unlike the Pillsbury Dough-Boy, or the Michelin Man. Like a tortoise’s shell if he ever fell we would never be able to get him up or right him. Luckily that never occurred. Yet he had to be cajoled by the coach to get on with it and get out there to our net.
A short warm-up commenced with McDink in net. Not too bad but then again our hardest shooter’s shot resembled a wet noodle in comparison to the Royal’s star. He did look the part though. I got to hand it to him as he had an air of confidence and self assurance, cockiness. Between the warm-up drills he would stand there, leaning back against the net with one arm outstretched across the goal’s crossbar and netting. As if to say to the Royals – “Fuck off!”